Swarb! Forty Five Years Of Folk's Finest Fiddler
Audio CD | Box Set
|Price:||£52.43 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Delivery Details|
Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we dispatch the item.
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
This lavishly packaged, authoritatively researched 4CD long-box set is the first in-depth anthology of the music and 45-year career of Dave Swarbrick, one of Britain's best loved and most influential folk fiddle players. The 73 tracks (over five hours of music) stretch from Swarb's earliest recordings to his latest, including selections from every duo, band and session line-up he has been involved in, legendary 'lost' recordings, and out-takes and alternate takes from all of his key albums. Among the many individuals and groups he has performed with are Ewan MacColl, the Ian Campbell Folk Group, Martin Carthy, Fairport Convention, Beryl Marriott, Richard & Linda Thompson, Whippersnapper, Eureka and Band Of Hope, all featured here along with other well know names from the British folk music scene. The superb package includes a 120-page illustrated, colour book with career overview, definitive discography, detailed track notes, many interviews and Peter Frame's "Family Twigs" of the multifarious Swarb connections . The definitive tribute to one of the great names of British folk music.
If anyone deserves a tribute as impressive and comprehensive as this Swarb!! box it is surely mercurial fiddler Dave Swarbrick. Like legendary bluesman Robert Johnson, the man affectionately known to all as Swarb must surely have done a deal with infernal forces in return for his prodigious talent. Since his early days with the Ian Campbell Folk Group, through landmark collaborations with Martin Carthy and his long stint with Fairport Convention--during which he effectively invented electric folk-rock--no single figure has had more influence on the British folk scene. His zest for the pleasures of life--principally beer and cigarettes--and his superabundant sense of humour have always been evident in his music: qualities that make his fiddle playing so unique, so full of character, and so universally admired.
This luxurious box set is another in Free Reed's exemplary series--previous boxes have been devoted to Martin Carthy and Fairport Convention. Here four CDs of diverse recordings drawn from every phase of Swarb's career are accompanied by another of Free Reed's massive illustrated biographies and, joy of joys, a selection of Swarbrick fiddle tunes transcribed by Maartin Allcock. Despite the notional themes of each disc, the track listing ranges fairly randomly across the years, from the early 1960s recordings with Ian Campbell, Bert Lloyd and Beryl Marriott, through the Carthy, Fairport and Whippersnapper years, solos, duets and guest spots with other groups, to an extract from 2003's English Fiddler album. Happily, sound quality is on the whole pretty good, with the many live recordings coming up generally very well indeed. It's avowedly not a "Best of" collection, so anyone unfamiliar with Swarbrick's output should begin elsewhere; instead, this is a delightful treasure trove of alternative or unknown recordings from the vast repertoire of Britain's greatest fiddler. --Mark Walker
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
A part of this box set is a 136 page book by Nigel Schofield detailing the life and works of Swarb. It misses out little but the chronology is confused, so that the text jumps back and forth instead of progressing logicially from the 60s onwards. This creates confusion, at least it did for me. on the plus side there are also lots of viginettes dealing with musicians he has recorded with and albums he has made. These are interesting. So are the many pictures and reproductions of posters, tickets, Melody Maker articles etc, which flood the pages. Therefore, the book (it is too big to call a booklet) is like the CDs - a mixed affair. It basically needs a good editor to sort it out rather like the CDs need a good producer to sort them out.
This set is a missed opportunity. There is nothing wrong with an album of obscure tracks and unheard live recordings so long as the packaging does not attempt to sell itself as any thing else. This is most definitely not a definitive compilation set. There is a precedent for this type of CD. Nic Jones’ ‘Unearthed’ and ‘In Search of Nic Jones’, published by Mollie Music but sadly not available from Amazon or in shops, set out to do just the same as ‘Swarb’. It collected together radio shots, archive material and live recordings and provided them with concise but informed notes and photos from the present and the past. This is what Free Reed should have done with Swarb. There is too much here and much of that of low quality. I cannot recommend this box set despite the treasures it holds. I bought it thinking that it would be a Best of Dave Swarbrick. Instead, I got a mixture of the best and the worst. I cannot wait until we get a proper retrospective of Dave Swarbrick covering his solo work, his work with Fairport Convention, and his classic recordings with Martin Carthy. Until that happens, stay away from this, and type in Dave Swarbrick into the Search Engine, and select anything of his that has Carthy’s name beside it such as ‘But Two Came By’ or ‘Byker Hill’, the solo albums such as ‘Swarbrick’ and ‘Swarbrick 2’, and something by the Fairports, such as ‘The History of …’ or ‘Liege and Lief.’ There you will hear the genius of Swarb in full flight, and a delightful sound it is too, the best in all England in fact.
Also with this beatiful box set is a 128 page book (which is both colourful, facinating and very amusing parts) and a collection of 'merrie melodies' for the violin, chose by Swarb himself.
In short, a cracking reason to roll back the carpet and have a jig. And to have a few ales to with mates. A product worthy of the great man himself. Long may he fiddle....