STRAWBS - SETTLEMENT, 2021
Release date: 26 Feb 2021
Reviews page - Dick Greener preview - to follow.
This album is being released both on 180gm vinyl and on CD (the CD release has three extra tracks). Preview review to follow.
Esoteric Records press release
Settlement is the latest album produced by Strawbs, more than 50 years on from the band's first major label release. The album comes at a time of political and social upheaval, which the lyrics and melodies of the songs reflect. Undeterred by the fact that "business as usual" was not possible because of the global COVID-19 pandemic - working remote from one another, from their own home studios - Settlement is a remarkable achievement.
David Cousins, leader of the Strawbs says: "Settlement is something extraordinary. I can’t think of another band who can go from metal grunge to the lilt of an Irish ghost story - or from a song in 6/8 time to singing in 4/4 over a 5/4 backbeat - in half an hour." He goes on to say: "The lyrics reflect the times we have been living through: 'Once we went dancing through quicksilver days', or 'What the autocrats are selling you is Sturm und Drang', or 'All bear witness, come together, we are everyone'. I'm immensely proud of what we’ve achieved.”
Settlement is produced by Blue Weaver who played with Strawbs and Bee Gees in their 1970s heydays. The recording was coordinated from Blue's studio in Germany, where he now lives. Strawbs are David Cousins, Dave Lambert, Chas Cronk, Dave Bainbridge, and Tony Fernandez who last played together at Strawbs' 50th Anniversary Weekend in Lakewood, New Jersey in April 2019.
Strawbs' guests on Settlement are John Ford, another former member of Strawbs, who lives in New York, Cathryn Craig, with her lovely voice and unmistakable Southern lilt, who lives in Northern Ireland, and bass player Schalk Joubert, with whom David Cousins performed in South Africa at the beginning of the year.
Blue Weaver sums it up: "Strawbs dusted off their instruments and set up the necessary technology to make it happen - ranging from state-of-the-art recording equipment to an ironing board! It is unprecedented that a recording of this quality could be made without a single face to face meeting. There comes a time when every Settlement is due!"
Dave Cousins (vocals, ac gtr)
Dave Lambert (vocals, el gtr)
Chas Cronk (bass, pedals, 12-string, vocals)
Dave Bainbridge (keyboards, guitars, bouzouki, mandolin)
Tony Fernandez (drums, percussion)
John Ford (vocals, gtr)
Cathryn Craig (vocals)
Shalk Joubert (bs)
VINYL SIDE A
- Settlement (Cousins)
- Strange Times (Cousins)
- Judgement Day (Cousins)
- Each Manner of Man (Cousins/Ford)
VINYL SIDE B
- The Visit (Lambert)
- Flying Free (Lambert)
- Quicksilver Days (Cousins)
- We Are Everyone (Cousins/Cronk)
- Chorale (Cronk)
OFF THE BEATEN TRACKS (CD ONLY)
- Champion Jack (Cousins/Bainbridge)
- Better Days (Cousins)
- Liberty (Cronk)