The Incredible String Band were a prolific early progressive
folk band whose various members mostly went on to
successful music careers after the band's demise, but who
remain a continuing influence on progressive music artists
The roots of the band are found in acoustic folk/bluegrass
duo Robin Williamson (guitar, vocals) and Clive Palmer
(banjo) who began performing together in the Edinburgh,
Scotland area in 1963.
The duo added multi-instrumental folk musician Mike Heron
and took the name INCREDIBLE STRING BAND after being discovered by legendary producer Joe Boyd in 1965.
The resulting group was signed by Boyd to Elektra Records
in 1966 and released a critically acclaimed studio debut.
But when Palmer left the band for an extended journey
to Afghanistan and later India, the two remaining members disbanded.
They would reform a year later as a duo with Williamson
adding several exotic new sounds such as oud, gimbri and
tamboura as a result of his own eastern travels (in Morocco).
This became the core of a group that, along with Williamson's
girlfriend Licorice McKechnie, guest artists and the occasional
short-term member would prove quite prolific and successful.
The band released a dozen albums beginning on 1967 and
toured extensively to increasingly large crowds.
The band's reputation was enhanced during these years thanks
to strong endorsements by musical icons such as BOB DYLAN,
PAUL MCCARTNEY and ROBERT PLANT (who once claimed
LED ZEPPELIN learnt their craft from listening to an ISB album),
as well as by covers of their music by JUDY COLLINS and
MANFRED MANN among others.
In the end the changing times as well as the band members'
varied spiritual forays led to their demise following a concert
tribute to the late Scientology guru L. Ron Hubbard in 1974.
Williamson and Heron would get together again for a show
in 1997, which led to a brief reunion of the original band
(including original founder Palmer) and joined by some family
TONY JOE WHITE
Tony Joe White (born July 23, 1943, Oak Grove, Louisiana) is
an American singer-songwriter and guitarist, best known for
his 1969 hit "Polk Salad Annie"
and for "Rainy Night in Georgia", which he wrote but was first
made popular by Brook Benton in 1970.
He also wrote "Steamy Windows" and
"Undercover Agent for the Blues" both big hits for
Tina Turner in 1989; those two songs came by way of
Turner's producer at the time, Mark Knopfler, who is a friend
"Polk Salad Annie" was also recorded by Elvis Presley and
In 1973, White appeared in the film "Catch My Soul", a
rock-opera adaption of Shakespeare's Othello.
White played and sang four and composed seven songs
for the musical.
In late September 1973, White was recruited by record
producer Huey Meaux to sit in on the legendary Memphis
sessions that became Jerry Lee Lewis's landmark
Southern Roots album.
By all accounts, these sessions were a three-day,
which not only reunited the original MGs (Steve Cropper,
Donald "Duck" Dunn and Al Jackson, Jr. of Booker T. and
the MGs fame) for the first time in three years, but also
featured Carl Perkins, Mark Lindsay
(of Paul Revere & the Raiders), and Wayne Jackson
plus The Memphis Horns.
released September 7, 1973
THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND are:
drums, vocals, flute
Malcolm Le Maistre
vocals, percussion, mandoline, bass
guitar, organ, violin, percussion, flute
piano, organ, sitar, vocals, bass, flute
TONY JOE WHITE is:
Tony Joe White
vocals, harmonica acoustic and electric guitars