David Cyril Eric Swarbrick, 5 April 1941, New Malden, Surrey, England. Violinist and vocalist Swarbrick has played with many well-known groups and performers both in the folk genre and other areas of music. He is usually best remembered for his time with Fairport Convention, whom he first joined in 1969. In his earlier days, Swarbrick played guitar in a ceilidh band before taking up the violin. He played fiddle and mandola for the Ian Campbell Folk Group, and toured with Simon Nicol and Martin Carthy. Swarbrick first teamed up with the latter in 1966 and, when he played on Carthys debut album for Fontana Records in 1967, was fined by his own record company Transatlantic for performing without their permission. During the 70s Swarbrick balanced his ongoing membership of Fairport Convention with a solo career, and also played more traditional folk music in the band the Three Desperate Mortgages. Swarbrick left Fairport Convention in 1984, and shortly after formed Whippersnapper with Martin Jenkins, Chris Leslie and Kevin Dempsey. After two accomplished albums, Swarbrick left the band in the middle of a tour. In 1990, he once more teamed up with Martin Carthy to record the excellent Life And Limb. He also toured as a member of Keith Hancocks band, alongside long-time associate Carthy and Rauri McFarlane. Continual playing of the electric violin has had a detrimental effect on Swarbricks hearing, leaving him virtually deaf in one ear. A more serious ailment, the lung disease emphysema, had effectively sidelined this highly popular musician by the start of the new millennium. Contrary to an obituary published in the UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph in 1999, however, Swarb is still alive.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.