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Marc Ellington

Born 16 December 1945, Boston, Lincolnshire, this singer-songwriter/guitarist (and bagpipe player!) soon had solid connections with FAIRPORT CONVENTION.
Debut LP, MARC ELLINGTON (1969) {*6}, featured mainly Big Jim Sullivan, Dougie Wright, Roger Coulam, et al and included covers of songs by AL STEWART (`In Brooklyn’), JOHN MARTYN (`Fairy Tale Lullaby’), TIM HARDIN (`Reason To Believe’), PHIL OCHS (`Changes’), BOB DYLAN (`Tears Of Rage’ w/Richard Manuel/The BAND, `I Shall Be Released’ and `Desolation Row’), with others by KALEIDOSCOPE (`Bless The Executioner’), RALPH McTELL, et al; has subsequently exchanged hands at over £100.
Having spent some time across the water working with MATTHEWS’ SOUTHERN COMFORT, the Californian, country-rock feel continued via sophomore set RAINS/REINS OF CHANGES (1971) {*7}, contrary to belief a single disc, featuring all the past/present FAIRPORT CONVENTION alumni (e.g. RICHARD THOMPSON, IAN MATTHEWS, DAVE PEGG, Dave Mattacks, SANDY DENNY, Pat Donaldson, Gerry Conway, et al) plus outsiders CHRIS HILLMAN, Rick Roberts, Gordon Huntley, Tony Cox, Sneaky Pete and co-contributors Karen Ellington and Mike Deighan. Serving up an easy-going platter of acoustic country/folk-rock, the album also saw rearrangements of trad tunes such as `Yarrow’ and `Alligator Man’, plus a cover of CARL PERKINS’ R&R nugget `Blue Suede Shoes’; sung ELVIS style.
Back to Philips Records, A QUESTION OF ROADS (1972) {*5} was slightly disappointing, although it did feature Mike Deighan, Gordon Huntley, Tim Renwick, ANDY ROBERTS, Bruce Thomas and Andy Leigh (on bass), Ray Duffy and John Wilson (drums). It was produced by Sandy Robertson, while track 5 was dedicated to the members of The National Trust in Scotland. Two further sets surfaced in 1973 and 1975 respectively, RESTORATION {*4} and for folk label Transatlantic/Xtra, MARC TIME {*4}.
ELLINGTON continued to work on the fringes of the music scene, working with RICHARD THOMPSON on several occasions, while he offered up guest vocals on LINDA THOMPSON’s `Dreams Fly Away’ (1996) and perennially appeared at FAIRPORT’s Cropredy Festivals. Still with his gardener wife Karen, Marc is now the Deputy Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire, living as they do, in Towie Barclay Castle – anyone for tea?
© MC Strong 2010/GFD // rev-up MCS Aug2015

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