The Incredible String Band
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The debut release from the original Incredible String Band trio — Robin Williamson (violin/whistle/mandolin/guitar/vocals), Clive Palmer (banjo/guitar/vocals), and Mike Heron (guitar/vocals) — was also their most simple. It is this minimalism that allowed the natural radiance of the band's (mostly) original material to be evident in the purist sense, and likewise without many of the somewhat intricate distractions and musical tangents that their future work would incorporate. Immediately striking is the group's remarkable and collective prowess on seemingly all things stringed — hence, their apropos moniker. With an unmistakable blend of distinct instrumentation and harmony vocals, the Incredible String Band take inspiration from traditional music on both sides of the Atlantic. Their impish charm and tongue-in-cheek fairytale mythology also add to their folkie mystique. This first long-player — originally issued in 1966 — contains a bevy of songs that, while steeped in conventional folk music, are completely unique. This likewise holds true for the three traditional pieces, "Schaeffer's Jig," "Whistle Tune," and the rare Clive Palmer instrumental solo, "Niggertown." Palmer, formerly of the highly underrated Famous Jug Band, would exit the Incredible String Band after this record, and thus the perpetually rotating personnel that would guide the group for the remainder of its existence began, perhaps aptly, at the beginning. The original songs range from light and airy love ballads — such as the Williamson solo "Womankind" or the understated mischief of "Dandelion Blues" — to the high and lonesome sound of Mike Heron's mandolin-driven "How Happy I Am." There are likewise darker — yet no less poignant — tunes such as "Empty Pocket Blues" and the haunting "Good As Gone." While this album is a tremendous launch pad for potential enthusiasts, be aware that every Incredible String Band recording is also extremely individual and reflects the current membership of the group.
Formed: 1965 in Scotland
Years Active: '60s, '70s, '90s, '00s
Top Albums and Songs by The Incredible String Band
||The Hedgehog's Song||The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion||3:27||£0.79||View In iTunes|
||Cold Days of February||Here Till Here Is There - An Introduction to The Incredible String Band||5:54||£0.79||View In iTunes|
||Log Cabin Home In the Sky||Wee Tam||4:01||£0.79||View In iTunes|
||Painting Box||The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion||4:00||£0.79||View In iTunes|
||Air||Wee Tam||3:14||£0.79||View In iTunes|
||You Get Brighter||Wee Tam||5:46||£0.79||View In iTunes|
||This Moment||I Looked Up||6:08||£0.79||View In iTunes|
||Ducks On a Pond||Wee Tam||9:10||£0.79||View In iTunes|
||Worlds They Rise and Fall||Here Till Here Is There - An Introduction to The Incredible String Band||3:23||£0.79||View In iTunes|
||The Half-Remarkable Question||Wee Tam||5:03||£0.79||View In iTunes|