Initially originating as a bluegrass band from Twickenham in West London, Strawbs went on a remarkable journey that took them to mainstream rock credibility as a progressive band who flirted with glam rock and at one point included keyboard maestro Rick Wakeman. Yet they are probably best known for the slightly controversial hit single "Part of the Union" – based on an old Woody Guthrie song – which divided opinion between those who considered it pro-union and those who thought it union bashing. It was mostly written and performed by Richard Hudson and John Ford, although the band's founder, leader and mainstay has always been Dave Cousins, who originally founded them as the Strawberry Hill Boys (named after an area of Twickenham). As Cousins developed as a songwriter, they evolved into the Strawbs and briefly included Sandy Denny as lead singer (featuring on one album with them). Having built a following on the folk scene, they adopted a more grandiose, progressive rock style with the addition of Rick Wakeman on keyboards for the breakthrough albums Just a Collection Of Antiques and Curios and From the Witchwood, before he left to be replaced by Blue Weaver. They subsequently adopted a rockier stance and the influence of Richard Hudson and John Ford gave them a more commercial pop edge, though the pair split soon after the success of "Part of the Union" to work as a duo and the two Daves (Cousins and Lambert) rebuilt the band with two more hit albums Hero & Heroine and Ghosts. They split in 1980 when Dave Cousins decided to concentrate on a radio career, but subsequently reunited sporadically, sometimes with an acoustic line-up and sometimes with a full electric band. 1987 saw the release of the band's thirteenth studio album Don't Say Goodbye and two more LPs—1991's Ringing Down the Years and 1995's Heartbreak Hill—before some of their best career moments to date came together for a 1993 retrospective concert album Greatest Hits Live! They continued to release albums and perform live together during the 1990s with the original lineup from the mid-1970s getting back together in 2008 to record their 17th studio album, The Broken Hearted Bride. A smattering of other albums surfaced throughout the 2000s, including 2009's Dancing to the Devil's Beat, with 2017 LP The Ferryman's Curse marking their first studio record of original material in eight years. Settlement followed in 2021 and The Magic Of It All in 2023, created to soundtrack a new documentary about the band produced by South African filmmaker, Niel van Deventer.