Ballad of Easy Rider
"Ballad of Easy Rider" is a song written by Roger McGuinn, with input from Bob Dylan, for the 1969 film, Easy Rider. The song was released in August 1969 on the Easy Rider soundtrack album as a Roger McGuinn solo performance, it was issued in an alternate version as a single by McGuinn's band the Byrds on October 1, 1969. The Byrds' single reached number 65 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was issued in most international territories, although it was not released in the United Kingdom. Senior editor for Rolling Stone magazine, David Fricke, has described the song as capturing the social mood of late 1969 and highlighting "the weary blues and dashed expectations of a decade's worth of social insurrection." The star and script writer of Easy Rider, Peter Fonda, had intended to use Bob Dylan's song "It's Alright, Ma" in the film, but after failing to license the track, Fonda asked Roger McGuinn of the Byrds to record a cover version of the song instead. Fonda wanted Dylan to write the film's theme song, but Dylan declined scribbling the lines - "The river flows, it flows to the sea/Wherever that river goes, that's where I want to be/Flow, flow" - on to a napkin, before telling Fonda to "give this to McGuinn.
He'll know what to do with it." The lyric fragment was dutifully passed on to McGuinn, who took the lines and expanded upon them with his own lyrical and musical contributions to produce the finished song. When Dylan saw a private screening of Easy Rider and realised that he had been credited as co-writer of the film's theme song, he telephoned McGuinn and demanded that his name be removed from both the film's closing credits and all subsequent releases of the song. McGuinn has theorised in interviews that Dylan disowned the song because "he didn't like the movie that much, he didn't like the ending. He wanted to see the truck blow up, he didn't seem to understand Peter Fonda's anti-hero concept." Other critics have speculated that Dylan's reason for insisting his co-writing credit be removed was the belief that his name was being exploited to boost the film's street credibility. The version of "Ballad of Easy Rider" used in the film and included on the Easy Rider soundtrack album is listed as a solo performance by McGuinn and features the singer accompanying himself on acoustic guitar, with fellow Byrd Gene Parsons playing harmonica.
This McGuinn solo version is a different take from the version that McGuinn's band the Byrds would release as a single and include on their Ballad of Easy Rider album. In the 21st century, McGuinn continues to perform the song during his solo concerts and a recording of it appears on his 2007 live album, Live from Spain; the Byrds' version of the song was recorded on June 18, 1969, is performed at a quicker tempo than the soundtrack version. The song was lengthened by producer Terry Melcher by editing a copy of the first verse onto the end of the second creating a third verse. In addition, Melcher added an orchestral overdub to the track in an attempt to emulate recent hit singles like Glen Campbell's "Gentle on My Mind" and Harry Nilsson's "Everybody's Talkin'"; as recording sessions for the Byrds' eighth studio album continued, interest in the band mounted as a result of their involvement with the Easy Rider film, leading McGuinn to announce in interviews that the band's next album would be titled Captain America, in honor of Peter Fonda's character in the film.
However, this idea was discarded and the song "Ballad of Easy Rider" gave the new Byrds' album its title. The B-side of the Byrds' single was the traditional song "Oil in My Lamp", although there are copies of the single known to exist with the Goffin-King song "Wasn't Born to Follow" on the B-side instead; the Byrds' recording of "Wasn't Born to Follow" first appeared on their 1968 album, The Notorious Byrd Brothers, but since it had been featured prominently in Easy Rider, Columbia Records saw fit to include the song on some copies of "Ballad of Easy Rider". CBS Records in the United Kingdom went a step further by reissuing "Wasn't Born to Follow" as the A-side of a single in September 1969, in the hopes that it might provide the Byrds with a fluke hit."Ballad of Easy Rider" was first introduced into the Byrds' live concert repertoire during February 1969 and would go on to be performed frequently throughout the rest of the year and into 1970. However, the song was played only between 1971 and the band's break-up in 1973.
In addition to its appearance on the Ballad of Easy Rider album, the song can be found on several Byrds' compilations, including The Best of The Byrds: Greatest Hits, Volume II, History of The Byrds, The Very Best of The Byrds, The Essential Byrds. An extended, alternate mix of the song, featuring more prominent percussion and Clarence White's lead guitar solo, was included as a bonus track on the 1997 Columbia/Legacy reissue of Ballad of Easy Rider. In addition, a live performance of the song, recorded at the Felt Forum in New York City on March 1, 1970, was included as a bonus track on the remastered album in 2000. "Ballad of Easy Rider" has been covered by the British folk rock band Fairport Convention and their version of the song was included as a bonus track on the 2003 re-release of the band's 1969 album, Unhalfbricking. Folk and blues singer Odetta recorded a version of "Ballad of Easy Rider" for the 1969 various artists compilation, The Original Hits Of Right Now Plus Some Heavies From The Motion Picture "Easy Rider".
