A warm welcome to a remarkable pairing who have played such a pivotal role in British folk music from the 60s right through to the present day.
Their experienced approach to their art lacks none of the fervour of their early days, and brings a maturity born of many years living with the music that is an integral part of their beings. All the old skills are demonstrated with a new collection of traditional songs and instrumentals.
Dave Swarbrick first came to prominence on the folk scene as a young instrumental virtuoso in the Ian Campbell Folk Group. Having worked alongside other leading musicians such as Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger, Beryl and Roger Marriott and A. L. Lloyd, he teamed up with Martin Carthy in 1966. While they featured hot instrumental tracks in their live sets and recordings, Dave’s forte in the duo was sensitive accompaniment on his fiddle to Martin’s vocals and guitar. On Rags, Reels & Airs the focus was solely on Dave and it finally gave him a chance to really stretch out and demonstrate his leading instrumental prowess. The result was a new era of English instrumental folk music and a new approach to folk music altogether.
When they parted in 1969 Dave joined Fairport Convention and his contribution to folk and folk/rock music is legendary and well documented.
For more than 40 years Martin Carthy has been one of folk music’s greatest innovators, one of its best loved, most enthusiastic and, at times, most quietly controversial of figures. His skill, stage presence and natural charm have won him many admirers, not only from within the folk scene, but also far beyond it.
“Intense and demanding, this is hard core traditional music. Sublime fiddle playing and the passionate delivery of evocative old songs by their ablest interpreter.” Telegraph
“Swarbrick is an absolute revelation here, as instinctively sympathetic and wickedly inspirational as he ever was. It’s like they were a couple of twenty somethings again. To hear Swarb bowing with such soul and tenderness and dynamism too is an unconditional joy.” fRoots