Personnel: Dave Lambert (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, slide guitar, E-bow, background vocals); David Cousins (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, banjo, dulcimer, background vocals); Chas Cook (12-string guitar, background vocals); John Hawken (piano, Mellotron, keyboards, synthesizer); Rod Coombes (drums, cymbals, percussion).
Liner Note Authors: Ron Lindeboom; Kathlyn Lindeboom.
Recording information: Bethlehem, PA (07/11/2004).
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. ~ Richie Unterberger