Singer Nic Jones was among the most acclaimed artists to emerge from the British folk revival, winning praise for his moving vocals as well as his prowess on guitar and fiddle. Greatly influenced by Martin Carthy, whose percussive guitar style Jones adopted for his own, he first surfaced during the late '60s as a member of the group the Halliard, mounting a solo career in 1970 with his debut album, Ballads and Songs. A collection of traditional tunes distinguished by Jones' outstanding instrumental work, the record also established his mastery of the long ballad. A self-titled effort followed in 1971, but was his last album for six years; the follow-up, Noah's Ark Trap, finally appeared in 1977, with From the Devil a Stranger appearing a year later. Around that same time Jones also joined the short-lived group Bandoggs, releasing an eponymous LP in 1978. Other projects included appearances on albums from artists including Richard Thompson and June Tabor. Released in 1980, Penguin Eggs -- named Folk Album of the Year by Melody Maker -- was his final new recording; in 1982 he was critically injured in an auto accident and forced to retire from performing. In Search of Nic Jones -- a compilation of archival material including home recordings and BBC sessions -- was released in 1998. A year later, singer/songwriter John Wesley Harding issued Trad Arr Jones, a collection of traditional folk numbers directly inspired by Jones' arrangements. ~ Jason Ankeny
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