Released in 1969, Liege & Lief was Fairport Convention's greatest triumph, the best and most influential album in the pantheon of British folk-rock, but the dawn of the '70s proved to be a chaotic time for the group, as its two most celebrated members (guitarist Richard Thompson and vocalist Sandy Denny) both left Fairport, and the group's membership became a revolving door for the next few years. In 1974, Fairport Convention seemed to turn a new corner as Denny rejoined the group and a new lineup emerged, featuring Denny (lead vocals and keyboards), Fairport stalwarts Dave Swarbrick (fiddle and mandolin), Dave Pegg (bass), and Dave Mattacks (drums), and two members of Denny's short-lived group Fotheringay, Trevor Lucas (guitar and vocals) and Jerry Donahue (guitar). After a successful tour of the U.K. and Europe, this new edition of Fairport Convention came to the United States, and Live 1974: My Father's Place preserves a concert the group played at the venerable Roslyn, New York rock club My Father's Place, which was recorded for radio broadcast. This edition of Fairport Convention was more stable than the one that preceded it, but not by much -- by 1976, Denny, Lucas, and Donahue would all leave the band, and Live 1974 is one of the few documents of this historically important version of the group on-stage. The occasional flaws in the recording are certainly offset by the strength of Fairport's performance, as they swing through British folk standards and Denny confirms her status as one of the most beguiling vocalists of her generation.
AllMusic Review by Mark Deming