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Strawbs - From The Witchwood CD (album) cover

FROM THE WITCHWOOD

Strawbs

 

Prog Folk

4.02 | 202 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
4 stars In my opinion one of the best STRAWBS albums! Still very much in the folk style of the early Strawbs it starts their stongest era, during which they shifted towards more progressive and electric rock (culminating on Ghosts). This one is a many-sided collection of songs, some great and some just OK, but with the emphasis on the word great. Here and there it reminds of the early TRAFFIC, with sitars and a psychedelic atmosphere of the late 60's (this can be credited mostly to Richard Hudson, who hasn't yet stuck into his later laidback country-ish style). Rick Wakeman's instrument list is colourful, but his contribution stays pretty much in the background with an exception of some solos. The overall sound, when it's not TRAFFIC-like, is very flexible folk-rock with various moods, from pastoral to anti-war.

As usual, it's the songwriting talent of Dave Cousins that makes this a Strawbs classic. He's not hiding his romantic side; 'The Shepherd's Song' paints a picture of lovers under the sky. The strongest track, as many others have said before me, is definitely the dramatic 'Hangman and the Papist'. I've read that the original LP had serious porblems in sound but the CD is absolutely cured from them. The bonus track 'Keep the Devil Outside' is very good too (included also in the Halcyon Days compilation).

Matti | 4/5 |

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