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THE BYRDS —LIVE AT THE FILLMORE FEBRUARY 1969 (Floating World)

www.floatingworldrecords.co.uk

 

Whilst The Byrds at the time did not feature the musical presence of Chris Hillman or Gram Parsons or Gene Clark but their music nevertheless turned heads. Rickenbacker 12-string guitar player McGuinn was the lead the vocalist, John York was on drums and the two newest members in Gene Parsons (drums) and vocals plus, the incredible Clarence West electric lead guitar the band was reinventing itself daily. White might have been brought up playing bluegrass in the family band (his brother Roland White played mandolin) but at 25 he already had a legion of followers outside the music. Due to session work (Pat Boone, The Monkees, and earlier releases by The Byrds) and live work on stage (The Kentucky Colonels). It was a sad day when he was taken from us in 1973, for on July 14th aged only 29 he was killed by a drunk driver loading his gear into his car after a gig in Palmdale, California. Here White's playing is enough to blow you away. So diverse he is too as he moves, effortlessly through country, Appalachia and his own style of rock infused music.   

 

The band’s label hadn’t recorded the band before, and didn’t officially do so till a year later. Adding to the intrigue album Live At The Fillmore didn’t gain a release till 2000. Though recorded by Columbia engineers, it wasn't The Byrds that were their focal point back on february 7th and 8th at Bill Graham's Fillmore West but they had come to record an ad-hoc confederation of the Butterfield Blues Band.   

 

Highlights include must hear instrumental “Buckaroo”, “The Christian Life”, “Pretty Boy Floyd” (Parsons on lead vocals) and “Drug Store Truck Drivin’ Man” (the jewel in the crown) plus their epic medley featuring “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is A Season)”, “Mr. Tambourine Man” and a bridged version of “Eight Miles High”. They also make a good fist of two country classics, “Close Up The Honky Tonk” (Red Simpson) and though lacking the soul of composer, Merle Haggard's “Sing Me Back Home” also gains a slot in between Bob Dylan – Rick Danko’s “This Wheels On Fire” and McGuinn’s anthem like co-write with Hillman “So You Want To Be A Rock ‘N’ Roll Star”. Closing it all you have Dylan’s impassioned and ever good to hear “Chimes Of Freedom”. Apart from its value as a piece of Byrds’ history the live collection also serves as a open invitation to check out more from the band plus projects from McGuinn (solo and in other ensembles), White (The Kentucky Colonels) and Gene Parsons. While the set isn't flawless there is a wealth of great music to enjoy. 

 

                                                          Maurice Hope 

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November 2017

1
JW Roy & The Royal Family
80 pts.
A Room Full Of Strangers
Royal Family Records
EM,BH,RST,LK
2
Chris Hillman
79 pts.
Bidin' My Time
Rounder
BP,FS,HD
3
Turnpike Troubadours
46 pts.
Long Away From Your Heart
Bossier City Records
HM,TK
4
Jolie Holland & Samantha Parton
36 pts.
Wildflower Blues
Cinquefoil Records
TJ
5
Eilen Jewell
34 pts.
Down Hearted Blues
Signature Sounds
 
6
Lucinda Williams
31 pts.
This Sweet Old World
Highway 20/Thirty Tigers
BR,MW
7
JD McPherson
29 pts.
Undivided Heart & Soul
New West
JS
8
Mark Martyre
26 pts.
Rivers
Independent
FC
 
Tom Russell
26 pts.
Folk Hotel
Frontera Records-Proper Records
SP
10
Anna Tivel
25 pts.
Small Believer
Fluff And Gravy Records
MG
 
Margo Price
25 pts.
All American Made
Third Man Records
JB
12
Fred Wickham
22 pts.
Mariosa Delta
Thirty Days Records
RK
 
Joe Henry
22 pts.
Thrum
Ear Music
HVB,PJ
 
Whitney Rose
22 pts.
Rule 62
Six Shooter/Thirty Tigers
 
15
Dick LeMasters
18 pts.
Incompatible Things
Longneck Road Music
HDB,JJ
 
Jim White
18 pts.
Waffles, Triangles & Jesus
Loose Music
LM,SZ
 
Peter Gallway
18 pts.
Feels Like Religion
Gallway Bay Music
CVL,DHO
18
Thomm Jutz
17 pts.
Crazy If You Let It
Mountain Fever Records
 
19
Kris Delmhorst
16 pts.
The Wild
Blue Blade Records
 
20
Daniel Crabtree
15 pts.
In The Shadow Of His Wings
Independent
 
 
Jeremy Pinnell
15 pts.
Ties Of Blood And Affection
Sofaburn Records
 
 
Julien Baker
15 pts.
Turn Out The Lights
Matador
EZ
23
Amber Cross
14 pts.
Savage on the Downhill
Independent
 
 
Chris Blevins
14 pts.
Better than Alone
Horton Records
 
 
David Rawlings
14 pts.
Poor David's Almanack
Acony Records
 
 
Grainne Duffy
14 pts.
Where I Belong
Independent
GC,RW
 
Jeff Crosby
14 pts.
Postcards From Magdalena
At The Helm Records

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