Glitter Grass from the Nashwood Hollyville Strings & Permanent Wave
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A CD "two-fer" of immensely enjoyable, if unspectacular, music, Glitter Grass/Permanent Wave combines the best of the short lived collaboration between sibling bluegrass virtuosos, Doug Dillard and Rodney Dillard, and folkie/comedian/TV star, John Hartford. The albums encompass a wide variety of material, from sweet, weepy, straight country ballads, and funky Byrds-like country rock, to protest songs and a hilarious bluegrass-style cover of Stevie Wonder's "Boogie On Reggae Woman." Overall, the albums have an appealingly loose, jammy feeling, sidesteping the over-earnest drippiness that plagues some '70s country-rock. It's easy to hear that everyone involved had a blast making both albums and there's some truly great playing as well. The assembled cast of all-star sidemen includes top-notch bluegrass mandolinist Sam Bush, Nashville steel guitar/dobro legend, Buddy Emmons, Canadian guitar-hero, Amos Garrett, and others. Dillard, Hartford & Dillard are, of course, talented musicians themselves and are exceedingly good at picking challenging and unusual material to put through their zany wringer. Permanent Wave includes, in addition to the aforementioned Stevie Wonder tune, versions of the Coaster's "Yakety Yak," (which combines dobro, banjo, a disco beat and '70s California pop-style female background vocals) and Buddy Holly's "That'll Be the Day" (done funk-reggae style). Although uneven at times, Glitter Grass/Permanent Wave invites the listener to join in the fun and is refreshing in its complete disregard of commercial concerns.
Formed: 1977 in Los Angeles, CA
Years Active: '70s, '80s