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The Incredible String Band - The Incredible String Band CD (album) cover


The Incredible String Band


Prog Folk

3.24 | 29 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
2 stars If the Scots will make a relatively small dent on the pure prog rock, they will be at the base of most of the folk, folk rock and prog folk, psych/acid folk scenes. Indeed not only Donovan, but The Pentangle and The Incredible String Band, String Driven Thing will outnumber Fairport Convention etc. While the duo of folk troubadours of Jansch and Renbourn rules over the Pentangle and let McShee shine, in the ISB, the group is made of no less than three Scot troubadours in the name of Robin Williamson, Mike Heron and Clive Palmer, all three guardians of the sacred temple, the latter getting the other two to meet and formed a jug band in Edinburgh.

Spotted by Joe Boyd, an American lost in the swinging London of the 60's, their debut album was produced by him and released on the US Elektra label (Boyd was indeed working much for the legendary US folk label), but to the average proghead, it won't interest much here, as this is a collection of folk songs from the trio in which a few traditional numbers happen to slide in. ISB is a straight folk album, without much going for itself, un less you're a major fan, but Clive Palmer has an ultra-orthodox view on folk, and ends up being more catholic than the pope, which for a Scot... Actually this will be his only albumų with them as Palmer will not be able to cope with the other's two twisted minds and humour. But as MH and RW were Palmer's friend's, they were never really friendly to each other, although strangely enough they would reform a year later after lengthy trip to their respective nirvanas (Morocco and Nepal), and go on to form one of the better acid folk group ever.

Anyway, not that this is a bad album (apparently it made quite an impact on the pure folk scene), but I've never wished to own it, and although it's 99% acoustic, purist Clive Palmer will leave to found COB and Famous Jug Band, while the other two would go on to greater fortunes with their next albums.

Sean Trane | 2/5 |


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