“The Incredible String Band” by The Incredible String Band - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1966Album Chart of the Decade: 1960s

TJR says

This fine debut LP arrived in June 1966. At the time of release the trio were: Mike Heron (24, lead vocals, guitar); Clive Palmer (23, lead vocals, banjo, guitar, kazoo) and Robin Williamson (22, lead vocals, backing vocals, violin, guitar, tin whistle, fiddle). The album contained 7 from the pen of Mike, 5 from Robin, 1 from Clive and 3 traditionals. The Wiki gives an excellent summary of the back story:

“In 1963, acoustic musicians Robin Williamson and Clive Palmer began performing together as a traditional folk duo in Edinburgh, particularly at a weekly club run by Archie Fisher in the Crown Bar which also regularly featured Bert Jansch. There they were seen in August 1965 by Joe Boyd, then working as a talent scout for the influential folk-based label Elektra Records. Later in the year, the duo decided to fill out their sound by adding a third member, initially to play rhythm guitar. After an audition, local rock musician Mike Heron won the slot. The trio took the name “The Incredible String Band”. Early in 1966, Palmer began running an all-night folk club, “Clive's Incredible Folk Club”, on the fourth floor of a building in Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow, where they became the house band. When Boyd returned in his new role as head of Elektra's London office, he signed them up for an album, beating off a rival bid from Transatlantic Records. They recorded their first album, titled “The Incredible String Band”, at the Sound Techniques studio in London in May 1966. It was released in Britain and the United States and consisted mostly of self-penned material in solo, duo and trio formats, showcasing their playing on a variety of instruments. It won the title of “Folk Album of the Year” in Melody Maker's annual poll.”

Mike shines as my favourite, placing all 7 of his songs in the top 9. All 3 Jukebox picks are his. I just love his apparent indifference; he’s most “alternative” and unconventional and just seems to kinda goof around with smile inducing intonations, dragging his voice and guitar left, right and all over. ISB as a trio broke up after recording the album. Palmer left via the hippie trail for Afghanistan and India, and Williamson and his girlfriend went to Morocco with no firm plans to return. Heron stayed in Edinburgh, playing with a band called Rock Bottom and the Deadbeats. These three amigos were as talented as they were free and easy spirits, not chasin' a hope or a dream or a plan. This set was a lovely snapshot in time @ 22 May, 1966.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [02:18] 8.8.png The Incredible String Band - Maybe Someday (Mike Heron) Folk
A2 [04:07] 5.8.png The Incredible String Band - October Song (Robin Williamson) Folk
A3 [02:41] 6.3.png The Incredible String Band - When The Music Starts To Play (Mike Heron) Folk
A4 [00:57] 6.1.png The Incredible String Band - Schaeffer’s Jig (Traditional) Folk
A5 [03:44] 6.3.png The Incredible String Band - Womankind (Robin Williamson) Folk
A6 [02:55] 7.5.png The Incredible String Band - The Tree (Mike Heron) Folk
A7 [01:02] 5.4.png The Incredible String Band - Whistle Tune (Traditional) Folk
A8 [02:59] 6.5.png The Incredible String Band - Dandelion Blues (Robin Williamson) Folk
B1 [02:18] 7.0.png The Incredible String Band - How Happy I Am (Mike Heron) Folk
B2 [04:46] 5.2.png The Incredible String Band - Empty Pocket Blues (Clive Palmer) Folk
B3 [03:44] 5.5.png The Incredible String Band - Smoke Shovelling Song (Robin Williamson) Folk
B4 [02:11] 8.9.png The Incredible String Band - Can’t Keep Me Here (Mike Heron) Folk
B5 [03:30] 7.8.png The Incredible String Band - Good As Gone (Robin Williamson) Folk
B6 [03:15] 9.3.png The Incredible String Band - Footsteps Of The Heron (Mike Heron) Folk
B7 [02:08] 5.3.png The Incredible String Band - Niggertown (Traditional) Folk
B8 [02:13] 6.7.png The Incredible String Band - Everything’s Fine Right Now (Mike Heron) Folk

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