A Box of Peggs

A MUSICAL career spanning more than 40 years and involving dozens of folk, rock and roots artists has been crammed into a box by Banbury bass player Dave Pegg.

Acknowledged as the most renowned bass player in folk-rock, Peggy celebrated his 60th birthday this month with the release of a four-CD collection.

It spans his career, starting with his first ever recording aged 15 and ending with his latest recordings with Priors Marston guitarist PJ Wright.

More than 80 tracks from Peggy's 38 years with Fairport Convention are included alongside tracks with Jethro Tull, Nick Drake, John Martyn, Steve Ashley, Dan Ar Braz, Richard Thompson, Ralph McTell and Steve Tilston to name a few.

And you can listen to one of the tracks from the box set - Level Pegging - by clicking on the 'play' button on this page.

A Box of Peggs – the boxed set cunningly masquerading as a cribbage box – is accompanied by a 100-page book which puts every track into its historical context and shows Peggy from the long-haired days of the 70s to his more conventional 2007 visage.

Packed with photos from down the decades and cleverly designed by Mick Toole, it is a collectors' piece in itself.

The first of the four CDs, Level Pegging, includes recordings made with the first bands Peggy was involved with – Dave and The Emeralds (1965), The Uglys (1966), The Exception (1967) and The Ian Campbell Folk Group (1968).

Dave said much of the very old material had been unearthed over the 18-months in which the collection was gathered and produced.

"Someone sent me a tape of the Ian Campbell Folk Group at a club in Daventry and I had to use a track from that," he said.

"Then a friend from the real olden days – we were in a Birmingham band called The Crawdaddies – still had some demos we made so I had to have those!

"Sadly there were no live recordings of The Uglys but I did play on two singles and both are included."

The boxed set includes all tracks from Peggy's one brilliant solo album – sadly now unavailable – The Cocktail Cowboy Goes It Alone.

"There's some new material and a lot of previously unreleased tracks: Jethro Tull demos; Dylan Project out-takes; lots of live stuff and tracks from sessions with artists like Nick Drake, John Martyn, Sandy Denny and Ralph McTell," he said.

A Box of Peggs received its first official airing at Fairport's Cropredy Convention in August but it was given a huge celebrity launch at the recently reopened Birmingham Town Hall this month to coincide with Peggy's 60th birthday.

The 8,000-ticket show was a complete sellout and featured a Who's Who gathering of stars including Fairport Convention, Ian Anderson and Martin Barre of Jethro Tull, Dave Swarbrick, Martin Allcock, Beth Neilson Chapman, Bob Fox, Anna Ryder, Tiny Tin Lady, Steve Ashley, Steve Tilston, Ian Campbell, Steve Gibbons and PJ Wright.

A Box of Peggs is a limited edition of 2,000. For more details visit www.fairportconvention.com and click on the 'shop' link.