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Emerging during a rich period in British music, the Strawbs cut a niche that stood in contrast to progressive Brit-rockers of the day -- the Moody Blues and King Crimson among them. As the '60s faded in the rearview mirror, the band made folk and bluegrass music, as opposed to the classical stylings favored by their peers, a leaping-off point.

Eventually, the Strawbs would come to represent a strain of progressive folk music that forged a worldwide cult audience. Like Fairport Convention, the band blended a reverence for traditional folk music with an ear to the contemporary ground, and the result was an always-interesting hybrid of blues-based modern rock forms and songs and melodies that had been around for hundreds of years.

Though popularity began to fade soon after keyboardist Rick Wakeman split the ranks to join Yes, the Strawbs regrouped for the 1983 Cambridge Folk Festival and have been at it ever since.

Next Friday, the Strawbs bring an acoustic revue to the Tralf, 622 Main St. The show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are priced at $22 advance, $24.50 day (box office, Ticketmaster).

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