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Strawbs Acoustic Strawbs: Baroque & Roll album cover
3.64 | 26 ratings | 5 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Tears And Pavan (5:52)
2. Remembering (1:55)
3. You And I (When We Were Young) (3:37)
4. Evergreen (4:31)
5. Ghosts (8:01)
6. There Will Come The Day (5:17)
7. Not All The Flowers Grow (3:42)
8. Inside Your Hell Tonight (4:30)
9. The Golden Salamander (4:59)
10. The River (2:16)
11. Down By The Sea (7:36)
12. The Flower And The Young Man (4:21)
13. Benedictus (3:46)
14. Alice's Song (2:52)

Total time 63:15

Line-up / Musicians

- Dave Cousins / vocals, acoustic guitar, dulcimer, banjo
- Dave Lambert / vocals, acoustic guitar
- Brian Willoughby / acoustic guitar

- Robert Kirby / string arrangements (4,8,14)
- Howard Gott / violin
- Ruth Gottlieb / violin
- Sophie Sirotia / viola
- Sarah Willson / cello
- Andy Waterworth / double bass

Releases information

Acoustic versions of many of the old favourites, recorded July 2001 at KD's studio, London.

Artwork: Rod Green

CD Witchwood Records - WRCD2004 (2001, UK)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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STRAWBS Acoustic Strawbs: Baroque & Roll ratings distribution

(26 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (35%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

STRAWBS Acoustic Strawbs: Baroque & Roll reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by soundsweird
3 stars I listened to this album over and over, thinking it was going to someday seduce me into believing that it was as good as it ought to be. The main problem, I think, is that the available time and budget simply wouldn't permit the performers from getting everything right. The vocals are often problematic (weak or shrill), the instrumental performances sometimes glitchy (not-so-smooth fretwork), and the arrangements are too simple (more strings, and stuff like flute or oboe would've helped). There are saving graces which make the album worth keeping, like the lovely "Alice's Song". Some of the "favorites", however, made me want to listen to the original versions.
Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars Evergreen

Baroque & Roll is an album credited to "Acoustic Strawbs" and was released at a time when Strawbs had not released anything new for quite some years. As such it could be seen as a welcome sign of life and pointing to a brighter future. But it was probably not what long time fans of the band had been waiting for. The material here was not new, but is rather acoustic re-makes of classic Strawbs songs. Some of these re-makes are better than others and some feel rather unnecessary. However, it is overall a pleasant listen.

The core of the band here is Dave Cousins, Dave Lambert, and Brian Willoughby, but there is also a string section on song songs (and I'm sure I can hear some non-acoustic instruments). The string section makes some parts into what one might perhaps call "chamber Folk".

The most progressive pieces here include striped down renditions of Ghosts and The Riven/Down By The Sea. Evergreen is a beautiful song. Nothing here is essential or better than the originals, but it functions as a nice complement. My advice is to make sure to get the original albums from which these songs were taken before investing in Baroque & Roll. But once you've gotten that far, the present album (along with the similar Painted Sky) is a worthy addition as well.

Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review Nš 390

"Acoustic Strawbs Baroque & Roll" is the fifteenth studio album of Strawbs and was released in 2001. "Acoustic Strawbs Baroque & Roll" is really an acoustic Strawbs' album. This is an album with a very interesting and curious story. All began by accident when Dave Cousins and Brian Willoughby, a British guitarist that worked with many musicians, were booked to perform as a duo in Twickenham in 2000. Unfortunately, Cousins damaged his wrist and Dave Lambert stepped in to cover him, while he was singing. The format was very successful and tours were arranged.

So, the line up on the album is Dave Cousins (lead and backing vocals, acoustic guitar, dulcimer and banjo), Dave Lambert (lead and backing vocals and acoustic guitar) and Brian Willoughby (acoustic guitar). The album had also the participation of Howard Gott and Ruth Gottlieb on violins, Sophi Sirotia on viola, Sarah Wilson on cello, Andy Waterworth on the double bass and Robert Kirby on the string arrangements.

"Acoustic Strawbs Baroque & Roll" has fourteen tracks. Of all those fourteen tracks, eleven of them were released on the several studio albums of the band, until then, while the other three tracks were solo songs of the band's members.

