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Incredible String Band To Tour U.S.

Experimental '60s folk pioneers the Incredible String Band will tour the U.S. for the first time in over 30 years. The 22-date trek across the country will begin Sept. 23 at the Iron Horse in Northampton, Mass. Led by founding members, guitarist Mike Heron and banjoist Clive Palmer, the legendary outfit will wind down the East Coast and stop in at Atlanta's Echo Lounge Sept. 29 before playing a string of dates up the West Coast, including a stop at Portland, Ore.'s Berbati’s Pan on Oct. 11, then hitting the Midwest and closing the tour Oct. 26 at the Dionysus Club in Oberlin, Ohio.  

ISB have opted to tour as a three-piece to provide for a more intimate, acoustic set and, according to their official site, ease the financial constraints of touring with additional members. Heron and Clive will be joined by well-regarded Welsh keyboardist Lawson Dando for their U.S. tour, which will be followed by a UK tour running from Nov. 3 to Nov. 15.

ISB recently sifted through their back catalog, pulling songs from their first six albums — regarded by aficionados as their best — and rerecording them live in the studio for a new release titled Nebulous Nearnesses, which will be released by Amoeba Recordings this month.

Praised and cited as a major influence by many of the young artists that make up today's alt-folk scene — including Devendra Banhart and Joanna Newsom — the Scottish collective, which also included Robin Williamson, created an inventive mix of Celtic folk, bluegrass and progressive rock from 1965 to 1974, making a name for themselves on the British charts alongside such legends as the Rolling Stones, The Beatles and Led Zeppelin.

The group's albums included 1966's The Incredible String Band, 1967's The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion and 1968's The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter.

Often heralded for their unique approach to live performances, which consistently boasted new, unreleased material, ISB engaged audiences with their eclectic material, which included Middle Eastern and East Indian sounds. The reformed group is expected to continue in this tradition, playing improvised versions of such mesmerizing classics as  "Chinese White," "Ducks on a Pond" and "A Very Cellular Song."

In other ISB news, Palmer is releasing a new solo album, All Roads Lead to Land (Communion Records), on  Oct. 12. — Jenny Tatone [Friday, September 3, 2004]

Incredible String Band U.S. Tour dates

Sept. 23; Northampton, Mass.; Iron Horse
Sept. 24; Brooklyn, N.Y.; The Hook
Sept. 25; New York, N.Y.; Joe's Pub, 2 shows
Sept. 26; Philadelphia, Pa.; North Star
Sept. 27; Alexandria, Va.; Birchmere
Sept. 28; Winston-Salem, N.C.; The Werehouse
Sept. 29; Atlanta, Ga.; Echo Lounge
Oct. 5; Tucson, Ariz.; Solar Culture Gallery
Oct. 7; San Diego, Calif.; Canes & Grill   
Oct. 8; Los Angeles, Calif.; McCabe's
Oct. 9; San Francisco, Calif.; Noe Valley Ministry
Oct. 11; Portland, Ore.; Berbati's Pan
Oct. 12; Seattle, Wash.; The Triple Door /Chop Suey
Oct. 16;  Denver, Colo.; Larimer Lounge, outside show!
Oct. 17; Iowa City, Iowa; Gabe's Oasis
Oct. 18; Columbia, Mo.; The Blue Note
Oct. 19; Bloomington, Ind.; Bluebird
Oct. 20; Chicago, Ill.; Logan
Oct. 21; Columbus, Ohio; Wexner Center for the Arts
Oct. 22; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Andy Warhol Museum Theater
Oct. 23; Cleveland, Ohio; Grog Shop
Oct. 26; Oberlin, Ohio; Dionysus Club at Oberlin College

UK Tour dates

Nov. 3; Inverness; Hootenanny
Nov. 4; Strathpeffer; Spa Pavilion
Nov. 5; Stirling; Tolbooth
Nov. 6; Peebles; Eastgate Art Centre
Nov. 7; Manchester; Life Café
Nov. 8; Nottingham; Rescue Rooms
Nov. 9; Brighton; Komedia
Nov. 10; Cambridge; Junction
Nov. 11; Glastonbury; Assembly Room
Nov. 12; Cardigan; Theatr Mwldan
Nov. 13; Hebden Bridge; Picture House
Nov. 14; Dudley; Robin 2
Nov. 15; Wrexham; Central Station

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