Additionally, the arranger and composer Percy Faith released a recording of the song on his 1970 album, He
A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music as belonging to a shared tradition or set of conventions. It is to be distinguished from musical form and musical style, although in practice these terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Academics have argued that categorizing music by genre is inaccurate and outdated. Music can be divided into different genres in many different ways; the artistic nature of music means that these classifications are subjective and controversial, some genres may overlap. There are varying academic definitions of the term genre itself. In his book Form in Tonal Music, Douglass M. Green distinguishes between form, he lists madrigal, canzona and dance as examples of genres from the Renaissance period. To further clarify the meaning of genre, Green writes, "Beethoven's Op. 61 and Mendelssohn's Op. 64 are identical in genre – both are violin concertos – but different in form. However, Mozart's Rondo for Piano, K. 511, the Agnus Dei from his Mass, K. 317 are quite different in genre but happen to be similar in form."
Some, like Peter van der Merwe, treat the terms genre and style as the same, saying that genre should be defined as pieces of music that share a certain style or "basic musical language." Others, such as Allan F. Moore, state that genre and style are two separate terms, that secondary characteristics such as subject matter can differentiate between genres. A music genre or subgenre may be defined by the musical techniques, the style, the cultural context, the content and spirit of the themes. Geographical origin is sometimes used to identify a music genre, though a single geographical category will include a wide variety of subgenres. Timothy Laurie argues that since the early 1980s, "genre has graduated from being a subset of popular music studies to being an ubiquitous framework for constituting and evaluating musical research objects". Among the criteria used to classify musical genres are the trichotomy of art and traditional musics. Alternatively, music can be divided on three variables: arousal and depth.
Arousal reflects the energy level of the music. These three variables help explain why many people like similar songs from different traditionally segregated genres. Musicologists have sometimes classified music according to a trichotomic distinction such as Philip Tagg's "axiomatic triangle consisting of'folk','art' and'popular' musics", he explains that each of these three is distinguishable from the others according to certain criteria. The term art music refers to classical traditions, including both contemporary and historical classical music forms. Art music exists in many parts of the world, it emphasizes formal styles that invite technical and detailed deconstruction and criticism, demand focused attention from the listener. In Western practice, art music is considered a written musical tradition, preserved in some form of music notation rather than being transmitted orally, by rote, or in recordings, as popular and traditional music are. Most western art music has been written down using the standard forms of music notation that evolved in Europe, beginning well before the Renaissance and reaching its maturity in the Romantic period.
The identity of a "work" or "piece" of art music is defined by the notated version rather than by a particular performance, is associated with the composer rather than the performer. This is so in the case of western classical music. Art music may include certain forms of jazz, though some feel that jazz is a form of popular music. Sacred Christian music forms an important part of the classical music tradition and repertoire, but can be considered to have an identity of its own; the term popular music refers to any musical style accessible to the general public and disseminated by the mass media. Musicologist and popular music specialist Philip Tagg defined the notion in the light of sociocultural and economical aspects: Popular music, unlike art music, is conceived for mass distribution to large and socioculturally heterogeneous groups of listeners and distributed in non-written form, only possible in an industrial monetary economy where it becomes a commodity and in capitalist societies, subject to the laws of'free' enterprise... it should ideally sell as much as possible.
Popular music is found on most commercial and public service radio stations, in most commercial music retailers and department stores, in movie and television soundtracks. It is noted on the Billboard charts and, in addition to singer-songwriters and composers, it involves music producers more than other genres do; the distinction between classical and popular music has sometimes been blurred in marginal areas such as minimalist music and light classics. Background music for films/movies draws on both traditions. In this respect, music is like fiction, which draws a distinction between literary fiction and popular fiction, not always precise. Country music known as country and western, hillbilly music, is a genre of popular music that originated in the southern United States in the early 1920s; the polka is a Czech dance and genre of dance music familiar throughout Europe and the Americas. Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and particular
Rock and roll
Rock and roll is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s from musical styles such as gospel, jump blues, boogie woogie, rhythm and blues, along with country music. While elements of what was to become rock and roll can be heard in blues records from the 1920s and in country records of the 1930s, the genre did not acquire its name until 1954. According to Greg Kot, "rock and roll" refers to a style of popular music originating in the U. S. in the 1950s prior to its development by the mid-1960s into "the more encompassing international style known as rock music, though the latter continued to be known as rock and roll." For the purpose of differentiation, this article deals with the first definition. In the earliest rock and roll styles, either the piano or saxophone was the lead instrument, but these instruments were replaced or supplemented by guitar in the middle to late 1950s; the beat is a dance rhythm with an accentuated backbeat, always provided by a snare drum.
