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Happy Hosting, Happy New Year - Rob Ellen
A founder member of The Byrds, the famed 12-string Rickenbacker guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Roger McGuinn’s second solo album Peace On You (1974) enjoys a welcome reissue.
The recording is produced by Bill Halverson and very much in keeping of the country rock age of its existence, and it has a string of fine players assists him. Plus Jacques Levy joins him on songwriting duties, and for one track “Rock And Roll Time” you have Kris Kristofferson and Bob Neuwirth join McGuinn. As for players the list includes Al Kooper, Howard Kaylan, Mark Volman, Russ Kunkell, Lee Sklar, Donnie Dacus, Al Perkins and Dan Fogelberg, but in all honesty the sound or songs in general fail to ignite any real passion. I feel all too many albums of a country rock were made after the era had passed, and the best of the music taken flyte.
“Peace On You” is a Charlie Rich song (an interesting, inspired choice), and McGuinn comes through with a good, solid version. His vocals are keen, just how I like them. Among the best offerings you have “Same Old Sound”, complete with a little jangling guitar it has a warm feel. Plus of course you have McGuinn’s (w/ Levy) excellent ballad that speaks of the old folk days (pre-Byrds) “Gate Of Horn”. It would be the best track on many an album. You also have Fogelberg’s “Better Change” and jangling ode “The Lady”, another fine track from McGuinn and Levy. Otherwise Peace On You is for few other than the Roger McGuinn / Byrds faithful.
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