twosome charted honest-to-Hank country hits as part of The Desert Rose Band,
mandolinist/vocalist Chris Hillman (The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers)
played a far more significant role in country music as a co-architect of the late
country-rock sound. This intimate live set primarily offers an overview of
Hillman’s 40-plus-year career, with longtime compadre Herb Pedersen offering
indispensible instrumental and vocal support.
vintage songs down to their acoustic essence demonstrates the similarities
between these low-key versions and the “rock” prototypes – essentially forward-thinking
country songs – that were bravely presented to hippie-era audiences. Hillman
never really rode on his peers’ amped-up rock ‘n’ roll route, which helps
account for the graceful greying of his country-anchored work. This fact,
coupled with the gospel-themed slant noticeable in this set, suggests – as
Hillman himself intones on a rustic rendition of his 1966 Byrds #1 hit, the
Scripture-based “Turn! Turn! Turn!” – to everything there is indeed a season.
DOWNLOAD: “Turn! Turn! Turn!,” “Wheels,” “Desert
Rose” STEVE MORLEY