|Friday, October 19, 2012 - 8:00PM
Doors Open: 7:00PM
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Event DetailsEvent type: All Ages / Licensed
The Aeolian and Acoustic Muse Concerts Present Acoustic Strawbs
The Strawbs have enjoyed major success on both sides of the Atlantic. In the early 1970s, as well as the hit albums Grave New World and Bursting at the Seams, the singles Part of the Union and Lay Down topped the charts. The band have headlined festivals and toured in many countries, often with others such as Santana, the Eagles, Peter Frampton, King Crimson, and Frank Zappa.
Thirty years on from their early chart successes, the Strawbs now tour three times a year with an acoustic line-up - Dave Cousins on guitar, dulcimer, banjo and vocals; Dave Lambert on guitar and vocals; and Chas Cronk on guitar, bass and vocals. Acoustic Strawbs play classic Strawbs songs with the integrity and musicianship for which the band has been always been recognised.
One of the better British progressive bands of the early '70s, the Strawbs differed from others of the genre because their sound originated in English folk music, rather than rock. Founded in 1967 by singer/guitarist Dave Cousins, the band featured Sandy Denny for a brief period, before she joined Fairport Convention. They were subsequently joined by keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman, contributing to the powerful sound for which the band is renowned.
In 1971, Rick Wakeman left the band to join Yes; he was replaced by Blue Weaver (formerly of Amen Corner). In 1972, after the chart success of Grave New World, Dave Lambert joined the band, bring a more aggressive, rock-oriented style to the band's peak period. After line-up changes in 1974, bassist Chas Cronk joined the band, recommended to Dave Cousins by Wakeman (both musicians played on Wakeman's Six Wives Of Henry VIII album). The band continued to produce albums for another 6 years, often with more success overseas than in their native UK. Dave Cousins then embarked on various solo and duo projects with Brian Willoughby, until a resurge of Strawbs interest followed a successful band appearance at the 1983 Cambridge Folk Festival. A US tour and two studio albums followed, before Willoughby's departure in 2004 led to the formation of the Acoustic Strawbs.
Dave Cousins is undoubtedly the heart and soul of the band - as songwriter, front man and lead singer, he has led the band throughout its many changes. Cousins' complex, epic songs are the cornerstone of the band's appeal, delivered in his unmistakable vocal style and accompanied by characteristic 12 or 6 string acoustic guitar over a rock backing. His compositions form the vast bulk of the Strawbs output. Alongside his musical activities Cousins has also maintained a parallel career in both marketing and local radio.
The Classic Rock Society recently presented Cousins with the Lifetime Achievement Award. The award was presented by former member of the group, Rick Wakeman.
The Acoustic Strawbs have recently toured Italy to critical acclaim and also played three nights at the Edinburgh Festival, at the prestigious Music Hall in the Scotsman Assembly Rooms.
A long-awaited Strawbs boxed set was released in November 2006, featuring live tracks and many previously unreleased versions of well-known Strawbs songs, sourced from the band's own archives. The trio have also recently finished recording their first studio album in ten years, including several new songs for a film on human rights for the Council of Europe, and a song, Not All The Flowers Grow, which reflects on the Aberfan tragedy. On the album they are also reunited for three tracks with Robert Kirby, perhaps best known for his arrangements on the Nick Drake albums.