The Strawbs

Painted Sky

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Although these are live-in-the-studio performances from October 2004 and May 2005, all but two of the songs were originally released by the Strawbs between the late '60s and mid-'70s. So it's essentially an album of remakes, including some of their more popular early numbers, such as "Oh How She Changed," "The Antique Suite," "Benedictus," and the multi-part "Autumn." It is more tasteful than most such albums, both because the production is understated and because the arrangements are different from the originals, as the Strawbs were by this point the acoustic-oriented trio of David Cousins, Dave Lambert, and Chas Cronk. Cousins is the prime personality as both singer and songwriter, and the material is effective, if subdued, haunting British folk-rock. Still, like several releases on the Witchwood label, it's more for committed Strawbs fans who want souvenirs of one of their favorite bands, rather than it is a recommended entry point to either these specific songs or to the band as a whole.

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