About the tracks previously released on the several Strawbs' studio albums we have: "The Flower And The Young Man" and "Benedictus" from "Grave New World", "Tears And Pavan", "The River" and "Down By The Sea" from "Bursting At The Seams", "Remembering", "You And I (When We Were Young)" and "Ghosts" from "Ghosts", "The Golden Salamander" from "Nomadness", "Evergreen" from "Don't Say Goodbye" and "There Will Come The Day" from "Blue Angel". About these tracks, Strawbs was able to perform excellent interpretations of the tunes from Strawbs' catalog. Occasionally, they're embroidered with string arrangements by Robert Kirby, famous for doing arrangements for Nick Drake, Strawbs and several other British folk-rockers. While this might lack the sense of fire and adventure in their best work, which is compreensive since we are talking about of an acoustic performance, the songs do lend themselves well to spare, unplugged settings, particularly due to their somber lyrics, bittersweet melodies, and weathered, longing vocals. Many albums that combine remakes of the old songs with a new format are grotesque failures, destroying what made vintage material special and inadvertently highlighting a deceleration of songwriting acumen by placing superior efforts from the past next to inadequate ones from the present. However, this is a very welcome exception to that syndrome, proving that it's perfectly possible to present an integrated vision of the old material with grace and dignity.

About the remaining three tracks, the solo songs of the band's members, "Not All The Flowers Grow" is a very old song written by Dave Cousins and is a very powerful and emotional song that only was sung twice in public before and which was performed live on a very few occasions. It was written about the Aberfan tragedy, which was a catastrophic disaster of a colliery spoil tip in the Welch village of Aberfan on 21 October 1966, killing 116 children and 28 adults. This is a song that clearly shows Cousins at his most emotional side. "Inside Your Hell Tonight" is a song written by Dave Lambert and where he does the vocals on his own composition. Lyrically, it's a song about how things are permanently left on our conscience so deeply scared that they can never possibly has been removed. The verses are about different things but it's mainly about our own conscience. Musically, it's probably a song that musically breaks up a little bit the general musical ambience of the album. "Alice's Song" is a song written by Brian Willoughby and Cathryn Craig and appeared for the first time on Brian's 1998 solo studio album "Black And White" and it was sung by Cathryn. It's about Brian's then seven year old niece, Alice who sadly suffers from problems of autism. It's a song with nice banjo work and a beautiful string musical arrangement. This is, in reality, a very beautiful and a very emotional song. It was also released by Strawbs as a single. The "Alice's Song" CD music contains a single disc with three songs, with "Alice's Song" as the A side and "The Golden Salamander" and a previous unreleased bonus track "On My Way" as the B side.

Conclusion: "Acoustic Strawbs Baroque & Roll" represents basically an acoustic revisit of Cousins and friends to some of the classic musical studio material from Strawbs catalogue, with some new material in the same mood. Many albums that combine remakes of old songs are great failures, destroying what made so special the superior musical efforts from their past. With "Acoustic Strawbs Baroque & Roll" isn't the case. I wish more bands would acoustically re-invent themselves if that is what it takes to highlight their strengths. And that is exactly what Strawbs have done on this excellent album. Songwriter Dave Cousins along with Brian Willoughby and the original band's member Dave Lambert have produced an album that shows a breath of fresh air and an improvement on my recently chart assaulted ears. It's really a testament to the worthiness of the underlying composition of Strawbs as a prog perennial with their folk roots.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

4 stars On second thought... I, like many, was disappointed when I first heard this album. What? No new material? No bass or drums? No keyboards? This is a new recording by one of the greatest prog groups ever. Are you kidding? Well, after a few years of second listens (after hearing Painted Sky without a ... (read more)

Report this review (#1160238) | Posted by SteveG | Friday, April 11, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The fans of the Strawbs, and especially the Progressive fans, would probably think that an accoustic album, containing some of the finest moments of the "Electric Strawbs", must be dull and boring. well, surprise, surprise!! this album is completely different then any of the 'Un Pluged' TV shows you ... (read more)

Report this review (#19769) | Posted by | Tuesday, February 3, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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