Fairport’s second album What We Did On Our Holidays had marked a move away from American folk-rock and towards traditional English folk, marked by the arrival of singer Sandy Denny. Unhalfbricking (released the same year) took this move further. By the time of its recording original male vocalist Ian Matthews had departed, leaving Denny as the band’s sole lead singer. She penned two of the album’s song, and another two were written by lead guitarist Richard Thompson. Three of the other songs were Dylan covers, the last the band would record. One of these (“If You Gotta Go, Go Now”) was sung in French (as “Si Tu Dois Partir”), featuring old-time fiddle and washboard instrumentation, and became a surprise hit. The most important song on the album was a lengthy interpretation of the traditional English tune “A Sailor’s Life”, opening the way for the where the band were soon to be headed. Another important factor on Unhalfbricking was the inclusion of guest musician Dave Swarbrick, who played fiddle on three of the songs (and also mandolin on “Percy’s Song”). He would later become an official band member as they embraced English folk fully.
What We Did On Our Holidays (1979) <|> Liege & Lief (1969)
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