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Robert Plant and Kristina Donahue guest with Fairport Convention to perform Led Zeppelin's "The Battle Of Evermore" at Cropredy 2008.

This was played as tribute to Sandy Denny on the 30th Anniversary of her death.  The only female vocalist ever to be featured on a Led Zep album.

A Sailors Life

"Fairport Convention's version of this poignant traditional song marks a pivotal point in the development of folk-rock, representing as it does a brilliant fusion of a traditional form with all the dynamic, exploratory approach of modern rock playing. The song had been a part of Sandy Denny's repertoire when she joined Fairport. As a traditional song it had been known in many forms."

Leige and Lief

"Usually considered the highpoint of the band’s long career, Liege and Lief was a huge leap forward in concept and musicality. The album consisted of six traditional tracks and three original compositions in a similar style. The traditional tracks included two sustained epics ‘Tam Lin’, which was over seven minutes in length, and ‘Matty Groves’, at over eight."

Tam Lin (BBC Sessions)

Matty Groves

Influenced by Dylan, Joni Mitchell, the Byrds, among others they equally influenced what was possible with "folk/rock" back to bands in the States.  Long jams, traditional interpretations done new a remarkable journey that continues today at the bands annual Cropredy festival in Oxfordshire.

"Oh, tell to me, Tam Lin," she said, "why came you here to dwell?"
"The Queen of Faeries caught me when from my horse I fell

And at the end of seven years she pays a tithe to hell
I so fair and full of flesh and feared it be myself

But tonight is Hallowe'en and the faery folk ride
Those that would their true love win at Miles Cross they must buy

References via Wikipedia  Fairport Convention

Originally posted to EdMass on Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 01:21 PM PST.

Also republished by DKOMA, An Ear for Music, and Protest Music.

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