England Dave Swarbrick: English Fiddler
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2003 must be the year of Swarb. In addition to being celebrated with a four-CD box set, there's this newly recorded selection of material from his career, and wonderful it is, too. He's a delightful fiddle player, shining brightest when surrounded by only a few people. His technique appears casual and intimate, but even a quick listen shows him to be a master (try "The Pepperpot" for a glimpse of what he can do and make sound so easy). Above all, he loves a good tune rather than any flash — something typical of English fiddlers, really. And there are plenty of good tunes that he's written, from the lyrical "Boadicea," penned as a tribute to Sandy Denny, to "March of the Last," with its overtones of the Morris dance tune "Cuckoo's Nest." It's wonderful to hear him paired with guitarist Martin Carthy again, as he is for a couple of pieces here, including the classic "Carthy's March." And, since this is a greatest-hits collection of sorts, there's some material from his Fairport days, including "Crazy Man Michael" and "Rosie," done instrumentally, since he can no longer sing. But for a man who's had his obituary printed and had his life declared over a couple of times, this is a very lively collection indeed. Even at its richest (on "Miss Stevenson/Turnabout" with its full band), Swarb sparkles through. Marvelous stuff from a great — possibly even legendary — English folk figure.
Born: April 5, 1947 in New Malden, Surrey, England
Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s
Top Albums and Songs by Dave Swarbrick
||Bottom of the Punch Bowl / The Swallow Tail / Marquis of Tullybardine||Rags, Reels & Airs||3:13||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Sovay||Life and Limb||3:37||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Bows of London (feat. Dave Swarbrick & Martin Carthy)||Life and Limb||6:02||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||The Begging Song (feat. Dave Swarbrick & Martin Carthy)||Life and Limb||4:32||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||The Bonnie Black Hare||Both Ears and the Tail||2:16||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||The Cuckoo's Nest||Rags, Reels & Airs||2:41||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Byker Hill (feat. Dave Swarbrick & Martin Carthy)||Life and Limb||7:29||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Lochmaben Harper (feat. Dave Swarbrick & Martin Carthy)||Life and Limb||6:40||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Carthy's March/The Lemon Tree (feat. Dave Swarbrick & Martin Carthy)||Life and Limb||4:43||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Seven Yellow Gypsies||Essential||5:15||$0.99||View In iTunes|