Dave Swarbrick Swarb! Forty Five Years of Folk's Finest Fiddler (4-CD Box Set)

Swarb! Forty Five Years of Folk's Finest Fiddler
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Format:  CD  (4 Discs)
sku:  VQKF
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CD Details

  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Released: April 12, 2005
  • Label: Free Reed Us Release

Entertainment Reviews:

Dirty Linen - 12/03, p.50
"...SWARB! is sweet and satisfying....The vast majority of the material stands up magnificently..."

Tracks on Disc 1:

  • 1.Jack Orion
  • 2.Finale Medley
  • 3.Our Captain Cried All Hands
  • 4.Streets of Forbes
  • 5.The Heilanman / Drowsy Maggie
  • 6.The Lark in the Clear Air
  • 7.Around Cape Horn
  • 8.79th's Farewell To Gibraltar / The Atholl Highlanders / The Devil Among The Tailors
  • 9.Pittengardner's / Floggin' Reel
  • 10.White Dress
  • 11.The Pepperpot / Sailing Into Walpole's Marsh / Bunker Hill
  • 12.Mrs. Bermingham / No. 178 / Blind Mary
  • 13.Days of 49
  • 14.Nathaniel Gow's Lament / Rory Of The Hills
  • 15.I Know My Love
  • 16.Byker Hill
  • 17.Banksie

Tracks on Disc 2:

  • 1.The Bride's March From Unst
  • 2.The Blind Man He Could See
  • 3.Tail Taddle
  • 4.Tunes My Mother Taught Me
  • 5.Dirty Linen
  • 6.Me With You
  • 7.Hexhamshire Lass
  • 8.Rising For the Moon
  • 9.Country Pie
  • 10.Sword Dance / Young Black Cow
  • 11.Brilliancy Medley / Cherokee Shuffle
  • 12.Boadicea
  • 13.Carolanning
  • 14.Farewell Lovely Nancy
  • 15.Hen's March
  • 16.Waltzing's For Dreamers
  • 17.Nonesuch Medley
  • 18.Mad About You / Siege Of Sydney Streets
  • 19.Fiddlestix

Tracks on Disc 3:

  • 1.Royal Selection #13
  • 2.The Bark Gay Head
  • 3.Interlude: Pembroke Unique Ensemble
  • 4.Tam Lin
  • 5.General Taylor / Mason's Apron
  • 6.Pleasure and Pain
  • 7.When First to This Country
  • 8.When First to This Country
  • 9.Now Be Thankful
  • 10.Rosie / Pachelbel's Canon
  • 11.My Little Fiddle
  • 12.Foolish
  • 13.Ship in Distress
  • 14.Bonny Black Hare
  • 15.Isle of Man Set
  • 16.Sloth

Tracks on Disc 4:

  • 1.Bonaparte's Retreat
  • 2.Rocky Road To Dublin / Drops Of Brandy
  • 3.The Widow of Westmoreland's Daughter
  • 4.Earl of Moray
  • 5.Hen's March Medley
  • 6.Father Kelly / Skopje / Sligo Maid
  • 7.Praties They Grow Small
  • 8.The Liege & Lief Medley
  • 9.The Hangman's Reel
  • 10.Hanging Song
  • 11.Rosie
  • 12.Sheebeg and Sheemore
  • 13.The Gravel Path / Leighton Buzzard Shuffle
  • 14.Loving Hannah
  • 15.Carthy's March / The Lemon Tree
  • 16.The Trip We Took Over the Mountain
  • 17.Bonny Black Hare
  • 18.The Wives
  • 19.Two Magicians
  • 20.Lassies of Neilston
  • 21.My Heart's in New South Wales

Product Description:

Includes a 120 page booklet.
The third release in Free Reed's so acclaimed series of box sets, a career-spanning document of fiddler Dave Swarbrick, could claim to be the greatest so far. Best known, of course, for his hell-and-high-water helming of the Fairport Convention soap opera, Swarbrick arguably ranks second only to Martin Carthy when it comes to popularizing and, more importantly, prolonging the life of British folk music. From his earliest work with the Beryl Marriott Ceilidh Group in the late '50s through to collaborations with Alistair Hulett and Kevin Dempsey during 2002-2003, Swarbrick's ability to take the most hackneyed themes and breathe fresh life into them has seen him perform and record with almost every major name in the folk field -- and a handful from beyond as well. This collection, although one could quickly whittle its contents down to a mere handful of those partnerships, is nevertheless a breathtaking survey of that canon, highlighted by both the best and the rarest of the myriad tapes at the label's disposal. As with the earlier Carthy and Fairport boxes, Swarb! divides its contents into four thematic discs, self-explanatorily titled "C Is for Collaborations," "D Is for Duos," "E Is for Extras," and "S Is for Swarb." Such delineations, however, are unimportant -- no less than 17 Fairport tracks are spread across all but the duos disc, collaborations with Carthy can be found (contrarily enough) on all but the collaborations disc, and duets turn up all over. Rarities, too, abound. Previously unheard live performances, long-archived TV and radio broadcasts, and distant deletions from the early days of the folk boom have all been harvested and, though one might shed a quiet tear over the absence of Swarbrick's earliest partnership, with Beryl Marriott, the pair's reunion in the early '80s fills that breach just fine. From there, the discs surrender the most complete portrait yet of Swarbrick's pre-Fairport work alongside Ian Campbell, Bert Lloyd, Ewan MacColl, the Young Tradition, and, of course, Carthy, a total of 13 tracks that would themselves build into an unbeatable anthology.
The Fairport years are sensibly covered by material that, for the most part, has never previously seen official release -- major standouts include a 1981 performance with Richard & Linda Thompson and a handful of 1970 live recordings. The strength of that band's repertoire is then reinforced by a clutch of further reprises dating from later years -- a marvelous "Bonnie Black Hare" recorded live with Carthy in 1993, an epic "Sloth" performed with Simon Nicol in 1983, and Whippersnapper's rambunctious "Hen's March" from a 1987 festival in Denmark. To dwell on either the 1960s or Fairport, however, is to utterly defeat the purpose of this box set. Fully half the tracks hail from other pastures, including some of the best material in sight. Such aggregations as Whippersnapper, Three Desperate Mortgages, and the Band of Hope may be mere footnotes in the overall Swarbrick story, but the music they made was no less exhilarating than any of his "big-name" ventures, while the ongoing saga of his work with Carthy includes material recorded up to 2001, at the guitarist's 60th birthday bash. Of course, the four discs are only part of the boxed experience. Also included is "Swarbrick's Collection of Merrie Melodies for the Violin," a 48-page collection of, indeed, sheet music, while the box set itself is annotated in almost microscopic detail by a mammoth 136-page volume that not only provides a biography of Swarbrick himself, but also documents every track and every performer in the box and emerges as lavish a production as the music itself. ~ Dave Thompson

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Product Info

  • UPC: 020286009924
  • Shipping Weight: 2.58/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 4 items

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