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Strawbs - 40th Anniversary Celebration Vol. 2: Rick Wakeman and Dave Cousins CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.18 | 2 ratings

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3 stars If my review for Vol. 2 of the 40th Anniversary Strawbs album seems shorter when compared to that of Vol. 1, it's because there's less offered to review on this combination CD and DVD set.

Recorded in The Live Room at Twickenham Stadium in September of 2009, this concert of long time friends Cousins and Wakeman takes on an intimate feeling as the The Live Room is a small cozy venue where Cousins and Wakeman can strut their stuff. The concert itself is no more than an hour long and features just 8 songs from the Antiques and Curios/Witchwood era that Wakeman was a part. Wakeman is as elegant a player ever, but Cousins' age weathered voice struggles with many of the belters like The Hangman And The Papist and Martin Luther King's Dream. He does much better on the softer numbers like October to May and Witchwood.

This album does contain one essential track, A Glimpse Of Heaven from the Witchwood album that sounds superb in this stripped down from with just Cousins' vocal and acoustic guitar along with Wakeman's tasteful piano. The tune is much better devoid of the Witchwood version's overproduction that featured a church like choir in the song's chorus.

That's about the sum of the music CD which is devoid of the incredably funny banter between Cousins and Wakeman, and shows just how much love and affection there is between these men. Don't fret because all of this can found on the accompaning DVD.

Wakeman even ventures out into the audience to gather 6 musical notes he needs to improvise his trademark solo instrumental showcase that he used to perform with the Strawbs called Temperment Of Mind (now retitled Temperance Of Mind by Cousins due to Wakeman's new found sobriety).

This CD/DVD is probably essential for diehard Wakeman fans more so than it is for Strawbs' fans. However, no matter how charming it is, better early material exists in this vain from the Strawbs' Antiques and Curios album as well as the recent Witchwood Media release titled Recollection that both showcase a younger, hungrier Wakeman and a more pleasent sounding Cousins. 3 stars as this CD/DVD is not essential for Strawbs's fans. However, Wakeman fans may care to to differ.

SteveG | 3/5 |


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