- August 23, 2011
When Fairport Convention came onto the London music scene in the mid 1960s, they were mainly performing original material and songs written by American songwriters like Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell. At a gig backstage one evening, Sandy Denny began singing a traditional English song called A Sailors Life. That night the band improvised the song onstage. Little did they know, the performance would create an entirely new genre of music called English Folk/Rock. After releasing the seminal album Liege & Lief in 1969, a whole host of other bands emerged who were inspired and influenced by Fairport. Soon, the English Folk/Rock genre Fairport invented became a beast unto itself. Skip ahead forty years and Fairport Convention is still going strong with a brand new album in 2007 called Sense of Occasion. With no gold records, top-twenty hit singles, major mainstream success or super stardom, somehow the music and legacy of Fairport Convention continues to this day. Since the mid to late'70s, Fairport and friends have gathered every August for their annual Cropredy music festival, which has become one of the largest UK Folk Festivals with over 20,000 people attending every year. The 40th Anniversary Cropredy Festival takes place August 9-11, 2007, and will feature the 1969 line-up with Chris While performing Liege & Lief in its entirety, along with every past member of the group, celebrating forty years of Fairport. Folk Alley will be at Cropredy, updating the website from the festival with blog reports, music, interviews, pictures and more. In May of 2007, the acoustic trio version of Fairport with Simon Nicol, Ric Sanders and Chris Leslie stopped by the Folk Alley studios. They spoke with Folk Alleys Chris Boros and performed four exclusive songs. With forty years and close to thirty albums, Fairport Conventions importance and influence in folk music is unprecedented. The legacy of Fairport Convention is strong, vital and showing no signs of stopping still.