2003 : Swarb!

Dave Swarbrick / Various Artists

4-CD box set

First released in the UK 2003 by Free Reed Records FRQCD45

This luxury Box Set was our major release for 2003 the definitive career tribute to the legendary Folk & Folk-rock fiddler Dave ‘Swarb’ Swarbrick!

This 4-CD Boxed set includes four 79-minute CDs, with 73 Rare, Live and Classic Swarbrick tracks, (over 85% unavailable!) together with a 136-Page full-colour Book that features unique Pete Frame ‘Family Twigs’, a detailed Nigel Schofield biography, and full discography’ – plus “Swarb’s Merrie Melodies” 48-page Souvenir Fiddle-case Tune-Book! – and over 5 hours of Music!

This is the first in-depth anthology of Dave Swarbrick’s music and 45-year career, from his earliest vinyl LPs to his latest recordings!

•  Music from every duo, Band and session line-up – including those never released
•  Thirteen previously un-released Fairport Convention recordings – covering Swarb’s whole time with the band
•  Legendary “lost” recordings: the ‘Manor Sessions’, Swarb & friends, BBC sessions, etc..
•  Out-takes and alternate versions of tunes from all Swarb’s key albums

Music selected from over 2,500 tracks, from Swarb’s Archives, and rare and unreleased sources. The set includes over 5 hours of music, including the essential Swarb released recordings and a goldmine of crucial unreleased material!

Of the set’s 74 tracks: almost all are deleted or impossible-to-find, even via collectors’ tapes and fan bootlegs; over 60 tracks are available on CD for the first time!

CD1: “D is for Duo” FRCD41

Seventeen classic duo performances

Australian Fairport expert Michael Hunter says that playing with Swarb was one of life’s ambitions achieved. Their collaboration was not recorded. Others were….and here is the best of those who have played alongside “the musical partner at the top of every folkie’s wish-list”.

Like so much in the folk revival, “it all began with Bert” (copyright – M. Carthy). This CD brings together, in the order they happened, seventeen choice collaborations with Swarb over a period of thirty-seven years. Jack or Tom? You decide!

01 : Jack Orion
Bert Lloyd, First Person, Topic, 1969
02 :
Finale Medley
with Martin Carthy, at The Troubadour, London, 1966
03 :
Our Captain cried all hands
with Martin Carthy, Byker Hill, Topic, 1967
04 :
Streets of Forbes
with Trevor Lucas, The Great Australian Legend, Topic, 1971
05 :
The Heilanman/Drowsy Maggie
with Beryl Marriott, Transatlantic, 1976
06 :
The Lark in the clear air
with Savourna Stevenson, at Kirkcaldy Folk Club
07 :
Around Cape Horn
with Peter Bellamy, Both Sides Then, Topic, 1979
08 :
79th’s farewell to Gibraltar/The Atholl Highlanders/The Devil Among The Tailors
with Simon Nicol, Live at the White Bear, Woodworm, 1982
09 :
Pittengardner’s/Floggin’ Reel
with Simon Nicol, Folk City, 1984
10 :
White Dress
with Ralph McTell, Ralph McTell Show, 1992
11 :
The Pepperpot/Sailing into Walpole’s Marsh/Bunker Hill
with Martin Carthy, Carson’s, 1990
12 :
Mrs Bermingham/No. 178/Blind Mary
with Martin Carthy, Cropredy Festival, 1992.
13 :
Days of 49
with Alistair Hulett, The Basement, 1996
14 :
Nathaniel Gow’s Lament/Rory of the Hills
with Lars Kjaedegard, Brunskepakhus, 1996
15 :
I Know my Love
with Kevin Dempsey, Fairport Tour, 2000
16 :
Byker Hill
with Martin Carthy, Carthy 60th Birthday Concert, 2001.
17 :
Banksie
with Kevin Dempsey, Haworth Folk Club, 2003

CD2: “C is for Collaborations” FRCD42

In February 1968, Joe Boyd asked Fairport who they wanted to play fiddle on a session for their next album. They gave a unanimous (if, in their eyes, optimistic) answer – “Dave Swarbrick”. This CD shows why Swarb has been the magic ingredient in so many groups.

Mighty oaks and tiny acorns….a British Rail compartment, a Sound Techniques recording studio, & living rooms from Preston Capes to Sydney are all unlikely seeding ground for musical greatness. Here is Swarb with the musical configurations that began there and elsewhere. Settle down and listen to the bands.

01 : The Bride’s March from Unst
with Beryl Marriott, Essex Festival, 1981
02 : The Blind Man he Could See
Ian Campbell Folk Group, Across the Hills, Transatlantic, 1964
03 : Tail Taddle
Ian Campbell Folk Group, Hullabaloo TV Show, 1965
04 : Tunes my mother taught me
Fairport Convention, BBC, November 12th 1970
05 : Dirty Linen
Fairport Convention, live in Philadelphia, 1970
06 : Me with you
Fairport Convention, Rosie sessions, 1973
07 : Hexhamshire Lass
Fairport Convention, 1974
08 : Rising for the moon
Fairport Convention, Rising for the Moon, Island, 1975
09 : Country Pie
Fairport Convention, La Trobe University, 1977
10 : Sword Dance/Young Black Cow
Fairport Convention with Richard & Linda Thompson, ‘Celebration’, Granada TV, 1981
11 : Brilliancy Medley/ Cherokee Shuffle
Fairport Convention, Moat on the Ledge, Woodworm, 1982
12 : Boadicea
Dave Swarbrick, Flittin’, Spindrift, 1981
13 : Carolanning – (Mrs Bermingham, Mrs Maxwell, John Jameson)
Whippersnapper, Burnt Post, Coventry, 1983
14 : Farewell Lovely Nancy
Whippersnapper, Cropredy Festival, 1985
15 : Hen’s March
Whippersnapper, Tønder Festival, Denmark, 1987
16 : Waltzing’s for Dreamers
Keith Hancock Band, Southport Festival, 1991
17 : Nonesuch Medley
Band of Hope, Live recording, 1994
18 : Mad about you/Siege of Sydney Streets
Eureka! with Dave Swarbrick, Jamming with Gypsy, Word of Mouth, 1997
19 : Fiddlestix
Fairport Convention, The Cropredy Box, Woodworm, 1997

