The Strawberry Hill Boys began playing music that was acoustic-driven, a merging of British folk and bluegrass with a hint of rock. At one point, the group featured Sandy Denny, who eventually became the lynchpin of early Fairport Convention.
Changing its name to the Strawbs, the group turned electric, featured Rick Wakeman (later of Yes) on piano and organ, and veered into progressive rock. At times compared with Moody Blues, King Crimson and Pink Floyd, earned UK hits with “Lay Down” and “Part of the Union,” and garnered accolades on this side of the pond for “Down By The Sea.”
When the Strawbs — David Cousins, Dave Lambert and Chas Cronk — perform Friday, Sept. 30 at Phoenix’s Celebrity Theatre with The Zombies (get tickets here), the group will have come full circle by returning to an acoustic setting.
The group is celebrating its 40th anniversary and recently released Acoustic Gold featuring reworked classics like “Grace Darling,” “A Glimpse of Heaven” and “Ghosts.” Though now performed acoustically, these songs still carry the strength and power of the original “big” Strawbs sound.
Showtime is 8 p.m., doors at 7. —Glenn BurnSilver