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Author Topic: Rice, Rice, Hillman & Pedersen  (Read 1412 times)
12barBill
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« on: December 06, 2004, 07:13:17 PM »

I was looking through my CD collection on Friday for something to listen to on my upcoming weekend trip to see my girlfriend in Surfside Beach,SC. It's a three hour drive (long distance relationship, going well thank you, over five years) so that is my "music listening time." I usually pull something out that I haven't listened to in a while and get familiar with it again.

This time I grabbed "Out Of The Woodwork." It's a project that Tony Rice, Larry Rice, Chris Hillman, and Herb Pedersen worked up in 1996. The music kind of walks the line between traditional bluegrass and "newgrass", but it's basically traditional. I had forgotten just how good this album is. These guys can play, and play tight.

Guitars - Tony Rice, Chris Hillman
Mandolin - Larry Rice
Banjo - Herb Pedersen
Bass - Ronnie Simpkins
Fiddle - Rickie Simpkins
Dobro - Jerry Douglas, Mike Auldridge
Piano - Danny Crawford (on a few numbers)

The last paragraph of the liner notes reads :

The result sounds like what it is: a reunion of old friends, what Hillman proudly calls "organized looseness." They take turns backing one another on original songs and favorite covers. Their legendary love of genre-bending is evident on a gorgeous blue version of the Aretha Franklin hit "Do Right Woman" and a whisper-pretty cover of Richard Thompson's "Dimming of the Day." One can almost imagine them, backstage at the Ice House in September, 1963, playing one song, then being quiet for a moment to let it settle. A few cleared throats, tuning strings and eyes glancing around the room, before Tony says, "You got one, Chris?".....Oh, there is one difference: they are a WHOLE lot better now.

I listened to it twice going down, twice coming home, and still listening today. Tony Rice can "smoke it". He can flat pick at the speed of light and yet, simultaneously, with a smoothness that flows at the speed of honey.

Isn't it fun when you rediscover something that you almost forgot you had, and remember how much you love it.
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dbirchett
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« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2004, 07:33:45 PM »

Herb Pedersen is one of the truly unsung heroes of music. He is largely responsible for the rise to "prominence" of the Dillards in the late '60s, has been involved in recordings with the Byrds and Buffalo Springfield (and a host of others), has engaged in a host of projects with Chris Hillman including the Desert Rose Band.

He also was a part of the early Flying Burrito Brothers (find their first 2 CDs for some outstanding bluegrass with Byron Berline, Herb, Al Munde and Clarence White sitting in on several) and arranged vocals for the Trio (Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton).

Don't know why I haven't ever picked up anything by RRHP but will rectify that one of these days. I wonder what would have happened if he had become a member of the Byrds instead of Gram Parsons. Let's see, a lineup of McGuinn, Clarence White, Hillman and Pedersen with Gene Parsons on Drums? Would have been something!
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Don

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12barBill
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« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2004, 08:20:17 PM »

Hey Don,

I'm glad to see someone knows who these people are. I've also got some Desert Rose Band stuff and a couple CDs by Herb Pedersen's band, the Laurel Canyon Ramblers.

These guys were the founders/originators of "country rock." The latter days of the Byrds, when Chris Hillman and Gram Parsons were there, and then later when these same guys were doing the Flying Burrito Brothers band. They changed the folk music scene into something that was brand new at the time - "country rock."

The Flying Burrito Brothers did some great stuff, plowed some new ground. It's a shame that most of the stuff they recorded was done with some pretty bad recording quality.

I was a big country rock fan in the 70's. Pure Prairie League and such. Still am. That's what led me into all the early Jimmy Buffett stuff.

You are right about Herb Pedersen and Chris Hillman. It's a shame we lost Gram Parsons so young. Lester Flatt once hired Pedersen to replace Earl Scruggs when Scruggs was in the hospital. Pedersen was one of the preeminent session banjo players of the 70's. That's him playing banjo on "The Rockford Files."  
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orsino
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« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2004, 09:12:27 PM »

The house that Gram Parsons grew up in is about a block from my house. Not that it means anything....

Yes, I was a big country rock fan as well. Firefall was another one I liked although they got pretty schmaltzy.

Was it PPL that did "I'll fix your flat tire Merle". That song enters my head from time to time.

Oh and J.D. Souther's Black Rose was a very overlooked album.
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12barBill
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« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2004, 09:21:45 PM »

Yes Tom, that was PPL that did that song - on the "Two Lane Highway" album.

I'll fix your flat tire merle
don't you get your sweet country pickin' fingers
all covered with oil
Well you're a honky I know
but Merle you got soul
So I'll fix your flat tire Merle.  
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orsino
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« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2004, 11:42:00 PM »

LOL...yeah Bill..and wasn't there something like........

We heard you been makin' fun of us long haired boys,
But we don't care what you think
then something about..........
it's better with a joint than with a drink, I think?
 
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12barBill
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2004, 01:37:40 PM »

Tom, you got it.
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naboz
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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2004, 01:48:38 PM »

Kind-of aside (way off the side!) from the prairie pickers, but on the note of something one has overlooked for a while;
I was doing my Christmas rush of pottery production, and opened my case to have Santana's Abraxas jump out at me.  I hadnt listened to it in a few months.  Man, it is still on my All Time 10 Best List; that "album" just jams (passion, fire, finesse)--start to finish!
p.s. I also find myself putting in PPL often.
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orsino
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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2004, 04:44:21 PM »

I still get a little weepy every time I hear Samba Pa Ti
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tubeornot2b
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« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2004, 05:32:09 PM »

How about Poco, another of the early country rock bands. I was hooked by Rusty Young's amazing pedal steel work.

Speaking of Tony Rice, Have you heard the new CD he and Peter Rowan just released? I just picked it up and will check it out later this afternoon.  
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rdamato
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« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2004, 08:57:32 PM »

Poco is one of my all time faves. Aside from the obvious in Tim Schmitt, Jim Messina's Telecaster work and Richie Furay's vocals on those early albums are amazing. I'm still convinced that if they were to have stayed together in their original form, well let's just say the Eagles would have been an opening act for a long time. Poco was truly a country rock band.
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Randy_R
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« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2004, 09:07:21 PM »

Quote
Poco is one of my all time faves. Aside from the obvious in Tim Schmitt, Jim Messina's Telecaster work and Richie Furay's vocals on those early albums are amazing. I'm still convinced that if they were to have stayed together in their original form, well let's just say the Eagles would have been an opening act for a long time. Poco was truly a country rock band.
Or take the roots all the way back to The Buffalo Springfield.

Not exactly country rock, but what talent in one group.



 
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Randy R., Georgia, USA
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