The Strawbs

Live at NEARfest: From the Witchwood Media Archive Series, Vol. 2

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Recorded at NEARfest in July 2004, this features a reunion of the five-man lineup the Strawbs had used during their commercial peak in the mid-'70s: Dave Cousins, John Hawken, Dave Lambert, Rod Coombes, and Chas Cronk. Not surprisingly, the songs performed draw heavily from their 1970s repertoire; most of the set, in fact, consists of material from '70s Strawbs albums. It's thus more a souvenir for committed fans than it is an artistic statement. If a memento is what you're looking for, however, this modestly packaged concert album is well done. The sound is good, and the songs are performed and sung well, though perhaps with a little more synthesizer than some listeners might wish. "Hero and Heroine," the three-part suite "Autumn," and "Round & Round" are among the better-known favorites reprised here, the last of the three literally so, as it's given one standard version and one reprise near the end.

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