At Edwards Barn
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While he's been a member of two of the most influential American rock bands of the 1960s, the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers, and enjoyed significant success on the country charts in the '80s with the Desert Rose Band, at heart Chris Hillman is a sideman; he's a great musician and capable songwriter who is more interested in serving the song than serving his ego, and to his credit his best solo albums sound like the work of a well-polished ensemble rather than a star who has built a band around himself. Hillman may take the lead vocals, play some fine mandolin solos, and provide a bit of star power on this album, but it's significant that on At Edwards Barn he shares top billing with guitarist Herb Pedersen, a longtime friend and collaborator of Hillman with an impressive résumé as a studio musician and former member of the Dillards and the Desert Rose Band. It's also telling that this live album was indeed recorded in a barn in Nipono, CA during a concert staged as a benefit for a local church; there's a warm and casual feeling to this music and the interaction with the audience, though the playing is never less than expert and the arrangements are precise and span the various stages of Hillman's career with skill. Hillman and Pedersen are joined by three expert musicians who they've worked with before, guitarist Larry Park, fiddler David Mansfield, and bassist Bill Bryson, and the ensemble plays with the light touch and emotional gravity of a top-notch bluegrass ensemble, even when tackling such Byrds classics as "Eight Miles High" and "Have You Seen Her Face." The attitude of At Edwards Barn is genuinely modest, but the beauty of the music is not; Hillman, Pedersen, and their cohorts tackle their back catalog with enthusiasm and estimable skill, and this is as quietly satisfying as anything Hillman has put his name to since the end of the Desert Rose Band.
Born: December 4, 1944 in Los Angeles, CA
Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s
Top Albums and Songs By Chris Hillman
||Eight Miles High||At Edwards Barn||4:38||$1.29||View In iTunes|
||High Fashion Queen||Return of the Grievous Angel - A Tribute to Gram Parsons||3:06||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Slippin' Away||Slippin Away||3:27||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Wait a Minute||At Edwards Barn||5:09||$1.29||View In iTunes|
||Create In Me a Clean Heart||Long Play Country Gospel||3:33||$1.29||View In iTunes|
||Step On Out||Slippin Away||3:15||$0.69||View In iTunes|
||Turn Turn Turn (To Everything There Is a Season)||At Edwards Barn||3:33||$1.29||View In iTunes|
||(Take Me In Your) Lifeboat||Slippin Away||2:45||$0.69||View In iTunes|
||If I Could Only Win Your Love||At Edwards Barn||3:11||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Falling Again||Slippin Away||4:04||$0.69||View In iTunes|