What is a hippie band exactly?
These days it seems like all the real hipster bands are what we used to call "hippie" bands--with long hair, scraggly outfits, meandering melodies, and good vibes.
But the Incredible String Band were the real thing. Begat by two Scottish eccentrics, Mike Heron and Robin Williamson, this group made up a string band that was indeed incredible. Between them, they played sitar, hammond organ, dulcimer, all kinds of musical exotica, as well as the standard guitar, bass, and drums.
Their voices hum and slide through melodic shifts and bends that often seem entangled and then suddenly coalesce into primordial awe. The topics of their music range from witches to the daughters of fire kings. It is music steeped in mythology and ritual and community.
The great rock music writer Lillian Roxon in her sacred Rock Encyclopedia said it best: "It's a hundred acts for the price of one. There is something occult and mysterious and unexplained about the Incredible String Band, as if it were conjured out of nowhere with a magic spell--and perhaps it was."
Pictured here is the best guide about these great creative souls, which will help weave you through their complex recorded works.
I love this band!