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ROBIN WILLIAMSON

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Robin Williamson biography
Robin Duncan Harry Williamson - Born 24 November 1943 (Edinburgh, UK)

ROBIN WILLIAMSON is a Scottish musician, author and historian who grew up in the Edinburgh area and is best known as founder of the legendary THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND along with CLIVE PALMER (C.O.B., FAMOUS JUG BAND) and MIKE HERON (HERON, MIKE HERON'S INCREDIBLE ACOUSTIC BAND).

Williamson began his musical career while still a teenager who both roomed and routed with BERT JANSCH before forming ISB. Signed almost immediately by Elektra's transplanted American talent scout and producer JOE BOYD, ISB behind Williamson's direction and voluminous songwriting established themselves as the fathers of what would eventually become known as acid folk, their substantial discography forming the influential basis for both contemporaries and at least two generations of folk-rock musicians who would follow them.

While still a member of ISB, Williamson recorded the first solo album in what would eventually expand to a discography of more than forty studio, live and video releases.

Following the disbanding of the Incredible String Band Williamson formed a touring and recording troupe known as THE MERRY BAND, made up of friends, acquaintances and follow folk enthusiasts. They would record three albums in less than two years before changes in public tastes and Williamson?s interests led to his striking out once again on his own.

Over the years Williamson would record with several icons of folk music including old friends Clive Palmer, Mike Heron, JOHN RENBOURN and longtime partner BINA WILLIAMSON. He has also released a number of folk and music-oriented texts, prints, paintings and instructional books, and formed his own label (Pig's Whisker).

Williamson reunited with Palmer and Heron as ISB for several years in the mid-90s, but by 2003 was once again performing solo along with his wife Bina.

Robin Williamson has continued to perform and record well into the 21st century. His substantial discography and written works, as well as his established status as patriarch of folk-rock and traditional folk music, along with two Grammy nominations, cement his place in the annals of progressive folk.

>> Bio by Bob Moore (aka ClemofNazareth) <<

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ROBIN WILLIAMSON discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ROBIN WILLIAMSON top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.10 | 2 ratings
Myrrh
1972
4.00 | 1 ratings
Robin Williamson & His Merry Band - Journey's Edge
1977
4.00 | 1 ratings
Robin Williamson & His Merry Band - American Stonehenge
1978
4.00 | 1 ratings
Robin Williamson & His Merry Band - A Glint at the Kindling
1979
5.00 | 1 ratings
Songs of Love and Parting
1981
0.00 | 0 ratings
Music for the Mabinogi - Cerddoriaeth Ar Gyfer Y
1983
0.00 | 0 ratings
Legacy of the Scottish Harpers
1984
0.00 | 0 ratings
Legacy of the Scottish Harpers Volume 2
1986
0.00 | 0 ratings
Winter's Turning
1986
0.00 | 0 ratings
Songs for Children of All Ages
1987
4.00 | 1 ratings
Ten of Songs
1988
0.00 | 0 ratings
Music for the Newly Born
1990
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Island of the Strong Door
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Songs for the Calendarium
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Mirrorman's Sequences
1997
0.00 | 0 ratings
Dream Journals
1997
0.00 | 0 ratings
Memories/Erinnerungen
1997
0.00 | 0 ratings
Celtic Harp Airs & Dance Tunes
1997
0.00 | 0 ratings
A Job of Journey Work
1998
0.00 | 0 ratings
Gems of Celtic Story One: Tale of Culhwch and Olwen
1998
0.00 | 0 ratings
Gems of Celtic Story Two: Tales For The Rising Year
1998
0.00 | 0 ratings
Ring Dance
1998
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Old Fangled Tone
1999
0.00 | 0 ratings
Cerddoriaeth I Macbeth / Music for Macbeth
1999
0.00 | 0 ratings
Just Like the Ivy and Other Favourite Songs (Williamson/Palmer/Dando/Williamson)
2000
0.00 | 0 ratings
Robert Louis Stevenson's Edinburgh
2000
0.00 | 0 ratings
Gems of Celtic Story Three: A Tale of the Deeds of the Tuatha de Danaan
2001
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Seed-at-Zero
2001
0.00 | 0 ratings
Carmina (with Bina Williamson)
2002
0.00 | 0 ratings
Skirting the River Road
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Iron Stone
2006
0.00 | 0 ratings
Just Like the River and Other Songs with Guitar
2008

