Songs from the Wood marks Jethro Tull‘s 12th vinyl outing, but it is a first in several ways. For the first time, for example, Ian Anderson’s cohorts chime in on the vocals. And the album introduces a new Tull member: keyboardist David Palmer, who has orchestrated the group’s LPs from the beginning.
Though the music also indicates much change, it won’t surprise those who know of the band’s early work. The songs are rustic, almost Elizabethan, and lean heavily toward the English folk style from which Tull had been drifting. Expect prominently mixed lutes and mandolins, lots of delightful four-part harmonies, and strong lyrics about country maidens, village greens, and the like. Anderson and company may be “too old to rock and roll,” but their music is alive and well.