03 June 2016

R.I.P Dave Swarbrick


Dave Swarbrick, affectionately known as Swarb has died aged 75. He was a virtuosic violin player and one of the most highly regarded musicians of the 1960s folk revival. He also wrote, arranged and sang, and performed on the viola, mandolin and mandola, and guitar.

He first worked with Fairport Convention in 1969 as a session musician, subsequently becoming a member of the group, and was the first fiddler on the UK folk scene to electrify the violin. His writing and playing was a key ingredient in the group’s Liege & Lief album, a record that rewrote the folk landscape with its electrified versions of traditional English folksongs.

During the 1970s, alongside his leading role in Fairport Convention, Swarb became a sought-after session musician, working with acts including Richard Thompson, Bert Jansch, Martin Carthy and of course Sandy. Swarb contributed memorably to the Sandy album on the tracks 'Quiet Joys of Brotherhood' and 'It Suits Me Well', later he appeared on the track 'Full Moon' from the 'Rendezvous' sessions. It has long been understood that Sandy wrote 'Stranger to Himself' from the Rising For The Moon album about him.

In 2012 Swarb took part in the nationwide tour of The Lady: An Homage to Sandy Denny which was televised by the BBC.