The Strawbs always seemed to be stuck in a netherworld between rock and folk, never totally neglected, yet never fully recognised for their talent and determination to build their own road. 'From The Witchwood' is a little gem that deserves more attention. Rick Wakeman's keyboard playing, mostly organ, is the icing on the cake rather than the whole deal. You can understand, listening to this album, why he left for a band that would impose no boundaries on him. Here, he gives glimpses of what was to come, but while he has flourishes throughout, he is more of a team player. This is just as well, because the quality of the material demands it.
It is mostly gentle acoustic music, featuring a wide array of stringed instruments, including a sitar on 'Thirty Days,' bolstered by some solid drumming and Wakeman's colour. 'Sheep' is the one overtly rock-oriented song, whereas the melodic 'In Amongst The Roses' goes to the opposite extreme. The songs contain some engaging tales and the choral-style backing vocals on 'A Glimpse Of Heaven' typify the warmth The Strawbs exude. Not an instant album, but a highly satisfying one in the long run.