Country Rock
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Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

 

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Country Rock

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Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

Country Rock  

There is a wide range of artists in the country rock genre. Some artists such as The Flying Burrito Brothers, and Poco straight country rock. Others artists like The Eagles started there and grew into other areas. Then there are artists like Neil Young and Bob Dylan that a journey to this genre for a project or two, in Neil Young's case many stops. Then there are some southern rock bands that have some country in them; Marshall Tucker, The Outlaws, and Charlie Daniels are some of the bigger bands with great music in that genre, with bands like the Allman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd just nibbling there. Similarly, there are others bands like Loggins and Messina and CSN that do not have a complete album of country rock, but have some songs with those influences. Even bands like the Grateful Dead ventured there. Some of the artists have a folk roots as you can hear in Linda Ronstadt's country laden early music. One of the overriding characteristics of country rock is the pedal steel guitar, not all of the band use it, but a good number do.  

And then there's Gram Parsons, our favorite on this page, and his partner, Emmylou Harris.

Below is some of the best country rock music. We have some more to add so stop back. 

Allman Brothers Band
The Byrds
Charlie Daniels
CSN
Bob Dylan
The Eagles
Flying Burrito Brothers
David Grisman
Grateful Dead
Emmylou Harris
Loggins and Messina
Lynyrd Skynyrd
Marshall Tucker 
Rick Nelson
New Riders of the Purple Sage
The Outlaws
Gram Parsons
Poco
Pure Prairie League
Linda Ronstadt
The Souther Hillman Furay Band
James Taylor
Clarence White
Dwight Yoakam
Neil Young

Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

Allman Brothers Band

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Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

Brothers and Sisters is the Allman Brothers most popular release. In fact, it topped the charts and remained there for five weeks. It includes their hit “Ramblin’ Man” that made it to #2 on the charts, and their most enduring instrumental “Jessica.”  

In my opinion, this CD has the most welcoming sound the Allman Brothers ever recorded. It is also unique in that it had only one guitarist, but two keyboardist; this didn’t detract as Chuck Leavell fit in perfectly. 

Along this theme, you may enjoy some of the Dickey Betts solo material with The Great Southern. A sampling is included on the box set Dreams.

Additional Allman Brothers Band content

Brothers and Sisters
Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

The Byrds

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Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

Sweetheart of the Rodeo brings Gram Parsons into The Byrds and they did an excellent job of incorporating his strengths into their music, his only album with The Byrds. This album is very strong  that still gets praise as I write this 38 years after its 1968 release. Besides the strong vocals, there is superb musicianship. 

Due to contract disputes, several of Parsons vocals were removed and replaced by Roger McGuinn's; "You Don't Miss Your Water," "Christian Life," and One Hundred Years From Now." If you count these songs as Parsons contributions, using lead vocals as the benchmark, then it breaks down from the eleven tracks on the original album; Gram six, Roger three (all covers), and  Hillman two. Clearly Parsons had a dominating influence as he joined up with a very commercially successful band. I know this is a Byrds release, but this has Parsons footprints, and it's more like they are his backing band. 

There are a few re-issues of this album, the two most common are linked up below. Both have lots of bonus tracks, including the Parsons sung tracks. I'm a big Parsons fan and much prefer those versions. Neither of the re-issues placed the Parsons tracks within the original album. Therefore, for maximum enjoyment one needs to reorder the songs and replace the McGuinn vocal tracks with the Parsons versions, highly recommended. 

What edition is better? The 1997 edition misses the Parsons sung, "You Don't Miss Your Water." Other than that, most of the other differences is that the double disc Legacy edition includes Parsons early band, The International Submarine Band, which is only OK, and then working demos, outtakes, and rehearsal versions. Personally, I like this section quite a bit. The listener hears, band chatter, different riffs and solos, and other delights, notably Clarence White guitar parts, and Lloyd Green's steel guitar. The two takes of the instrumental "All I Have Are Memories" are great examples of this. For the rest of the material Parsons sings most of the tracks and if you're like me, it isn't possible to have to much of Gram's vocals. I probably enjoy the rehearsal material at least as much as the original album versions. In some ways it is like hearing Parsons touring band from '73, The Falling Angels in the sense that they were much looser, and wilder, than the finished studio releases. The comparison is not 100% valid as the '73 Parsons had different a band on tour versus the studio, but the key is the looser, experimental feel to the tracks. The liner notes by David Fricke are quite good. 

