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Strawbs - From The Witchwood CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

4.03 | 293 ratings

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3 stars From The Witchwood is third released album from Strawbs. It contains 10 track and it writes on the web pages of the band that they had some kind of musical differences creating this album which made Hudson, Ford and Cousins to argue about selection of tracks for the album.

First one "A Glimpse Of Heaven" is a great track sounding indeed Heavenly with combination of acoustic guitar and organ. Great vocal chorus surely lifts up the feeling even more. Very nice track one of mine favorite from the album. Second track " Witchwood " although acoustic is easily recognized as one of the highlights of the album with its dark and magic mode. Song starts slowly building with combination various string instruments ( guitar , banjo , dulcimer ), proper drums finally appear. Cousins voice is mode and perfect for this song. Strings of the dulcimer and banjo are carrying entire song, suggestively describing great Cousins lyrics. It appears that after these two track standards are set to high because I was clearly expecting much more to come.

"Thirty Days" totally Beatles like song. Even vocals are sounding like them. Although song is made in a similar folky style as the first two tracks are, but clearly it's missing something and the sitar played here does not due for the song the same that dulcimer does for the Witchwood. I have read that this song was played only by Ford, Hudson and Hooper. Next track is Hudson's " Flight " another Beatles like song saved only in the end with Cousins guitar and Waksman's piano. Cousins saves entire first part of album with another great track "The Hangman And The Papist". Another great vocal performance of Dave Cousins along with so many times mentioned Wakeman on organ. Very good Hudsons drumming deserve to be mentioned.

"Sheep" Cousins anti-war song with another Wakemans virtuous performance. Musically well played and arranged but song itself not on the same quality level as Hangman and Witchwood. "Canon Dale" is another not so bad song written by Hudson. Love the sitar work on this one though. " The Shepherd's Song" is sometimes slow sometimes energetic little song with arrangement involving a lots of nice and well played instruments. Love the piano work on this one. But still it's only a good song , hardly a masterpiece. " In Amongst The Roses " typical Cousins song a dissent acoustic ballad , makes you wont to sleep on meadow full of roses. "I'll Carry On Beside You" I was so surprised with the presence of electric guitar that I thought this was a bonus track. Its a cheerful number sounding surprisingly fresh (maybe because is beautifully sung by Tony Hooper) after the previous four songs.

I was expecting to find much more here. Especially from Dave Cousins which past song writhing was proven to be one of a genius. Hudsons two songs here are just good enough and to me he is much better drummer and sitar player than a songwriter. Presence of Waekman is clearly visible and its a "thing" that will obviously turn band toward more progressive creations. In a way historically looking this album is for most of the Strawbs fans a masterpiece or close to masterpiece because its a part of their transition to progressive band. But objectively speaking there is nothing special about Witchwood. Some Excellent songs are here and others are only good. Good, but non-essential

Archangel | 3/5 |


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