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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Strawbs - a Psychedelic Folk experience

The Strawbs are pretty much a Cult band who are even lesser known in hippy, folk and Psychedelic circles. Either you were lucky enough to get turned on to the Strawbs or you weren't. I was lucky,i was. For those who have enjoyed listening to Psychedelic Music whilst experiencing Psychotropic substances and heard the Strawbs whilst doing so, i don't have to explain anything. The sound of the Strawbs is evokative of a semi medieval Cosmic prose which calls up fleeting visions of Ancient times and perhaps previous lives remembered from long ago... suggestive lyrics arouse sensations of Deja-Vu, as if some cryptic wake up call were hidden within the notes and melodies of the inimitable sound of the Strawbs. Their mos famous song was perhaps the only one i don't like (part of the Union) - this was obviously a marketing thing to get them on radio, for the rest of their music is nothing like this song, much subtler and ancient sounding.

Part of the Union

Dancing to The Devil's Beat  Ghosts The Broken Hearted Bride Bursting at the Seams

I remember in my Hippy days solong ago, noticing a wonderfully Cosmic picture on my friend Paddy's wall - a Cosmic Gypsy standing on top of a rock pinnacle high above the stars and Galaxies,looks down onto the world below. This image impressed me so deeply that i had to have one, and immediately set out on a search for it. I then found out that it is the inner sleeve of the album "Grave New World" by the Strawbs. The music is as evocative as the album sleeve.

Here is your chance now to Turn on to the Strawbs, with some of my favourite songs below.

Ghost - The Strawbs

Heroines Theme, Deep Summer Sleep, The Winter Long.

Download Heroines Theme deep Summer Sleep, The Winter Long as an Mp3 file (full song and free!)

Autumn: Heroine's Theme/Deep Summer's Sleep/The Winter Long Grave New World Strawbs In Tokyo 1975/Grave New World: The Movie Hero and Heroine

So Close and Yet so Far Away

The Strawbs and Sandy Denny

Sandy Denny was the sweetest angels voice i ever heard - she also featured with the Strawbs, which was a totally compatible mix - Sandy Denny left us too early, which is something her wonderful voice reminds me of every time i hear her sing. She should have had more time to record much more than she did. The songs she left us however, are all absolutely priceless works of songmanship, which will stand as testimony to her amazing talent for future generations to enjoy and marvel at her sweet angelic voice.

Sandy Denny (6 January 1947 – 21 April 1978), born Alexandra Elene Maclean Denny, was an English singer and songwriter  who has been described by Allmusic's Richie Unterberger as "the pre-eminent British folk rock singer".
Denny is considered a founder of the British folk rock movement and perhaps its most important female singer, songwriter and personality. Over a ten year career Sandy Denny left an extensive legacy and remains influential. She is remembered for her pivotal involvement with the British folk rock scene, where, as a member of Fairport Convention, she moved the band away from west coast American cover versions and into performing traditional material and original compositions.

A Boxful of Treasures Who Knows Where the Time Goes Who Knows Where the Time GoesNo More Sad Refrains: The Anthology

Denny is also remembered as a composer most notably on her solo albums which represent her claim to be Britain's finest female singer-songwriter, as asserted by the Sunday Express, Uncut and Mojo. Her composition, "Who Knows Where the Time Goes?", has been covered by numerous artists as diverse as Judy Collins, Nina Simone and Cat Power and is now regarded as a classic. Famous also for her exceptional voice, it has been suggested that her effortless and smooth vocal delivery still sets the standard for many of today's female folk-based singers.

The North Star Grassman and the Ravens Sandy Denny & the Strawbs All Our Own WorkGrave New World (12 Track Japanese Pressing)
She is also noted for her duet with Robert Plant on the song "The Battle of Evermore" from Led Zeppelin's fourth album released in 1971. She remains to this day the only guest vocalist on a Led Zeppelin album. (wikipedia -Sandy Denny)

Unhalfbricking Meet on the Ledge: The Classic Years (1967-1975) What We Did On Our Holidays Fairport Convention: Maidstone 1970

My Favourite song of all from Sandy Denny is of course, "Who Knows where the Time Goes?" (with Fairport Convention) - and i would like to include it here for you to listen to - prepare for goosebumps when you listen if you haven't heard this before, as i guarantee you that you are going to get some.

Who knows where the Time goes - Fairport Convention 

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1 comment:

quiet pop said...

hey music kaleidoscope,

you might dig this folk rock band from australia: