A Short History of Folk Rock...

A Short History of Folk Rock...
Authored By John Nicholson

Folk rock is a dangerous genre. Before you know it you’re dancing around the maypole singing hey nonny nonny, but rock fans shouldn’t worry, there is much to be enjoyed. The crucial lynchpin album is Liege and Lief by Fairport Convention. It's their third album and is a magical record that blends traditional song with a very modern rock sound. There’s songs which are long workouts like Matty Groves, an adaption of a traditional song which shows off
Richard Thompson’s innovative playing. 
This album invented folk rock which subsequently took several different journey’s. Steeleye Span were initially more folky, but changed style to a more rock sound after three records. They scored a hit with All Around My Hat which electrified a folk sound. Fairport went through loads of line up changes, and continued to  evolve. On a unique  journey  at the same time was John Martyn who recorded solo and with wife Beverley. He started in the folk genre and moved into a more ambient sound on Solid Air. It is a record that stands alone and no one who has heard it, is unaltered by the experience. It occupies a very special mindset. He released some great albums in the 70s and represents how far folk had come by the late 70s. There were plenty of other acoustic bands who rifted in and out of the genre. Richard Thompson and wife Linda released a number of well received records, especially I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight. 
Fiddle player Dave Swarbrick released records in a more traditional vein, sometimes with Martin Carthy. And there was The Albion Band which can only be described as electrified folk. Members past and present of Fairport released albums in different outfits and continued to plough the furrow. If you wonder where to start, you can’t beat Liege And Lief as the place to begin. Everything leads from it.

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