For a few dollars more, I'd recommend the double disc, but neither will disappoint.

Worth noting, Gram Parsons Anthology, Sacred Hearts and Fallen Angels: The Gram Parsons Anthology includes the five of the six Parson sung tracks, missing is Merle Haggard's "Life In Prison." Also, there have been a few Byrds box sets that include some alternate takes. the most recent release, There is a Season. More details are below.

The Byrds have some box-set that are quite good. Though, our recommendations for The Byrds is:
Sweetheart - covering Parsons.
For Clarence White era, check out our Clarence White page. For the early, pre-Parsons material, I'm not the biggest fan, so I'd be satisfied with a compilation. 

Re-issue - 1997
1968
1. You Ain't Going Nowhere
2. I Am A Pilgrim
3. The Christian Life
4. You Don't Miss Your Water
5. You're Still On My Mind
6. Pretty Boy Floyd
7. Hickory Wind
8. One Hundred Years From Now
9. Blue Canadian Rockies
10. Life In Prison
11. Nothing Was Delivered
12. You Got A Reputation
13. Lazy Days
14. Pretty Polly
15. The Christian Life (Rehearsal-Take #11)
16. Life In Prison (Rehearsal-Take #11)
17. You're Still On My Mind (Rehearsal-Take #43)
18. One Hundred Years Form Now (Rehearsal-Take #2)
19. All I Have Is Memories (Instrumental)

Sweetheart of the Rodeo
Gram Parsons - Reviews and recommendations
Product Description
Generally reckoned to be the most important & greatest country-rock album of all time, 1968's Sweetheart of the Rodeo is back in a deluxe reissue that really brings to light the genius of Gram Parsons & the Byrds themselves. Disc one reprises the original album with the vocals Roger Mc Guinn substituted for Parsons due to contractual entanglements, then offers the songs with the original Parsons vocals that first surfaced on the now out-of-print Byrds boxed set. The disc ends with an unreleased Kevin Kelley vocal on 'All I Have Is Memories, presaging the glorious run of rarities on disc two, beginning with the International Submarine Band's lone single for Columbia & three tracks in stereo from their Safe At Home album, then turning to 14 previously unreleased rehearsal & alternate takes from the Sweetheart of the Rodeo sessions.
Disc: 1

Original album
1. You Ain't Going Nowhere
2. I Am A Pilgrim
3. The Christian Life
4. You Don't Miss Your Water
5. You're Still On My Mind
6. Pretty Boy Floyd
7. Hickory Wind
8. One Hundred Years From Now
9. Blue Canadian Rockies
10. Life In Prison
11. Nothing Was Delivered

Additional Master Takes:
12.  All I Have Are Memories (Kevin Kelly vocal)
13. Reputation
14. Pretty Polly
15. Lazy Days

Master take - Gram Parsons vocals
16. The Christian Life
17. You Don't Miss Your Water
18. One Hundred Years From Now

Radio Spot: 
19. Sweetheart Of The Rodeo Album

Disc: 2
The International Submarine Band: 

1. Sum Up Broke
2. One Day Week
3. Truck Drivin' Man
4. Blue Eyes
5. Luxury Liner
6. Strong Boy

Working Demos, Outtakes & Rehearsal Versions:
7. Lazy Days
8. Pretty Polly
9. Hickory Wind (Nashville version - take 8)
10. The Christian Life (Rehearsal take 7 GP vocal)
11. The Christian Life (Rehearsal take 8 GP vocal)
12. Life In Prison (Rehearsal take 1 & 2 GP vocal)
13. Life In Prison (Rehearsal take 3 & 47 GP vocal)
14. One Hundred Years From Now (Rehearsal take 12 and 13 GP vocal)
15. One Hundred Years From Now (Rehearsal take 14 & 15 GP vocal)
16. You're Still On My Mind (Rehearsal take 13 GP vocal)
17. You're Still On My Mind (Rehearsal take 48 GP vocal)
18. All I Have Are Memories (Instrumental) (Rehearsal take 17 GP vocal)
19. All I Have Are Memories (Instrumental) (Rehearsal take 21 GP vocal)
20. Blue Canadian Rockies (Rehearsal version - take 14)

Sweetheart of the Rodeo - Legacy Edition
Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

Charlie Daniels Band

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Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations
Charlie Daniels' music meshes a combination of country, blues, and rock, which is topped off with inferences of bluegrass to yield a sound of its own. 

