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Ian Matthews

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Iain Matthews (and from the late 1960s until 1989 known as Ian Matthews) is an English musician and songwriter. A member of Fairport Convention during their early period, Ian Matthews had a successful solo career and fronted the bands Plainsong and Matthews’ Southern Comfort.

He was born Iain Matthew McDonald, 16 June 1946, Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, England. Influenced by both rock and roll and folk music, he has performed mainly as a solo act, although he was a member of Fairport Convention during the early period when they were heavily influenced by American West Coast folk rock. He later had a solo career and fronted the bands Plainsong and Matthews’ Southern Comfort.

Matthews grew up in a working-class family in Scunthorpe. He sang with several minor bands during the British pop music explosion of the mid-1960s. He moved to London in 1966, taking a job in a Carnaby Street shoe shop. He recorded a couple of singles there in 1967 with a pop band called Pyramid.

Not long afterwards, he was recruited by Ashley Hutchings as a male vocalist for Fairport Convention, where he duetted first with Judy Dyble, but more famously with Sandy Denny. In 1969, as Fairport’s music veered much more toward British folk influences, Matthews made the decision to head off in his own musical direction.

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