Why I Love: Dave Pegg on James Taylor

Sadly, 2020’s Fairport’s Cropredy Convention has been postponed. Here at At The Barrier, we are very lucky to have all the members of Fairport Convention write for us in a series of Why I Love specials.

Every artist we are lucky to feature on this column is special but Fairport Convention are the first band to submit pieces individually.

Dave Pegg is the bassist with the legendary folk rock band. He has played on albums by many luminaries including Nick Drake, John Martyn, Richard Thomspon and Sandy Denny (amongst others) as well as being a member of Jethro Tull.

James Taylor Biography
James Taylor

I first heard James Taylor when he brought out Sweet Baby James, his second album. I had just joined Fairport Convention and was playing bass on albums by Nick Drake, John Martyn, and Sandy Denny and I loved the singer/songwriter genre.

When Richard Thompson, Gerry Conway and I backed Sandy (Denny) at the Lincoln Folk Festival, I got to meet James. Sandy knew James from his time in London when he was making his first album with Apple.

I loved James’s songs and the tasty playing of bassist Lee Sklar and drummer Russ Kunkell. I remember I had a T-shirt printed with the logo ‘Deep Greens and Blues’ which also were my favourite colours.

dave pegg cropredy 2018 74 fairport
Dave Pegg onstage at Cropredy 2018
Picture: Mike Ainscoe

Over the years, I have eagerly awaited releases from James Taylor. The songs are always so special and the playing and production so good. I have had the pleasure of seeing quite a few of his gigs and going backstage to say ‘Hi’.

Fairport recorded his song Frozen Man song and James later told us that he loved our version. On our brand new album Shuffle and Go we have recorded his song Jolly Springtime which is such a joyful number to play. It is my ambition to have James play at our annual festival, Fairport’s Cropredy Convention which we put on in August.

In my opinion James could ‘sing the phone book’. There is so much music in his compositions and arrangements that venture into the realms of folk, jazz, country and all performed so beautifully.

I can’t wait for his next release – keep it up JT!

A huge thank you to Dave Pegg for writing about James Taylor for us. James Taylor recently released a new album which you can find out about on his website.

Take a minute (3 and a bit to be exact) to watch this clip of a young and very cool Fairport Convention at Glastonbury Festival in 1971. This is a stomping rendition of Dirty Linen from Full House. Dave Pegg’s bass work here is exceptional and the way the rest of the band essentially duel with each other is fabulous to watch.

You can read more from all the artists that we have been lucky to feature in our Why I Love column (including founder Fairport member Iain Matthews) here.

You can find out more about Dave Pegg and his solo endeavours through his website and you can connect with Fairport Convention below.

Fairport Convention: Official Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

16 replies »

  1. Peggy is flying!!!! First of all, the band is playing it faster than I’ve ever heard. Second, I’ve played this song live on both guitar and bass, and playing it on bass is the hardest thing I’ve ever done!!!
    I love these guys. Best fiddler, best drummer, best bass player and hats off to Simon for stepping up after RT left.
    Greetings from the lost colony across the pond.

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