17 marzo 2013

Hux Records dà veste finalmente ufficiale a un documento dell'Incredible String Band noto da tempo agli estimatori del gruppo: è la registrazione del concerto tenuto da Robin Williamson e Mike Heron a New York al Fillmore East il 5 giugno 1968 a sostegno della radio WBAI, una delle voci più importanti della controcultura statunitense di allora. Il repertorio è quello più classico, e l'esecuzione è vibrante, forte anche del favore del pubblico agli album The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter e Wee Tam & The Big Huge di recente o recentissima stampa all'epoca del concerto. Nel libretto che accompagna il cd c'è qualche nota storica di Williamson, e in una recente intervista - la si legge in  http://tinyurl.com/cqpuxdt - così ricorda Heron: "WBAI is a listener supported radio station in New York. It was very supportive of the String Band and stuck out among the other USA chart based commercial stations with its eclectic play list. As it relied on listener donations to exist it had many fund raising concerts and events. The ISB played quite a few gigs for them but the one at Bill Grahams Filmore East was the biggest. It was a key gig as it came during a tour in 1968 when the material for the first five Elektra albums was available to me and Robin, prior to the arrival of Likky and Rose. So the songs are intimate and performed as a duo".

Listening to this concert and the related 1968 recordings of the ISB, one realizes that Mike Heron and Robin Williamson, although experts at traditional folk song structure, were attempting to free themselves of these musical constraints. This unconventional approach allowed greater depth and exploration in their songs. This aspect of their music is what has continued to reach new fans almost 40 years later.