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Dave Swarbrick - was he really that good

Bonzo3legs 25 May 19 - 06:31 AM
Dave the Gnome 25 May 19 - 06:36 AM
GUEST 25 May 19 - 06:36 AM
gillymor 25 May 19 - 06:53 AM
GUEST 25 May 19 - 07:46 AM
G-Force 25 May 19 - 07:53 AM
Johnny J 25 May 19 - 08:04 AM
Bonzo3legs 25 May 19 - 08:33 AM
GUEST 25 May 19 - 08:35 AM
GUEST 25 May 19 - 08:40 AM
gillymor 25 May 19 - 09:10 AM
Vic Smith 25 May 19 - 09:23 AM
GUEST 25 May 19 - 09:37 AM
gillymor 25 May 19 - 09:46 AM
Lighter 25 May 19 - 09:59 AM
GUEST 25 May 19 - 10:21 AM
gillymor 25 May 19 - 10:46 AM
Dave Hanson 25 May 19 - 10:53 AM
Rigby 26 May 19 - 06:30 AM
GUEST,Some bloke 26 May 19 - 11:47 AM
GUEST,Ray 26 May 19 - 11:47 AM
The Sandman 28 May 19 - 05:36 PM
GUEST,Anne Lister 28 May 19 - 05:46 PM
Dave the Gnome 29 May 19 - 05:54 AM
Backwoodsman 29 May 19 - 07:18 AM
Rob Naylor 29 May 19 - 09:09 AM
Mo the caller 29 May 19 - 06:05 PM
GUEST,Gilly 30 May 19 - 01:50 PM
GUEST 30 May 19 - 02:34 PM
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Subject: Dave Swarbrick - was he really that good
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 25 May 19 - 06:31 AM

I sometimes wonder????


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Subject: RE: Dave Swarbrick - was he really that good
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 25 May 19 - 06:36 AM

Yes.


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Subject: RE: Dave Swarbrick - was he really that good
From: GUEST
Date: 25 May 19 - 06:36 AM

Depends what type of music you are talking about. He was an original musician with his own musical style, without being an expert in any particular tradition.


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Subject: RE: Dave Swarbrick - was he really that good
From: gillymor
Date: 25 May 19 - 06:53 AM

He was one of those musicians whose brilliance was immediately apparent from the first time I heard him on record as sole accompanist to Bert Lloyd doing The Two Magicians. No offense intended but the question in the OP is one of those "If you have to ask..." queries.


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Subject: RE: Dave Swarbrick - was he really that good
From: GUEST
Date: 25 May 19 - 07:46 AM

Not good in the orthodox sense but he had his own very individual style.

Many violinists/fiddlers will be more technically proficient and musically trained but won't be anything like as unique and inspiring player as Dave was.


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Subject: RE: Dave Swarbrick - was he really that good
From: G-Force
Date: 25 May 19 - 07:53 AM

Oh come on. Music just poured out of him. One of my all-time favourite musicians.


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Subject: RE: Dave Swarbrick - was he really that good
From: Johnny J
Date: 25 May 19 - 08:04 AM

Ah the last "guest comment" was from me.

Don't get me wrong. Dave was a great player and "classically trained" too, I believe.
I just meant that he didn't follow "the rules" and was very much his own man as far as music was concerned.


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Subject: RE: Dave Swarbrick - was he really that good
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 25 May 19 - 08:33 AM

I found him to be unpredictable at times, especially in Fairport. perhaps I listen to Sam Sweeney & Nancy Kerr too much!


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Subject: RE: Dave Swarbrick - was he really that good
From: GUEST
Date: 25 May 19 - 08:35 AM

Check out early concert videos of Fairport. Dave is the most present, central & driving member with fiddle, mandolin & vocals. Also listen to his brilliant accompaniment with Martin Carthy on Reynardine, Byker Hill, Sovay, The Corbie and the Craw, Lucy Wan, Arthur McBride, etc. The list is nearly endless. The man was a genius !


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Subject: RE: Dave Swarbrick - was he really that good
From: GUEST
Date: 25 May 19 - 08:40 AM

Not good in the orthodox sense but he had his own very individual style.
Many violinists/fiddlers will be more technically proficient and musically trained but won't be anything like as unique and inspiring player as Dave was.

During a long radio interview with Dave, I asked him who his main influences were. He held up the fingers of his left hand to count out with a finger from his right and replied, "Beryl Marriott, Beryl Marriott and Beryl Marriott."

Dave Swarbrick - was he really that good?
Yes.... every bit as good.


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Subject: RE: Dave Swarbrick - was he really that good
From: gillymor
Date: 25 May 19 - 09:10 AM

I owe you Bonzo. I fished out Swarbrick/Swarbrick II and was reminded of Swarb's passion, good humor and rhythmic drive. I was also reminded of Nancy Kerr and the great album Starry Gazy Pie with the phenomenal zouk/guitarist James Fagan and found a recent one on Spotify she did with M. Simpson and Andy Cutting called Murmurs that sounds promising. She was also a lovely singer. Good thing I've got mudcats to help with my failing memory.


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Subject: RE: Dave Swarbrick - was he really that good
From: Vic Smith
Date: 25 May 19 - 09:23 AM

Post at 25 May 19 - 08:40 AM was by me


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Subject: RE: Dave Swarbrick - was he really that good
From: GUEST
Date: 25 May 19 - 09:37 AM

Nancy Kerr and James Fagan have "live CD on general release next week. It is excellent.


