Violinist, singer, songwriter, and beloved British folk-rock legend Dave Swarbrick has died at 75. Swarbrick released several solo albums and collaborated with an array of other artists, notably guitarist Martin Carthy.
But “Swarb” was best known for his work with seminal folk-rock band Fairport Convention. The fiddler first played with Fairport on the group’s third album, 1969’s Unhalfbricking, and became an official member with the same year’s Liege & Lief, regarded by many as the best folk-rolk album of all-time. Swarbrick took a lead role in guiding the band away from psychedelic-rock to a more pastoral — if still musically pungent — arena and cowrote some of the group’s best-loved songs, often with guitarist Richard Thompson. Although Fairport officially disbanded in 1979, Swarbrick regularly returned to the fold for tours or to play at the group’s annual reunion “convention” in Cropredy, Oxfordshire.
Swarbrick’s death was announced in a statement on the official Fairport Convention website.
You can hear Swarbrick on the Liege & Lief track “Come All Ye,” below.
“Our fiddler, he just loves to play…”