Classic rock and roll is played with one or two electric guitars, a double bass or string bass or an electric bass guitar, a drum kit. Beyond a musical style and roll, as seen in movies, in fan magazines, on television, influenced lifestyles, fashion and language. In addition and roll may have contributed to the civil rights movement because both African-American and white American teenagers enjoyed the music, it went on to spawn various genres without the characteristic backbeat, that are now more called "rock music" or "rock". The term "rock and roll" now has at least two different meanings, both in common usage; the American Heritage Dictionary and the Merriam-Webster Dictionary both define rock and roll as synonymous with rock music. Encyclopædia Britannica, on the other hand, regards it as the music that originated in the mid-1950s and developed "into the more encompassing international style known as rock music"; the phrase "rocking and rolling" described the movement of a ship on the ocean, but was used by the early twentieth century, both to describe the spiritual fervor of black church rituals and as a sexual analogy.
Various gospel and swing recordings used the phrase before it became used more – but still intermittently – in the 1940s, on recordings and in reviews of what became known as "rhythm and blues" music aimed at a black audience. In 1934, the song "Rock and Roll" by the Boswell Sisters appeared in the film Transatlantic Merry-Go-Round. In 1942, Billboard magazine columnist Maurie Orodenker started to use the term "rock-and-roll" to describe upbeat recordings such as "Rock Me" by Sister Rosetta Tharpe. By 1943, the "Rock and Roll Inn" in South Merchantville, New Jersey, was established as a music venue. In 1951, Ohio, disc jockey Alan Freed began playing this music style while popularizing the phrase to describe it; the origins of rock and roll have been fiercely debated by historians of music. There is general agreement that it arose in the Southern United States – a region that would produce most of the major early rock and roll acts – through the meeting of various influences that embodied a merging of the African musical tradition with European instrumentation.
The migration of many former slaves and their descendants to major urban centers such as St. Louis, New York City, Chicago and Buffalo meant that black and white residents were living in close proximity in larger numbers than before, as a result heard each other's music and began to emulate each other's fashions. Radio stations that made white and black forms of music available to both groups, the development and spread of the gramophone record, African-American musical styles such as jazz and swing which were taken up by white musicians, aided this process of "cultural collision"; the immediate roots of rock and roll lay in the rhythm and blues called "race music", country music of the 1940s and 1950s. Significant influences were jazz, gospel and folk. Commentators differ in their views of which of these forms were most important and the degree to which the new music was a re-branding of African-American rhythm and blues for a white market, or a new hybrid of black and white forms. In the 1930s, swing, both in urban-based dance bands and blues-influenced country swing, were among the first music to present African-American sounds for a predominantly white audience.
One noteworthy example of a jazz song with recognizably rock and roll elements is Big Joe Turner with pianist Pete Johnson's 1939 single Roll'Em Pete, regarded as an important precursor of rock and roll. The 1940s saw the increased use of blaring horns, shouted lyrics and boogie woogie beats in jazz-based music. During and after World War II, with shortages of fuel and limitations on audiences and available personnel, large jazz bands were less economical and tended to be replaced by smaller combos, using guitars and drums. In the same period on the West Coast and in the Midwest, the development of jump blues, with its guitar riffs, prominent beats and shouted lyrics, prefigured many developments. In the documentary film Hail! Hail! Rock'n' Roll, Keith Richards proposes that Chuck Berry developed his brand of rock and roll by transposing the familiar two-note lead line of jump blues piano directly to the electric guitar, creatin
A dulcimer is a type of musical string instrument. It is a variety of zither. Among its forms are: Hammered dulcimer, free-standing, most but not always trapezoidal in shape, with many strings struck by handheld "hammers"; this type of instrument is found in many cultures. Most countries have their own name for the instrument, for instance in Thailand it is called a khim, in India it is called Santoor and many have different tuning systems. Being a struck string instrument, it is considered to be among the ancestors of the piano. Fretted, three or four strings played on the lap by strumming. S. Banjo dulcimer, with banjo-like resonating membrane Resonator dulcimer, with inset conical resonator Other Bowed dulcimer, teardrop-shaped and played upright with a bow Electric dulcimer, various types of dulcimer which use a pickup to amplify the sound
Liege & Lief
Liege & Lief is the fourth album by the English folk rock band Fairport Convention. It is the third and final album the group released in the UK in 1969, all of which prominently feature Sandy Denny as lead female vocalist, as well as the first to feature future long-serving personnel Dave Swarbrick and Dave Mattacks on violin/mandolin and drums as full band members, it is the first Fairport album on which all songs have either been adapted from traditional British and Celtic folk material, or else are original compositions written and performed in a similar style. Although Denny quit the band before the album's release, Fairport Convention has continued to the present day to make music based within the British folk rock idiom, are still the band most prominently associated with it; the album was moderately successful, peaking at number 17 on the UK Albums Chart during a 15-week run. It is credited, though the claim is sometimes disputed, as the first major "British folk rock" album; the popularity of Liege & Lief did a great deal to establish the new style commercially and artistically as a distinct genre.
