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Nebulous Nearnesses

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Album Review

When the Incredible String Band re-formed in 2000 with original members Robin Williamson, Mike Heron, and Clive Palmer, fans had hoped for a true live recording; it was about the only thing really missing from their discography. It was not to be; Williamson left the band not long after to re-pursue his solo career — documented by two brilliant albums on ECM. Heron, Palmer and friends continued and fans at last get their ISB live offering. The band plays acoustically, hearkening back to the original ISB days. Heron and Palmer are aided by multi-instrumentalist Lawson Dando, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Fluff, bassist Gavin Drake, and percussionist Steini Gudmundsson. Recorded in front of a small but enthusiastic crowd, Nebulous Nearness does represent Williamson by featuring a couple of his tunes including "The Water Song." But what really gets it here are Heron's fine tunes, coming from the days of yore such as "Chinese White," and "The Hedgehog's Song." The performance is inspired, warm, humorous, and ultimately satisfying; fans of the ISB should be delighted with this set.


Formed: 1965 in Scotland

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '90s, '00s

One of the most engaging groups to emerge from the esoteric '60s was the Incredible String Band. Basically the duo of Mike Heron and Robin Williamson, its sound was comprised of haunting Celtic folk melodies augmented by a variety of Middle Eastern and Asian instruments. Heron was a member of several rock bands in England in the early '60s, while Williamson and Clive Palmer played as a bluegrass...
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