The Incredible String Band was a psychedelic folk band from Scotland who blended traditional instruments, poetry, and performance art. It doesn’t get much more hippie than that. Unfortunately Woodstock didn’t work out too well for them.
The band refused to go on Friday night due to the rain, so instead of playing with the folk line up they were jammed between the much heavier Keef Hartley and Canned Heat early Saturday evening.
Their set is considered by many to be the low point of the festival, but who knows. What seems certain, however, is that it was an off night for the band, and the most famous concert ever is the wrong time to have an off night.
ISB stayed together until 1974 and then reunited for another run from 1999 to 2006. Now and then you’ll see them listed as an influence, most notably by Robert Plant.
Here’s The Incredible String Band’s Woodstock set list and where you can find official versions of some of the tracks:
- Invocation (Spoken Word) (Youtube)
- The Letter (Woodstock 40 (CD))
- Gather ‘Round
- This Moment (Youtube)
- Come With Me
- When You Find Out Who You Are (Woodstock Diary 1969 (DVD))
Your official Woodstock soundtrack song count to date: 56
Update: On August 2, 2019, Rhino Records released Woodstock – Back to the Garden: The Definitive 50th Anniversary Archive and changed the game forever. With exception to two Hendrix tracks and one Sha Na Na cut, the massive box set contains complete sets from every Woodstock artist—even those long believed lost or never recorded.
Here is the Incredible String Band‘s set as it appears on the Back to the Garden archive, including announcements, etc.:
1. Chip Monck – “Puppet theatre will be going on at the Hog Farm at 6:15”
3. THE LETTER
4. Chip Monck – “Please excuse this interruption”
5. GATHER ‘ROUND
6. Robin Williamson – “It makes me fantastically happy”
7. THIS MOMENT
8. COME WITH ME
9. Robin Williamson – “I just want to acknowledge all the requests”
10. WHEN YOU FIND OUT WHO YOU ARE
11. Chip Monck – “Could we please have the driver of Sly’s truck, please?”
12. Hugh Romney – “I don’t think there’s such a thing as a bum trip”
13. Chip Monck – “Let’s see if we can get some semblance of order going”