David Cousins who was hailed,"the most talented Dylan influenced songwriter to come out of England," by the influential All Music Guide, still leads the group. Strawbs often are mentioned in the same breath as progressive rockers like Yes, The Moody Blues, and Renaissance. In fact, Rick Wakeman left Strawbs to join Yes, and Wakeman's son Oliver, who has replaced his father in Yes, played with the most recent electric version of Strawbs!
Beyond progressive rock, Strawbs brought another key component to their complex and intricate songs. Initially they fell in with the British Folk movement of the mid-'60s, starting life as the Strawberry Hill Boys and playing bluegrass. Even so, frontman Cousins maintains,"I've never sung a folk song in my life!"
Moving more into the mainstream, the Strawbs joined forces with Sandy Denny. They recorded their first album with her for a Danish label. While she left them soon afterwards to join the seminal Fairport Convention, this record brought them to the attention of A&M records, which promptly signed them. The Strawbs were the first English band on the A&M roster.
On the strength of albums like Grave New World, Bursting at the Seams, Hero and Heroine, and Ghosts, and songs like"Benedictus,""Lay Down," and"A Glimpse of Heaven," Strawbs has retained a devoted following, a fan base that continues to grow.