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Loose Salute

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Once his years as a TV Monkee were behind him, Michael Nesmith fully emerged as a gifted singer/songwriter with a distinctive country-rock bent. 1971's Loose Salute was one of his best-realized efforts. Recorded with his First National Band, the album lets Nesmith roam across a Western sonic landscape without forgetting his pop-rock impulses. Except for a lovingly rendered cover of Patsy Cline's "I Fall to Pieces," the tracks feature Nesmith's own lyrical wit and flair for finely-contoured melodies. "Silver Moon" simmers with Caribbean seasoning, "Dedicated Friend" rocks with propulsive energy, "Tengo Amore" basks in sultry Spanish tones, and "Lady of the Valley" glows with gentle romance. Nesmith even reinvents his Monkees favorite "Listen to the Band" as a countrified showpiece. Among his bandmates, Red Rhodes especially shines on pedal steel guitar. Filled with unexpected musical twists and rendered with a winning sincerity, Loose Salute is a neglected country-rock classic.


Born: December 30, 1942 in Houston, TX

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The comparatively level-headed member of '60s teen sensation the Monkees, Michael Nesmith was the most proficient instrumentalist in the group and wrote their best in-house songs, rootsy pop numbers like "Papa Gene's Blues," "You Told Me," "You Just May Be the One," and "Tapioca Tundra." In fact, he had written many songs before even joining the group, and one of his compositions, "Different Drum," was a hit for Linda Ronstadt and the Stone Poneys in 1968. After he left the Monkees one year later,...
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