In an audience vote at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2006, the album was voted "Most Influential Folk Album of All Time". Following the motorway accident that had killed Martin Lamble, the band were left without a drummer. After the release of Unhalfbricking, Dave Mattacks took over the role and, having been a drummer at Mecca Ballrooms, had to "learn a whole new style of drumming." The virtuoso fiddle and mandolin player Dave Swarbrick, a little older than the rest of the band, had been in a successful duo with guitarist Martin Carthy. After his appearance on Unhalfbricking, he too joined Fairport full-time; this incarnation of the band, comprising lead vocalist Denny and newcomers Swarbrick and Mattacks, together with founder members Richard Thompson on lead guitar and some vocals, Simon Nicol on rhythm guitar and Ashley Hutchings on electric bass and put together Liege & Lief over the summer of 1969 at a house in Farley Chamberlayne, near Braishfield, launching its material with a sold-out concert in London's Royal Festival Hall on 24 September that year.
A bootleg/audience recording of that show exists, but in poor quality. Gone were the covers of songs by Bob Dylan and others, replaced by electrified versions of traditional English folksongs, new compositions by band members but with a "traditional" feel, the first of a long line of instrumental medleys of folk dance tunes driven by Dave Swarbrick's violin playing. Much of the traditional material had been found by Hutchings in Cecil Sharp's collection, maintained by the English Folk Dance and Song Society, although Swarbrick has elsewhere claimed credit as the source of the traditional material used. Rehearsed and/or recorded, but omitted from the final album, were versions of The Byrds' "Ballad of Easy Rider", the traditional ballad "Sir Patrick Spens" with Denny on lead vocals, "The Quiet Joys of Brotherhood", a Richard Fariña lyric he had set to a traditional Irish melody, the last two of which were to appear in different arrangements on albums by Fairport Convention and Sandy Denny, respectively.
Of the rehearsal sessions at Farley Chamberlayne that led to the album, Hutchings said: "It was a magical time... and there’s a lot of magic on that album. There was a special feeling in the house, in the room, a lot of hidden magic and weirdness on that album; the past is weird, you know, our ancestors did a lot of weird things". To sing something beautifully written, refined over hundreds of years, that still has meaning and urgency, that still creates vivid pictures in the mind, is a rewarding thing. I think we hoped the band would achieve some mainstream popularity, so that we could bring the tradition a little closer to people's lives."The album title is composed of two Middle English words: liege meaning loyal and lief meaning ready. The cover, a gatefold in grey and purple, featured cameo images of the band along with track listing and credits. On the inside of the original gatefold cover, a set of illustrated vignettes told the story of ten different aspects of English traditional music and folklore, including notes on customs such as pace-eggers and the Padstow hobby-horse, as well as collectors such as Francis James Child and Cecil Sharp.
The band toured the UK for several months visiting Denmark, performing the Liege & Lief material before recording it in the studio. However, in November 1969 before the album was released on 2 December, both Hutchings and Denny quit the band: Hutchings to further pursue traditional music in a new band Steeleye Span, Denny to form her new venture Fotheringay, with more emphasis on her own original compositions. Subsequent to these departures, only Hutchings was replaced and thus it was a reduced, 5-man version of the band that went on to record their follow-up album, Full House, the next year. In 2007 a double album "Liege and Lief Deluxe Edition" was released.
