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David Cyril Eric Swarbrick (5 April 1941 – 3 June 2016) was an English folk musician and singer-songwriter. He was one of the most highly regarded musicians produced by the second British folk revival, contributing to some of the most important groups and projects of the 1960s, and he became a much sought-after session musician, which led him throughout his career to work with many of the major figures in folk and folk rock music.A member of Fairport Convention from 1969, he assisted on their influential album Liege & Lief (1969) which is credited with initiating the British folk rock movement. This, and his subsequent career, helped create greater interest in British traditional music and was also influential within mainstream rock. After 1970 he emerged as Fairport Convention's leading figure and guided the band through a series of important albums until their temporary disbandment in 1979. Fairport Convention claimed in 1998 on The Cropredy Box album, that his style has been copied or developed by almost every British and many world folk violin players who have followed him.He also played in a series of smaller, acoustic units and engaged in solo projects. He maintained a massive output of recordings and a significant profile and made a major contribution to the interpretation of traditional British music. History Early career to 1968 Born on 5 April 1941 in Stoneleigh, Surrey, his family moved to Linton, near Grassington, North Yorkshire, where he learned to play the violin. In the late 1940s the family moved to Birmingham, where he attended Birmingham College of Art (now absorbed into the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design at Birmingham City University) in the late 1950s, with the intention of becoming a printer. After winning a talent contest with his skiffle band, playing guitar, he was introduced to Beryl and Roger Marriott, influential local folk musicians. The Marriotts took him under their wing and Beryl, discovering that he had played the violin classically up until the skiffle craze, actively encouraged him to switch back to the fiddle and he joined the Beryl Marriott Ceilidh Band.He joined the Ian Campbell Folk Group in 1960 and embarked on his recording career, playing on one single, three EPs and seven albums with the group over the next few years. He contributed significantly to the BBC Radio Ballads series on recordings with the three most important figures in the British folk movement of the time A. L. Lloyd, Ewan MacColl, and MacColl's wife Peggy Seeger, as well as part of several collections to which the Ian Campbell Group contributed.From 1965 he began to work with Martin Carthy, supporting him on his eponymous first album. The association was such a success that the next recording, Second Album (1966), gave them equal billing. They produced another four highly regarded recordings between 1967 and 1968, including Byker Hill (1967), whose innovative arrangements of traditional songs made it one of the most influential folk albums of the decade. Swarbrick also played on albums by Julie Felix, A. L. Lloyd and on the radio ballads, and became perhaps the most highly regarded interpreter of traditional material on the violin and certainly one of the most sought-after session musicians.In 1967, Swarbrick released his first solo album Rags, Reels and Airs (Topic), with guests Martin Carthy and Diz Disley, which has since become a benchmark for generations of folk fiddlers. Session work and Fairport Convention in 1969–79 In 1969, Swarbrick was working as a session musician. During recording sessions for the Unhalfbricking album, Fairport Convention's manager, Joe Boyd, hired Swarbrick to play some overdubs on the Richard Thompson-penned track "Cajun Woman". Fairport had decided to play a traditional song "A Sailor's Life", which Swarbrick had previously recorded with Carthy in 1969, and he was asked to contribute violin to the session. The result was an eleven-minute mini-epic that appeared on the 1969 album Unhalfbricking and which marked out a new direction for the band. Subsequently, Swarbrick was asked to join the group and was the first fiddler on the folk scene to electrify the violin. Martin Carthy later recalled that Swarbrick had been indecisive about joining, telling Carthy: "I just played with this guy Richard [Thompson] and I want to play with him for the rest of my life." Together, now with Swarbrick co-writing with Richard Thompson "Crazy Man Michael", they created the groundbreaking album Liege & Lief (1969). His energetic and unique fiddle style was essential to the new sound and direction of the band, most marked on the medley of four jigs and reels that Swarbrick arranged for the album and which were to become an essential part of almost every subsequent Fairport performance. Before the album was released, key members of the band, founder Ashley Hutchings and singer, guitarist and songwriter Sandy Denny left, and Swarbrick stayed on with the band full-time, excited by the possibilities of performing traditional music in a rock context. His greater maturity, knowledge of folk song, reputation and personality meant that he soon emerged as the leading force in the band and continued to be so for the next decade, encouraging the band to bring in Dave Pegg, another graduate of the Ian Campbell Folk Group, on bass. However, Swarbrick was already beginning to suffer the hearing problems that would dog the rest of his career. The first album of this new line-up, Full House (1970), although not as commercially successful as Liege & Lief, sold relatively well, and remains highly regarded. Like Liege & Lief it contained interpretations of traditional tunes, including the epic "Sir Patrick Spens" and another instrumental arranged by Swarbrick, "Dirty Linen", but also contained songs jointly penned by Swarbrick and guitarist Richard Thompson, including what would become their opening live song "Walk Awhile", and the nine-minute long anti-war anthem "Sloth". The partnership produced another three songs on Full House. However, the fruitful collaboration was ended when Thompson departed the band soon after. The song "Sloth" has since been covered by other artists such as Plainsong and Nikki Sudden. After Swarbrick's death 2016, in poet Ian McMillan recalled how "his playing on Fairport Convention's "Sloth" broke my heart every time".As ex-Fairport Convention members embarked on their own careers, Swarbrick was often called upon to provide musical support, as he did for albums by Sandy Denny and Richard Thompson. He also played on some of the most significant folk albums of the era, including work by John Renbourn, Al Stewart and Peter Bellamy. In the second half of the 1970s, he began to release a series of solo albums.Without Thompson, Swarbrick shouldered even more responsibility for leadership, writing and singing and the result was a folk-rock opera album "Babbacombe" Lee, mostly written by Swarbrick (telling the true .... Discover the Jeneva Rose popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Jeneva Rose books.

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