Folk musician Dave Swarbrick has died at 75, his family have announced. Best known for his work with the hugely influential folk group Fairport Convention, Swarbrick was a virtuosic violin player and one of the most highly regarded musicians of the 1960s folk revival. He also wrote, arranged and sang, and performed on the viola, mandolin and mandola, and guitar.

Swarbrick - known as “Swarb” - began his musical career as a guitarist in a ceilidh band in the late 1950s, before joining the Birmingham-based Ian Campbell Folk Group as a fiddle player. He first worked with Fairport Convention in 1969 as a session musician, subsequently becoming a member of the group, and was the first fiddler on the UK folk scene to electrify the violin. His writing and playing was a key ingredient in the group’s Liege & Lief album, a record that rewrote the folk landscape with its electrified versions of traditional English folksongs. [The Guardian]

Sad news: multi-instrumentalist Dave Swarbrick of legendary British folk rock band Fairport Convention has passed away after a long battle with emphysema. He was with the band from 1969 to 1984, and as the quote above points out, became a full-time member ahead of their 1969 album Liege & Lief, an album whose classic status certainly owes a lot to Swarb's fiddle playing. He first played with them as a session musician on the just-about-as-classic album Unhalfbricking earlier that year.

Rest in peace Dave. You'll be missed.

Listen to some Fairport Convention favorites that Swarb really shines on, below:

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