A new live show and album of instrumental music inspired by the Great War, The Unfinished Violin centres on a fiddle that Sam Sweeney came across in violin maker Roger Claridge’s shop in Oxford, carved but never finished by one Richard S Howard of Harehills, Leeds, in 1915.
It’s the instrument Sweeney has used for numerous albums and countless gigs. In time he set about digging into its history, and uncovered the fateful tale of Howard, a music hall performer called up in 1916 to the Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment to fight and lose his life in the Battle of Messines on 7th June 1917.
Sam Sweeney is a veteran of the mighty Bellowhead, artistic director of the National Folk Youth Ensemble, founder member of the acclaimed instrumental trio Leveret, and a superb instrumentalist at the forefront of the revival in English traditional music. Anglo Concertina player Rob Harbron, guitarist Jack Rutter, double bassist Ben Nicholls appear with Sam on The Unfinished Violin.
Sam Sweeney is supported by PRS Foundation’s Open Fund.