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About Strawbs

One of the better British progressive bands of the early '70s, the Strawbs differed from their more successful compatriots -- the Moody Blues, King Crimson, Pink Floyd -- principally in that their sound originated in English folk music, rather than rock. Originally a folk and bluegrass trio formed by Dave Cousins, with Sandy Denny as lead singer, the Strawbs evolved into an acoustic folk quartet and later into a progressive rock quintet, complete with electric keyboards and an epic/classical orientation. The exits of bassist John Ford and drummer Richard Hudson in the early '70s led to a toughening of the group's sound but also a weaker songwriting contingent. Their return, and Cousins' hookup with guitarist Brian Willoughby, made them musically if not commercially viable again in the '80s and '90s. ~ Bruce Eder