The Strawbs

Photo by Rick Sarlo


Strawbs album, Hero & Heroine, has been listed by Rolling Stone magazine as “one of the 50 greatest prog rock albums of all time”. It is the band’s biggest seller worldwide and was certified gold in North America.
In the USA Strawbs had seven consecutive albums in the Billboard Top 200.

Dave Cousins, founder member, has been described by All Music Guide as: “the most talented Dylan influenced songwriter to come out of England”.  He recently released his long awaited, and critically acclaimed, autobiography Exorcising Ghosts: Strawbs and Other Lives. It was listed by influential critic Richie Unterberger in his “Top 10 of 2014 rock books”

Strawbs are often mentioned in the same breath as progressive rock bands like Yes, King Crimson, and The Moody Blues.  It is well documented that Rick Wakeman left Strawbs for Yes.  Rick was followed by Blue Weaver - who left Strawbs to join the Bee Gees, John Hawken – from the original Renaissance, Don Airey - now with Deep Purple, Adam Wakeman, and Oliver Wakeman, who, like his father, left Strawbs to join Yes!

Strawbs emerged out of the British Folk Movement of the mid-1960s, starting life as the Strawberry Hill Boys playing bluegrass. They moved into the mainstream in 1967 by making the first Strawbs album, All Our Own Work, with Sandy Denny, a full year before she recorded her first album with Fairport Convention. The album attracted the attention of A&M Records in Hollywood who signed Strawbs as the first British band on the label.

Strawbs albums Hero & Heroine, Bursting At The Seams, Ghosts, and Grave New World define the music.  The current Strawbs line-up comprises Dave Cousins, lead guitarist Dave Lambert, bass player Chas Cronk, and drummer Tony Fernandez, who recorded and toured together in the 1970s.  They are joined by keyboard virtuoso Dave Bainbridge of Iona, a band whose mystical blend of rock, folk, Celtic and ambient music has endeared them to audiences across Europe and North America for the last 25 years.

“The Strawbs moved from folkier days to a lush, stately and mellotron-dominated sound, with similarities to Yes, King Crimson and the Moody Blues.  They wrote more compelling songs than the former two and possessed more lyrical/musical substance than the latter.” (Ken Barnes/Rolling Stone 1974)

 “Carefully selecting their repertoire from less than obvious sources they invest the rarely performed material with considerable energy and thoughtful arrangements.” (Record Collector - 2003)

“Unlike many groups that are past their commercial prime and churn out inferior, dispirited versions of the hits from their glory days, the Acoustic Strawbs stand out as a band that performs their old material with passion and precision.  Furthermore, they have broken new ground by harnessing the power of their electric incarnation in an acoustic setting.” (Chicago Tribune – May 2003)

“Hearing the brilliant Strawbs [at the Edmonton Folk Festival] was like a tutorial in UK folk music from the past 40 years. (Edmonton Sun – August 2004)

“Like a Ray Davies steeped in Arthurian folklore and rustic reverie, David Cousins’ visionary talents are to the fore conjuring up a mythical canvas of Albion awakening.”  (Uncut – September 2008) 

Tell me what you see in me revealed it to be a virtual blueprint for the harmonies and arrangements of the entire Styx catalogue. Oh how she changed, similarly, sounded like a vocal model for latter day bands like Fleet Foxes.” (Schenectady Times Union – September 2010)

“The songwriting was phenomenal, and the way the trio embellished sublime melodies with supreme harmonies and incredible instrumentation made their performance unforgettable.  In fact, I repeatedly thought “music just isn’t this good anymore”. (Philadelphia Examiner – September 2011)

“Dave Cousins shows himself as a brilliant and original songwriter….” (Classic Rock – September 2012)

“From beginning to end, this veteran group put to shame bands a third their age with the majesty of their arrangements, the craftsmanship of their tunes and lyrics, which remain as socially relevant as they were decades ago.  The band’s vocal harmonies at this stage of their career are tighter and soar higher than anything Crosby, Stills and Nash ever did.” (New York Music Daily – September 2012)

“Spellbinding guitar interplay, with countless alternative tunings to create the drone effect so evident in The Strawbs’ music, was the hallmark of an evening which provided far more than a dose of nostalgia. Whether you lean towards the folk or the prog it matters little . . . plugged in or not, the Strawbs are the juiciest, tastiest fruit you’re ever likely to hear.” (Swndon Echo – October 2014)

“Great set of songs before the masterpiece Hero and Heroine emerged and enchanted! One of the best shows I've seen this decade and more!”

  (Denis McNamara – Senior Vice President / Universal Music Group - May 2016) 

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Young'Uns Canadian and Overseas Summer Dates (June 20, 2017)

England's "Best Folk Group" to Tour Eastern Canada (June 20, 2017)

Black Umfolosi Touring Canada in July (June 19, 2017)

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Guy Davis' Very Busy Summer (June 12, 2017)

James Keelaghan's Summer Schedule (June 12, 2017)

Jonah Blacksmith to Perform in Western Canada in July (June 10, 2017)

Ten Strings And A Goat Skin's Busy Summer (May 30, 2017)

James Keelaghan to Tour the Maritimes with Dave Gunning in January of 2018 (May 29, 2017)

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James Keelaghan Heading West in April (March 19, 2017)

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Two Major Award Nominations for Ten Strings And A Goat Skin (February 11, 2017)

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Quartette Christmas to Tour Atlantic Canada in 2017 (January 23, 2017)

Ray Bonneville to Tour Central and Western Canada in 2018 (December 20, 2016)

Triple Grammy Award Nominee Claire Lynch to Tour Central Canada Next Fall (December 14, 2016)

Grammy Nomination for JMI's Claire Lynch (December 6, 2016)

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JMI Signs Denmark's Jonah Blacksmith (October 3, 2016)

James Keelaghan in Alberta & BC in October (September 25, 2016)

Guy Davis Returns to Western Canada in October (September 24, 2016)

Black Umfolosi to Tour Canada in February 2018 (September 24, 2016)

Three Fantastic New Tours! (August 26, 2016)

Strawbs to Tour Central and Eastern Canada in the Fall (August 15, 2016)

Black Umfolosi Coming to Alberta and BC (July 22, 2016)

Young'uns Are Headed to Canada (July 13, 2016)

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See News page for more JMI news.