b. Australia. Multi-instrumentalist Fagan made his name in the late 90s as one of the brightest talents on the UK’s modern folk scene through a series of excellent recordings with fiddle player Nancy Kerr. Fagan’s parents were leading figures in the Australian folk revival of the 70s, and as soon as they were old enough James and his sister Kate joined their parents in the family’s four-part harmony group. In addition to his vocal talents, James learned to play a wide range of instruments, including guitar, piano, and the bouzouki. After completing a medical degree, he travelled to England in 1995 for a holiday and hooked up with Kerr and Eliza Carthy in the newly formed Kings Of Calicutt. He forged a duo partnership with Kerr as a side project, but returned to Australia to take up a medical job. However, the partnership was renewed when Kerr went to Australia and the duo completed a successful tour of the country. Fagan’s medical career was put on hold in the late 90s as the duo signed a recording contract with Fellside Records. A string of albums for the label, including a recording with Nancy’s mother Sandra Kerr, helped confirm Kerr and Fagan as one of the most exciting folk acts of their generation. They were duly rewarded by the folk establishment, winning BBC Radio Two’s Horizon Award in 2000 and the Best Duo Award three years later.
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