Ashley Stephen Hutchings, MBE is an English bassist, songwriter, band leader and record producer. He was a founding member of three of the most noteworthy English folk-rock bands in the history of the genre: Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span and The Albion Band. Hutchings has overseen numerous other projects, including records and live theatre, has collaborated on film and television projects. Hutchings was born in Southgate, but moved to Muswell Hill while still a child; as a teenager he became involved in the skiffle and blues movements and formed several groups, including'Dr K's Blues Band' in 1964. He met guitarist Simon Nicol in 1966 when they both played in the'Ethnic Shuffle Orchestra', they rehearsed on the floor above Nicol's father's medical practice in a house called "Fairport" and lent its name to the group they formed together as Fairport Convention in 1967 with Richard Thompson, which soon included Martin Lamble, Judy Dyble and Iain Matthews. Hutchings played on the band's first four albums.
The first three, Fairport Convention, What We Did on Our Holidays and Unhalfbricking consisted of American singer/songwriter material and original songs in a similar style. Hutchings' restrained but powerful bass style is one of the characteristics of the band in this period; the focus of the band changed with the introduction of Dave Swarbrick into the line up, who brought a virtuosity on the fiddle and a wealth of traditional tunes. This prompted Hutchings to carry out research in the English Folk Dance & Song Society Library at Cecil Sharp House which resulted in the pioneering classic Liege and Lief, seen by many as the foundation of British folk rock. Hutchings was, however unhappy with the direction of the band, as most members wanted to return to their older format; as a result, in 1969 he left to focus on more traditional projects. Hutchings' new band Steeleye Span was formed by putting together two established folk duos Tim Hart and Maddy Prior with Terry and Gay Woods; the Woodses departed the band shortly after the release of their debut album, Hark!
The Village were replaced by singer/guitarist Martin Carthy and fiddler Peter Knight. The resulting line-up toured small concert venues, recorded two regarded albums Please to See the King and Ten Man Mop, or Mr. Reservoir Butler Rides Again, both providing electric versions of traditional songs; the bringing in of manager Jo Lustig who pushed for a more commercial sound was what prompted the more traditionally minded Carthy and Hutchings to leave the band, which continued with changes of line-up and achieved considerable mainstream success. By this point the active Hutchings had other projects underway, he had gathered together the first incarnation of what has been the major outlet for his work, the Albion Country Band, to provide backing for his wife Shirley Collins on her solo collection, No Roses. Some of these personnel co-operated with him for the album Morris On, an affectionate electric tribute to Morris Dancing and others joined him in his next project the Etchingham Steam Band from 1974–6.
When this dissolved without releasing a record he returned to the Albion Band in 1976, with many bewildering line-up changes, continued to record and tour until 2002. Outside of the Albion Band, Hutchings has been a frequent guest on the albums of a wide variety of folk artists, he has continued to pursue a diversity of projects, some alone and some with groupings of more or less stability and continuity. The Morris on project has spawned several sequels across his career: Son of Morris On, Grandson of Morris On and Great Grandson of Morris On. There have been several other dance projects including, with John Kirkpatrick and other artists, The Compleat Dancing Master, Rattlebone & Ploughjack and Kickin' Up the Sawdust. In 1984, Hutchings wrote and toured with a one-man show about folk song collector Cecil Sharp, which resulted in the album An Hour with Cecil Sharp and Ashley Hutchings. From this point he combined writing and narration with his music, as in By Gloucester Docks I Sat Down and Wept: A Love Story, produced as a live show and album in 1990.
He produced an album of spoken-word material as A Word in Your Ear another themed album combining music and narration with Judy Dunlop, as Sway with Me. In the late 1980s he toured with the Ashley Hutchings All Stars, leading to a live album, As You Like It. With Phil Beer and Chris While he provided the sound track for the TV series The Ridge Riders which resulted in an album "Ridgeriders: Songs of the Southern English Landscape", a short tour and another live album Ridgeriders in Concert. In the 1990s he returned to his own musical roots of skiffle and rock and roll and recording with the Ashley Hutchings Big Beat Combo, which resulted in the album Twangin' and a Traddin', he returned to his interest in dance, in addition to continuing the Morris on project, he formed the Ashley Hutchings Dance Band to produce A Batter Pudding for John Keats. Other projects include with Malcolm Rowe, the eclectic Folk Your Way to Fitness, Street Cries, Human Nature. After the suspension of the Albion Band as a full time group in 2002 Hutchings put together another small group of up and coming folk musicians under the title Rainbow Chasers resulting in three albums, Some Colours Fly, A Brilliant Light and Fortune Never Sleeps.
