Chris Darrow, multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter, country rock pioneer and member of multiple influential bands including the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and The Corvettes who backed up Linda Ronstadt, has passed away according to his representatives. He was 75-years-old. He was a centerpiece of country rock.
Undoubtedly, you could not tell the story of country music in the late 60’s and early 70’s without broaching the political upheaval and countercultural revolution roiling American society at the time. But the time spent on stories that were only proxies to country music bogged this episode down in stretches.
Billy Sherrill, Bob Dylan, Charlie Daniels, Don Chapel, Earl Scruggs, George Jones, Gram Parsons, Johnny Cash, Ken Burns, Kris Kristofferson, Leon Russell, Marty Stuart, Merle Haggard, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Shel Silverstein, Tammy Wynette, The Byrds, Will The Circle Be Unbroken?
Tom Petty and a host of other cool folks have come together to collaborate on Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers alumnus Chris Hillman’s first record in over a decade called ‘Bidin’ My Time.’ The album includes a collection of songs from in and around Chris Hillman’s career, but many that fell through the cracks in one way or another.
When The Byrds played the Opry in 1968, they were heckled from the gallery of the Ryman Auditorium. Today it is a much different story. Pharrell Williams, Kiefer Sutherland, and even Chewbacca Mom have made appearances with not just the approval of the Opry management, but to ovations from the Opry crowd.
Though maybe not as recognizable of a name as many of the artists Gib shared lineups with, including Gene Parsons and Clarence White, his unique approach to music, influenced by his distinctly Cajun flavor and upbringing, made Guibeau seminal to the sound that would become West Coast country rock.
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, TN has announced what will be their next major two-year exhibit to replace the current Bakersfield Sound exhibit in the museum’s largest revolving exhibit space. It will be called Dylan, Cash, & The Nashville Cats, and it will primarily focus on folk songwriting icon Bob Dylan, Country Music Hall of Famer and Legend Johnny Cash, and the “Nashville Cats.”
Ben Keith, Bob Dylan, Buddy Spicher, Charlie Daniels, Charlie McCoy, Country Music Hall of Fame, David Briggs, Fred Carter Jr., Grady Martin, Hargus "Pig" Robbins, Jerry Reed, Johnny Cash, Kenny Buttrey, Lloyd Green, Mac Gayden, Nashville Skyline, Neil Young, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Norbert Putnam, Pete Drake, Simon & Garfunkel, The Byrds, The Johnny Cash Show, The Nashville Cats, Wayne Moss, Weldon Myrick
This initial offering from The Loudermilks finds the band ranging from the bluegrass-inspired and steel guitar-drenched opening number “Watch ‘Em Fall”, to the the nearly straightforward rock styling of “The Plan”, accomplishing all with equal ability to enrapture the audience and appeal to whichever musical leanings the listener happens to carry.
It’s been my contention for years that if genre bending pioneer Beck ever made a straight up country record, it could have a similar effect as when The Byrds, heavily influenced by Gram Parsons, released Sweetheart of the Rodeo, allowing young hip listeners outside of country’s borders to realize the virtues of the genre.”I’m hearing the Byrds, Crosby Stills and Nash, Gram Parsons, Neil Young,” says Beck.
When it comes to the preservation of the history and sound of country music, you can make the case there is nobody who does it better and with more passion and dedication than Marty Stuart. Tireless and true to his convictions, from his music, to his archive of memorabilia, to his presence on television and the Grand Ole Opry stage, and to some of the thankless things he does well out of the public eye…
B-Bender, Badlands Ballads of the Lakota, Brandy Clark, Clarence White, Connie Smith, Corb Lund, Del McCoury, Don Maddox, Gene Parson, Hummingbyrd, Jim Lauderdale, Johnny Cash, Justin Townes Earle, Lester Flatt, Let There Be Country, Marty Stuart, Merle Haggard, Old Crow Medicine Show, Porter Wagoner, Roland White, Stonewall Jackson, Sturgill Simpson, The Byrds, The Grand Ole Opry, The Kentucky Colonels, The Marty Stuart Show
Of all the country music greats, Merle’s story might be the most symbolic of the American experience: from growing up in California as the son of Okie parents during The Depression, to spending time in prison, to becoming a rags to riches story. When it comes to influencing country music itself, few this side of Hank Williams can say they’ve left a bigger footprint.
#1 hits, Bob Wills, cancer, CBS Records, Escaping from jail, Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, Johnny Cash, Me and Crippled Soldiers Give A Damn, Merle Haggard, Pancho & Lefty, Rick Blackburn, San Quentin, The Bakersfield Sound, The Byrds, The Grateful Dead, Willie Nelson
“That night in my house [was] the first time these songs were heard…” Johnny Cash went on. “Joni Mitchell sang ‘Both Sides Now,’ Graham Nash sang ‘Marrakesh Express,’ Shel Silverstein sang ‘A Boy Named Sue,’ Bob Dylan sang ‘Lay Lady Lay,’ and Kristofferson sang ‘Me & Bobby McGee.’ That was the first time any of those songs were heard.”
A Boy Named Sue, Bing Crosby, Bob Dylan, Both Sides Now, Carl Perkins, David Letterman, Duran Duran, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Graham Nash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmie Rodgers, Johnny Cash, Joni Mitchell, Kris Kristofferson, Lay Lady Lay, Marrakesh Express, Me & Bobby McGee, Million Dollar Quartet, Million Dollar Songwriter Circle, Ministry, Nashville Skyline, Shel Silverstein, The Byrds, The Highwaymen, Willie Nelson
A good song can drown all other concerns, and The Highballers deliver one after another on this somewhat quirky but really enjoyable anf fun album. Originating from the unlikely country music locale of Washington DC, The Higballers revive the classic country rock feel in songs that display wit, humor, and at times, heartfelt storytelling, backed by some great country licks and adept composition.
George Strait might have put out an album called Twang, but Ghost Train is the one that delivers it. This album is heavily guitar-driven from the start, turning the twang on the Telecasters to 10 and leaving it loud in the mix. Its the kind of twang that makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck. Then add some Ralph Mooney pedal steel on top and Ghost Train might be the freshest, funnest and truest traditional country album to come out of Nashville in years.
Clarence White, Connie Smith, Dale Watson, George Strait, Ghost Train, Hank III, Johnny Cash, Lester Flatt, Marty Stuart, Merle Haggard, Rainy Day Woman, Ralph Mooney, Studio B, The Byrds, The Quebe Sisters, Waylon Jennings
Say what you want about the man, or even his music, but it is hard to make the case that anybody has been a bigger ambassador for country music than Gram Parsons. Gram Parsons showed millions of non-country fans that country music could be cool. He turned The Rolling Stones into country fans. He discovered […]
This is a dude I probably would not write about under normal circumstances. I think he did have a huge influence on the Outlaw Country movement, but it would be a stretch to call him an Outlaw. But I’ve had numerous requests for a Gram Parsons blog, so here we go. This isn’t gonna be […]
Buck Owens, Chris Hillman, David Allan Coe, Dwight Yoakum, Emmylou Harris, Exile on Main Street, Gram Parsons, Keith Richards, Let It Bleed, Merle Haggard, Mick Jagger, Sticky Fingers, The Byrds, The Eagles, The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Rolling Stones, Tompall Glaser