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Topic ClosedRIP Strawbs keyboard man Robert Kirby

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Steven in Atlanta View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: RIP Strawbs keyboard man Robert Kirby
    Posted: October 08 2009 at 09:22
http://www.nme.com/news/nick-drake/47730

Robert Kirby, the string arranger who worked on Nick Drake's classic albums 'Five Leaves Left' and 'Bryter Layter', has died at the age of 61.

His son Henry, who plays in the band The Absolutes, confirmed that Kirby passed away on October 3 in a west London hospital, following a short illness.

Born in 1948, Kirby met Drake at Cambridge University in early 1968 and put together a string section to accompany the singer-songwriter at live appearances.

When Drake recorded his debut album, 'Five Leaves Left', in the summer of 1968, producer Joe Boyd had already lined-up another string arranger – but the singer rejected his arrangements and insisted Kirby was brought in.

He then returned to arrange the strings on 1970's 'Bryter Layter' and during the following decade he arranged the strings on more than 40 albums. Many of them were by folk artists such as Ralph McTell, Al Stewart and Vashti Bunyan, but he also worked on Elton John's 'Madman Across The Water', David Ackles' 'American Gothic' and John Cale's 'Helen Of Troy'.

Kirby also spent three years playing keyboards in The Strawbs in the mid-1970s, but at the end of the decade opted for a career in marketing.

He made only occasional returns to the studio in the 1980s, most notably on Elvis Costello's 'Almost Blue'. However, as Drake's cult status grew in the 1990s, he returned to the limelight.

Paul Weller invited him to arrange the strings on several tracks on his 2000 album 'Heliocentric'. Further invitations followed to work on albums by The Magic Numbers, Linda Thompson and on Vashti Bunyan's comeback, more than 35 years after their previous collaboration.

Kirby also added new string arrangements to several tracks on 'Made To Love Magic', the compilation album of Drake out-takes and remixed tracks, released in 2004.
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Easy Livin View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 08 2009 at 10:12
Sad news, he made a valuable contribution to the Strawbs and msuic in general.
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Progfan1958 View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 08 2009 at 11:34
Yes, this is sad news. I was flipping through the Strawbs site last night and saw the info. Dave Cousins and the rest of the band had some nice comments about him.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 08 2009 at 11:37
R.I.P.
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tony the pixel View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 12 2009 at 14:28
Loved Robert Kirby's contributions to the Nick Drake albums - was not familiar with his work in the Strawbs.  He will be sorely missed.  And remember that on 25th of next month it's 35 years since Nick Drake's passing.  Two great people no longer with us, but we still have that beautiful music.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 12 2009 at 17:22
RIP, he contributes in Five Leaves Left with great arrangements 


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 12 2009 at 17:39
he worked on the string arrangements on Strawbs "Deja Fou" (2004) as well.  RIP Robert
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 12 2009 at 17:44
here are a couple links with impressive lists of contributions

http://news.scotsman.com/obituaries/Robert-Kirby.5714091.jp
http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/oct/07/robert-kirby-obituary
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