With an abundance of good music spread over so many albums we find that one of the greatest hits collections is a great way to go. There are single, double, and triple disc options.  Of them, his two disc collection, The Ultimate Charlie Daniels Band, offers a strong balance of including Daniels' essential tracks without going beyond. 

Perhaps better than The Ultimate Charlie Daniels Band is the three disc box-set, The Root Remain. It has been out since 1996 and second hand copies can be purchased at reasonable prices.

The Ultimate Charlie Daniels Band
Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

Crosby Stills  and Nash

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Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

Crosby Stills and Nash music is not country rock throughout, but they offer elements of it in their material so I included it on this page. Besides, fans of country rock will generally enjoy their music. In addition, the various band members side projects offer country elements.  

CSN did a superb job with their four disc box-set, it basically covers most of their best material as a band as well as their side projects, very well done. They used some nice pedal steel on tracks like

If you are seeking a a single disc I'd go with Déjà Vu. In addition to "Teach Your Children," Neil Young's country folk masterpiece "Helpless," is a treasure, in its simplicity.

Additional Crosby Stills and Nash content

CSN Box Set
Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

Bob Dylan

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Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

Nashville Skyline is part of his Bob Dylan's country faze from the late 60's and early 70's, and his strongest output from that genre. Dylan's voice is a bit different in tone, but it sounds great to me. Many claim his voice tone is a result of the fact that he recently quit smoking, while others theorize it is a result of Johnny Cash's influence on Dylan from their  1969 sessions, of which one song is included on this album. His back-up band is made up of first-rate musicians that offer plenty of tasty steel guitar as well as the expected piano and guitar fills and solos. One way to characterize the writing style is a combining folk, blues, and rock into a country feel.

The first three tracks really define this output, a country theme with excellent soloing, with a touch of rock. The album begins strong emphasizing vocals with "Girl From the North Country," a track featuring Johnny Cash as they trade off verses and harmonize. Next, the band shows that they have musical chops as they perform an instrumental and take turns trading licks with acoustic guitar, piano, harmonica, steel guitar, etc. Next up, they switch to an electric tone providing a more upbeat feel with "To Be Alone With You."

"Peggy Day" is a perfect example of Dylan's ability to write a folk/blues track and give it a country feel with fine steel and acoustic guitar soloing as well as strong vocals. The big hit from the album, "Lay Lady Lay," with its mesmerizing rhythm and catchy melodies and familiar steel guitar riffs debuted here, while also appearing on numerous compilations and a rousing live version with The Band on Before the Flood.

The album closes with two electric guitar based tracks where on both songs the guitar, piano, and steel guitar delight the er. The latter song, "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You" is more developed and is every bit as good of the albums best known tune, "Lay Lady Lay."  The guitar style on both of these tracks is reminiscent of Robbie Robertson.

Nashville Skyline may not have as many hits as some of his classic albums. However, it does offer a first class band of musicians backing Dylan spilling out gorgeous riffs and solos over Dylan's compositions. If you like this style music, Nashville Skyline is essential.

More Bob Dylan

Nashville Skyline
John Wesley Harding
Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

The Eagles

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Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

Eagles:The Very Best Of is a two-disc overview that spans their career. A limited edition included a third disc DVD of "Hole In The Wall," etc. The sound quality is excellent. A 48 page booklet is included with commentary of each song in the words of Don Henley and Glenn Frey. 

The Eagles
1 Take It Easy
2 Witchy Woman
3 Peaceful Easy Feeling
Desperado
4 Desperado
5 Tequila Sunrise
6 Doolin-Dalton
On the Border
7 Already Gone
8 The Best of My Love
9 James Dean
10 Ol' '55
11 Midnight Flyer
12 On the Border
One of These Nights
13 Lyin' Eyes
14 One of These Nights
15 Take It to the Limit
16 After the Thrill Is Gone
Hotel California
17 Hotel California
1 Life in the Fast Lane
2 Wasted Time
3 Victim of Love
4 The Last Resort
5 New Kid in Town
Single
6 Please Come Home for Christmas
The Long Run
7 Heartache Tonight
8 The Sad Café
9 I Can't Tell You Why
10 The Long Run
11 In the City
12 Those Shoes
Eagles Live (7/28/80)
13 Seven Bridges Road
Hell Freezes Over
14 Love Will Keep Us Alive
15 Get Over It
Single DVD
16 Hole in the World

See also: Discography | Music Videos

Eagles:The Very Best Of
Desperado
Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

The Flying Burrito Brothers

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Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations
Farther Along: Best Of The Flying Burrito Brothers - First three albums, plus 11 bonus tracks, including seven tracks with Gram Parsons to lead off disc 2, much of this is included on Sleepless Nights.

