Dave Swarbrick – aka ’Swarb’ – is perhaps the finest English fiddler alive. He was born in 1941. He took up the fiddle at an early age. For a while he was a printer’s apprentice, but it soon became apparent that Dave was destined to become a musician.
In his early years as a fiddler he worked with pianist Beryl Marriott and her husband Roger, A.J. Lloyd and the Ian Campbell Folk Group.
In the mid-sixties he formed a duo with singer and guitarist Martin Carthy – a collaboration that lasts to this day.
In 1969 he joined Fairport Convention and played a key role on the group’s monumental albums ’Liege and Lief’ and ’Full House’ which re-defined the folk tradition. He stayed with the group through a myriad of line-ups and records until the late seventies when he left, partly because of hearing problems.
In the eighties he formed the acoustic band Whippersnapper and recorded and toured extensively throughout the decade. After leaving the Snappers, Dave has worked mainly as a solo player, making his own records and often playing solo gigs.
In the eighties, Dave began a decade-long collaboration with Danish novelist and guitarist Lars Kjaedegaard and the duo toured Denmark once a year.
Ill health forced him to undergo a double lung transplant in 2004, but since his recovery he has worked more than ever. In 2010 he produced the much acclaimed album ’Raison d’Etre’, playing with a bunch of England’s hottest musicians – among them John Kirkpatrick, Martin Carthy, Beryl Marriott and Kevin Dempsey.
He also continued to tour Denmark with Lars, and ’Accompanying Dave Swarbrick’ was filmed in 2009 on one of those tours.
In April 2011, shortly after his 70th birthday, Dave embarks on yet another tour of Denmark. Apart from his musical genius, Dave is known for his stamina, his optimistic and laconic humour, his love of life, and his unique surviving skills. He lives in Coventry, England, with his wife, painter Jill Swarbrick-Banks.