I woke up to the sad news that Dave Swarbrick died today. Maybe that name doesn’t ring a bell with you but it certainly does to me. As a member of Fairport Convention, Swarb was a key component in shaping their seminal album, Liege & Lief, in which the band single handedly created electric folk rock in England.
Much less important to the world, but very important to me personally, this album helped to shape my own musical tastes. Before I heard it, I was firmly entrenched in the classic rock realm, although at the time, it was just rock. I clearly remember picking the album up at Fantasy Records in Rochester, on one of my daylong record buying excursions with Alan L. If I hadn’t recognized Sandy Denny’s name from Zep IV, I may not have bought it(the original is still the best version of The Battle of Evermore). I brought the album to my sister’s house, popped it on the turntable and heard this:
My music world had just expanded exponentially, as I dropped down into the rabbit hole, and found Richard Thompson, Sandy Denny, Carthy & Swarbrick, Steeleye Span, Pentangle, Jansch, Renbourn, and a whole long list of artists that I still love to this day. So thank you, Dave Swarbrick, for helping to create such fantastic music, which will surely live on for many years to come.