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Subject: RE: Dave Swarbrick - was he really that good
From: gillymor
Date: 25 May 19 - 09:46 AM

Thanks for the heads up.


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Subject: RE: Dave Swarbrick - was he really that good
From: Lighter
Date: 25 May 19 - 09:59 AM

The first time I heard Swarbrick was when he was still with the Ian Campbell Folk Group, ca. 1965.

At 21, he was already brilliant.


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Subject: RE: Dave Swarbrick - was he really that good
From: GUEST
Date: 25 May 19 - 10:21 AM

@gillymore
Less of the past tense please, Nancy and James are very much alive.


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Subject: RE: Dave Swarbrick - was he really that good
From: gillymor
Date: 25 May 19 - 10:46 AM

Fewer e's on gillymor please. Many seem to add one for some reason but I know who their talking to.


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Subject: RE: Dave Swarbrick - was he really that good
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 25 May 19 - 10:53 AM

Bonzo, you should ask Martin Carthy that question, Martin had no doubts about how good Swarb was, fabulous.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Dave Swarbrick - was he really that good
From: Rigby
Date: 26 May 19 - 06:30 AM

From the mid-70s on he would get his distinctive sound by double-tracking the fiddle, ie. recording exactly the same part twice. You have to be bloody good to do that and make it work.


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Subject: RE: Dave Swarbrick - was he really that good
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 26 May 19 - 11:47 AM

His style was initially unique. His army of flattering performers aping his style (s) lead you to use the word “good.”

I was listening to him on vinyl as a schoolboy violin player going through my grades and wondering if there was anything in “fiddling” I could copy in my classical education. Perhaps there may have been, especially flamboyance.

He was an inspiration and I am so glad I met my hero many times, even putting him up for the night a couple of times but listen to his Ceilidh album, not for clever playing, not for technical prowess but to see his deep understanding of whatever he was playing. Ditto his middle eights on Fairport’s Sloth.


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Subject: RE: Dave Swarbrick - was he really that good
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 26 May 19 - 11:47 AM

On one gig I did with Fairport, Swarb turned up late with this great, ugly, hand built, floor mounted effects box. He’d clearly been using the thing for years but didn’t have the slightest idea about which lead he should plug into which socket. Once I’d sorted it out he started playing and it was just like turning on a tap. I drew the line at calling him a cab to get back to the hotel though.


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Subject: RE: Dave Swarbrick - was he really that good
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 May 19 - 05:36 PM

i think he was an excellent accompanist


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Subject: RE: Dave Swarbrick - was he really that good
From: GUEST,Anne Lister
Date: 28 May 19 - 05:46 PM

Yes, he was. I saw him many times live and had the great privilege to share a bill with him when we put on a benefit concert for Norma Waterson a few years ago. As someone said above, when he was playing the music just poured out of him - very few musicians transmit this. He was also a very generous performer in his support for and praise for other musicians. One of the things I dislike the most about Mudcat is this opposing need some people have to disparage, denigrate and criticise. Why do this? Swarb isn't going to read it. I also love Nancy Kerr's musicianship, but it's not a competition and both can be (and are) highly rated.


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Subject: RE: Dave Swarbrick - was he really that good
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 May 19 - 05:54 AM

Just listening to Carthy/Swarbrick's "High Germany". Forgotten that his mandolin playing was just as good.


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Subject: RE: Dave Swarbrick - was he really that good
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 29 May 19 - 07:18 AM

I did an opening spot for Dave and Kevin Dempsey in Lincoln quite a few years ago, before Dave's transplant. Despite playing from his wheelchair, and needing whiffs of oxygen from his supply attached to the chair, Dave's playing was simply masterful - stunning!

Oh yes, he definitely was 'That Good'.


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Subject: RE: Dave Swarbrick - was he really that good
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 29 May 19 - 09:09 AM

Anne Lister: He was also a very generous performer in his support for and praise for other musicians.

Absolutely. A few years ago I (very reluctantly, and only because there was a shortage of players - most people had come to listen) did a floor spot at a Swarb gig in Tonbridge. I sang "Banks of the Sweet Primroses" and accompanied myself on octave mandolin.

I raised my game somehow from its usual low mediocre to normal medicore, but according to others Swarb was sitting at the back of the room tapping his foot and singing softly along to the song. Afterwards he came up to me and made a point of saying "that was a really nice version of one of my favourite songs - I enjoyed it a lot". Which made my day (even though he was "just being nice").


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Subject: RE: Dave Swarbrick - was he really that good
From: Mo the caller
Date: 29 May 19 - 06:05 PM

I loved his playing of the tune Mr Isaac's Maggot, so much so that I asked our club caller to teach us the dance. But the music on the club recording sounded very pedestrian compared to my memory of his version.
Luckily some of the never versions capture the spinetinglingness.


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Subject: RE: Dave Swarbrick - was he really that good
From: GUEST,Gilly
Date: 30 May 19 - 01:50 PM

Nope, he was better! He didn't bother with time signatures, everything was in '1', deliberately chose awkward keys, had a truly great sense of humour and loved the music. He was a man who enriched the world of those who were lucky enough to see, hear or be around him. What more do you want ?


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Subject: RE: Dave Swarbrick - was he really that good
From: GUEST
Date: 30 May 19 - 02:34 PM

Spot on Gilly.

Dave H


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