In 2008 he formed The Lark Rise Band to perform and record music from his most successful show, resulting in the album, Lark Rise Revisited
Fairport Convention are a British folk rock band, formed in 1967 by Richard Thompson, Simon Nicol, Ashley Hutchings, Shaun Frater, with Frater replaced by Martin Lamble after their first gig. They started out influenced by American folk rock and singer-songwriter material, with a setlist dominated by covers of Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell songs and a sound that earned them the nickname “the British Jefferson Airplane.” Vocalists Judy Dyble and Iain Matthews joined them before the recording of their self-titled debut in 1968. Denny began steering the group towards traditional British music for their next two albums, What We Did on Our Holidays and Unhalfbricking the latter featured fiddler Dave "Swarb" Swarbrick, most notably on the song A Sailor's Life, which laid the groundwork for British folk rock by being the first time a traditional British song was combined with a rock beat. However, shortly before the album's release, a crash on the M1 killed Lamble and Thompson's then-girlfriend, Jeannie Franklyn.
For this album Swarb joined full-time alongside Dave Mattacks on drums. Both Denny and Hutchings left before the year's end; the 1970s saw numerous lineup changes around the core of Swarb and Pegg, with Nicol absent for the middle of the decade, declining fortunes as folk music fell out of mainstream favour. Denny, whose partner Trevor Lucas had been a guitarist in the group since 1972, returned for the pop-orientated Rising for the Moon in 1975 in a final bid to crack America, they played a farewell concert in the village of Cropredy, where they’d held small concerts since 1976, this marked the beginning of the Cropredy Festival which has become the largest folk festival in Britain, with annual attendance of 20,000. The band was reformed by Nicol and Mattacks in 1985, joined by Maartin Allcock and Ric Sanders and they have remained active since. Allcock was replaced by Chris Leslie in 1996, Gerry Conway replaced Mattacks in 1998, with this lineup remaining unchanged since and marking the longest-lasting of the group's history.
Their 28th studio album, 50:50@50, released to mark their 50th anniversary, was released in 2017, they continue to headline Cropredy each year. Despite little mainstream success – with their only top 40 single being Si Tu Dois Partir, a French-language cover of the Dylan song If You Gotta Go, Go Now from Unhalfbricking – Fairport Convention remain influential in British folk rock and British folk in general. Liege & Lief was named the "Most Influential Folk Album of All Time" at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2006, Pegg's playing style, which incorporates jigs and reels into his basslines, has been imitated by many in the folk rock and folk punk genres. Additionally, many former members went on to form other notable groups in the genre, including Fotheringay, Steeleye Span, the Albion Band. Hers ended with her death in 1978, though she is now regarded as Britain's finest female singer-songwriter, her song Who Knows Where the Time Goes? – recorded by Fairport on Unhalfbricking – has become a signature for herself and the band.
Bassist Ashley Hutchings met guitarist Simon Nicol in North London in 1966 when they both played in the Ethnic Shuffle Orchestra. They rehearsed on the floor above Nicol's father's medical practice in a house called "Fairport" on Fortis Green in Muswell Hill – the same street on which Ray and Dave Davies of the Kinks grew up; the house name lent its name to the group they formed together as Fairport Convention in 1967 with Richard Thompson on guitar and Shaun Frater on drums. After their initial performance at St Michael's Church Hall in Golders Green on 27 May 1967, they had their first of many line-up changes as one member of the audience, drummer Martin Lamble, convinced the band that he could do a better job than Frater and replaced him, they soon added a female singer, Judy Dyble, which gave them a distinctive sound among the many London bands of the period. Fairport Convention were soon playing at underground venues such as UFO and The Electric Garden, which became the Middle Earth club.
After only a few months, they caught the attention of manager Joe Boyd who secured them a contract with Polydor Records. Boyd suggested they augment the line-up with another male vocalist. Singer Iain Matthews joined the band and their first album, Fairport Convention, was recorded in late 1967 and released in June 1968. At this early stage Fairport looked to North American folk and folk rock acts such as Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, The Byrds for material and inspiration; the name "Fairport Convention" and the use of two lead vocalists led many new listeners to believe that they were an American act, earning them the nickname'the British Jefferson Airplane' during this period. Fairport Convention played alongside Jefferson Airplane at the First Isle of Wight Festival, 1968. After disappointing album sales they signed a new contract with Island Records. Before their next recording Judy Dyble was replaced by the band with Sandy Denny, a