ROBIN WILLIAMSON Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Wheel Of Fortune (with John Renbourn)
1993
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Merry Band's Farewell Concert at McCabe's
1997

ROBIN WILLIAMSON Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Robin Williamson in Concert
1990

ROBIN WILLIAMSON Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Songs & Music 1977
1986
0.00 | 0 ratings
Pig's Whisker Music Sampler
1998
0.00 | 0 ratings
Four Gruagach Tales
2006

ROBIN WILLIAMSON Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
English, Welsh, Scottish, & Irish Fiddle Tunes
1976

ROBIN WILLIAMSON Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Myrrh by WILLIAMSON, ROBIN album cover Studio Album, 1972
2.10 | 2 ratings

BUY
Myrrh
Robin Williamson Prog Related

Review by Easy Livin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

2 stars HELP!

Best known as a founding member of the Incredible String Band, Scotland's Robin Williamson made his solo début with this 1972 release while still a member of the band. The album appears as the second release on Island Records under the "HELP" catalogue number (HELP2), indicating that it was a budget priced album (along with other similarly marketed albums such as "Pictures at an Exhibition" - ELP and "Earthbound" - King Crimson). The attractive pricing meant that the album attracted attention from a much wider audience than might have been expected, Williamson's name being unfamiliar to virtually all who bought it. The LP came in an attractive embossed cover, with a colourful inner sleeve bearing the lyrics and recording details together with hieroglyphs (and translation!).

Despite the successful marketing strategy, "Myrrh" was and always will be a niche album which will only ever appeal to a relatively small group of people. Williamson takes on the vast majority of the vocal and instrumental duties himself, calling on a small number of helpers to add colour to selected tracks. He also writes all the songs here except for the opening "Strings in the Earth and Air" written by Ivan Pawle. Williamson's voice is perhaps most kindly described as an acquired taste, his screeching drawls and wails being passionate but somewhat challenging.

I well remember listening to this album several times around the time of its release, and feeling that something was "missing", but unable to put my finger on what it was. It was only when I noticed that right at the end of the opening song a couple of bass notes filled out the sound, that I realised it was indeed bass which was virtually absent. If I was being positive, I would say that this brings out the fine instrumentation, but in all honesty it results in a sparse, uninteresting sound with something of a demo atmosphere.

If Williamson's voice was more orthodox, the effect may have been less glaring, but it really is hard work at times to appreciate the fine lyrics and musicianship in such surroundings. That musicianship sees Williamson playing a diversity of instruments ranging from acoustic guitar to cello, oboe and violin.

It is only when we get to the side two opener "Sandy land", complete with country style pedal steel guitar, that we really find anything truly melodic. Here we suddenly find a hook and backing vocals (by Williamson himself). The song has the feel of a Bob Dylan single, the great Gerry Conway's drumming adding further depth to the piece. Conversely, the lengthy "Cold harbour" is an atmospheric but doomy dirge featuring only acoustic guitar and vocals which I regret to say left me as cold as said harbour.

I have seen it said somewhere that "...fans flocked to "Myrrh"...". This is a little misleading, as the album sold on the back of its peers on the Help label, the inquisitive being drawn in by the low price.

As I suggested earlier, this is an album for those already converted to the music of the Incredible String band. Williamson is clearly a talented writer and performer, but like Dylan himself, this does not necessarily mean he is an easy listen. Approach with caution.

Thanks to ClemofNazareth for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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