Strawbs — Lay down with the Strawbs
(Secret CRIDE 84, 2008, 2CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2009-07-01As live Strawbs albums go, this two disc set is an outstanding one, recorded in March 2006 at Robin 2, Bilston UK featuring the mid-70s lineup same as you would find on Hero and Heroine or Ghosts (and in fact the de-facto lineup since 2004, though that has recently changed with keyboardist John Hawken's departure). There is also a guest appearance by John Ford, from the 70-73 version of the band, which of course means one will find performances of "Part of the Union" and "Heavy Disguise" herewithin, the latter Ford's own composition and the former written with then-drummer Richard Hudson. At the end of disc two there is a five song acoustic set, though this writer suspects it was performed in the middle of the electric set, not at the end; within that acoustic set the listener will find another Hudson/Ford era piece "Tears and Pavan," and a new Ford composition "Kissed by the Sun." Most of the material here is a recap of the best material from the early-to-mid 70s, with suites like "Autumn," "Ghosts," and "The Life Auction," along with shorter pieces like "Just Love" and "Lay Down" among them – although "Cold Steel" from the more recent Déjà Fou album is here as well. The notes in the gatefold state that this set is also available on DVD, though I haven't been able to track down a copy as of this writing. This may not be as easy to find as other Strawbs releases simply because this is not their regular label. Its definitely worth seeking out, though.
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more
Bill Bruford / Tim Garland - Earthworks Underground Orchestra – The peers of drummer/composer Bill Bruford are few and far between; only Jack DeJohnette, Billy Cobham, Will Calhoun, and Claudia Quartet mastermind John Hollenbeck spring to mind as drummers who... (2007) » Read more