The Strawbs

Live in Toronto at Hugh's Room

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The performance portion of Live in Toronto at Hugh's Room, a full-length show by the Acoustic Strawbs, consisting of Dave Cousins, Dave Lambert, and Brian Willoughby (who has been succeeded by Chas Cronk in more recent years), is good enough by itself to justify the purchase of this DVD. Well recorded and beautifully shot in a nicely informal setting, it captures the playing and singing of this group in fine form, ranging across the band's repertory, but with an obvious emphasis on the music from the best-selling mid-'70s albums. What makes it even better, however, is the documentary featurette hosted by Cousins, who takes viewers on a walking tour of the Strawbs' origins and early history, and how they got from being the bluegrass-inspired Strawberry Hill Boys to the Acoustic Strawbs in the space of 40 years. It's not only fun and engaging, but reveals a lot about their history that will not be known to those who haven't studied them closely (including crossing paths several times with the early Rolling Stones). As to the disc attributes, the image is clean and sharp, the sound is crisp and mastered at a healthy volume, and it's all accessible from a cleverly designed menu.

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