CD3: “E is for Extras” FRCD 43

Sixteen unique and most rare Swarb performances

E is also for excuse – and while we did not need one for including any of these Excellent tracks, we did need a place to put them – and this is it. Here are sixteen off-the-beaten-track Swarb recordings you are very unlikely to find anywhere else. Small beginnings and trick endings, challenges met and albums aborted, new ground broken and old territory re-explored…all this and more in this choice collection of “the dusty end” of Swarb’s musical life.

01 : Royal Seleccion #13
with Simon Nicol, Live in Germany, 1982
02 : The Bark Gay Head
Ewan Maccoll, Whaler out of New Bedford, 1961
03 : Interlude – Pembroke Unique Ensemble
Young Tradition, Galleries, 1968
04 : Tam Lin
Fairport Convention, Live in Stockholm, 1971
05 : General Taylor/Mason’s Apron
Fairport Convention, University of Chicago, 1970
06 : Pleasure and Pain
Brian Maxine, Ribbon of Stainless Steel, Columbia, 1975
07 : When First to this Country
Fairport Convention, Capital Radio, 1976
08 : When First to this Country
Fairport Convention, Capital Radio, 1976
09 : Now Be Thankful
Three Desperate Mortgages, Kenilworth Folk Club, 1976
10 : Rosie/Pachelbel’s Canon
Whippersnapper, Burning Post Club, 1983
11 : My Little Fiddle
Whippersnapper, Venue uncertain, 1985
12 : Foolish
Whippersnapper, Tønder Festival, 1987
13 : Ship in Distress
with Martin Carthy, McCabe’s, California, 1990
14 : Bonny Black Hare
with Martin Carthy, Albert Hole, 1993
15 : Isle of Man set
with Beryl Marriott, Wing Village Hall, 1998
16 : Sloth
with Simon Nicol, Topic Folk Club, 1983

CD4: “S is for Swarb” FRCD 44

Twenty-one essential, landmark performances

How do you condense forty years of excellence onto one CD? This is the Free Reeder’s Digest of Swarb’s career, a lifetime of unparalleled music making told through as many tracks as we could squeeze onto one of these shiny round things. Bert and Beryl, Campbell and Carthy, Fairport and folk rock, wit’s ends and Whippersnappers…solo, duo, trio and keep on counting. Here is Swarb’s life’s work packed as neatly onto a CD as a fiddle in a case. You’re living in a world you did make….as fine a fiddler as ever played upon a string.

01 : Bonaparte’s Retreat
Swarbrick 2, Transatlantic, 1977
02 : Rocky Road to Dublin/Drops of Brandy

Ian Campbell Folk Group, This is The Ian Campbell Folk Group, Transatlantic 1963
03 : The Widow of Westmoreland’s Daughter

Bert Lloyd, The Bird in the Bush, Topic, 1967
04 : Earl of Moray

Ian Campbell Folk Group, Highland Songs, Transatlantic, 1967
05 : Hen’s March Medley

with Martin Carthy, Archive Recording, 1967
06 : Father Kelly/Skopje/Sligo Maid

with Martin Carthy and Diz Disley, Rags Reels Airs, Bounty, 1967
07 : Praties they Grow Small

Lorna Campbell, The Ian Campbell Folk Group with Dave Swarbrick, MFP, 1968
08 : The Liege & Lief Medley

Fairport Convention, Philadelphia Folk Festival, 1970
09 : The Hangman’s Reel

Fairport Convention, BBC ‘In Concert’, 1970
10 : Hanging Song

Fairport Convention, Fairport Live, 1972
11 : Rosie

Fairport Convention, The Manor Sessions, 1974
12 : Sheebeg and Sheemore

with Simon Nicol, Chicago, 1981
13 : The Gravel Path/Leighton Buzzard Shuffle

‘Dave Swarbrick & Friends’, Cambridge Festival, 1981
14 : Loving Hannah
Whippersnapper, BBC ‘Folk on 2’, 1984
15 : Carthy’s March/The Lemon Tree

with Martin Carthy, Carson’s Cincinnati, 1990
16 : The Trip we took over the Mountain

with Martin Carthy and Savourna Stevenson, 50th Birthday Concert, Cooking Vinyl, 1991
17 : Bonny Black Hare

BBC Recording, 1994
18 : The Wives

with Kevin Dempsey, The Basement, 1996
19 : Two Magicians

Assembly Hall, 1996
20 : Lassies of Neilston

with Alistair Hulett, Red Clydeside, RAT, 2002
21 : My Heart’s in New South Wales

with Kevin Dempsey & Fairport Convention, Fairfield Halls, 2000

Merrie Melodies Tune book SWMM
This 48-page, 25-Tune-set Fiddle-case tune-book is a delightfully-illustrated source for all of his best-loved compositions.

Note: This is only included in the first 5000 copies of the box set but is available separately on the Free Reed website.

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