Songs You May Have Missed #572

holiday

Fairport Convention: “Fotheringay” (1969)

sandy

Fairport Convention’s second album, What We Did on Our Holidays, was Sandy Denny’s debut with the band. What she brought in the way of ethereal vocals and songwriting capability (she wrote “Fotheringay”) made an already formidable lineup even stronger.

That’s guitar legend Richard Thompson, still a teenager when this was recorded, providing the fluid, folky and atmospheric acoustic guitar. So much was ahead for Thompson, who showed a necessary restraint within the confines of mostly three-minute songs at this stage of Fairport’s existence. He soon left the band to record as a solo act (which he still does today) and to make a series of well-regarded albums with (now ex) wife Linda Thompson. His own material provides a format more conducive to his cutting loose with jaw-dropping solos.

Richard was fortunate enough to have recorded with the two women regarded as the best British female folk singers of all time in Sandy Denny and Linda Thompson.

As for Denny, she left Fairport a few years later as well, forming a new folk band whose name was shared with this song, Fotheringay. Her life was cut tragically short in 1978 when, having fallen down a staircase and hit her head on concrete, she died of a trauma-related brain hemorrhage a few weeks later.

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