Last of the Red Hot Burritos - Live 1971 performance, 1972 original release date.

Please visit our Flying Burrito Brothers section

We have more much more information there.

Farther Along: Best Of The Flying Burrito Brothers
Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

Grateful Dead

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Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations
While the Grateful Dead are more well known as being the kings of both psychedelic rock and jam bands, they had a strong impact in this genre as well. First they had a pair of albums in 1970 with heavy folk, blues, rock, and country; Workingman's Dead is more based on blues and folk with hints of country rock and their follow-up, American Beauty, which has even more of a country tone.

But their influence on the realm didn't stop there. The Grateful Dead took their music in other directions. However, Jerry Garcia expressed his musical genius in this realm as a founding member of the New Riders of the Purple Sage as their pedal steel guitar player. Other Grateful Dead members, Mickey Hart, and Phil Lesh, were also in the band at its beginnings.

They also performed several county songs in their concerts throughout their career with one showing up nearly every night, songs such as "Me and My Uncle," "Big River," "Mexicali Blues (an original)," "Mama Tried," "You Ain't Woman Enough," "Sing Me Back Home," "He Was a Friend of Mine," among others.

American Beauty 
Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

David Grisman

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Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

David Grisman is truly a creative musician and one of the top mandolin players. His music is more along bluegrass than country, but I thought exposure on this page is relevant, as some county rock fans may really like his music. 

While most mandolin players stick to bluegrass, country, or perhaps rock, Grisman's playing went beyond the norm and traditional stereotypes. While Grisman is a master of bluegrass, he also incorporated jazz into his playing, forging un-chartered realms and shaping what would be called Dawg music, and laying the groundwork for new grass music.

Much of Grisman's jazz influences are rooted in the Hot Club of France that featured the legendary Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. Truly, it is thrilling to hear the renditions of some Hot Club material with the mandolin replacing the acoustic guitar rhythm section, and also taking some fascinating solos. 

When you combine the traditional bluegrass and jazz background you have sort of a Bill Monroe meets the Hot Club of France. Much of Grisman's early material focus on these inferences, and his  self titled debut is a good place to start, where he features an all-star line-up of musicians.

Grisman has had a strong musical relationship with guitarist Jerry Garcia. He added some mandolin on the Grateful Dead's classic album American Beauty. They also played together in several bands; 1973's Old and in the Way, 1974's Great American String Band (a la Grisman's early solo work), and the numerous Garcia Grisman releases. We have reviews of each of these diverse albums that range from Dawg, to traditional American music, to jazz. 

The Pizza Tapes session pictured to the right gets better upon each listen. It captures David Grisman, Jerry Garcia, and Tony Rice jamming in David's home studio on February 4 and 5, 1993. 

Additional David Grisman content
Garcia Grisman
Old and in the Way

The David Grisman Quintet
The Pizza Tapes
Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

Emmylou Harris

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Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

Emmylou Harris' solo recording debut Pieces of the Sky get upon each listen. While the personnel varies a bit on each song, it is an all-star line-up. To give you an idea of the caliber of the quality, for Neil Young fans, Ben Keith needs no introduction. He plays pedal steel guitar. The Eagles Bernie Leadon plays a variety of instruments, Richard Burton on guitar, Richard Greene on fiddle, Herb Pederson on vocals, Ron Tutt on drums, and a host of others. 

For her second LP, 1976's Elite Hotel, Harris established a new backing unit, the Hot Band, which featured legendary Elvis Presley sidemen James Burton among others. 

Her Hot Band band toured in 1975. From Wolfgang's vault, the personnel was 
Emmylou Harris - guitar, vocals
James Burton - guitar
Rodney Crowell - guitar
Glenn T. Hardin - piano
Hank DeVito - pedal steel
Emory Gordy - bass
John Ware - drums
Nicolette Larson - vocals
Fayssoux Starling - vocals

Before her next release, 1977's Luxury Liner, Harris appeared on Bob Dylan's Desire and appeared in The Band's legendary final performance, The Last Waltz.

Pieces of the Sky
Elite Hotel
Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

Loggins and Messina

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Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

Like the Eagles, Loggins and Messina have a pop sounds, great vocals, and some country influences in their music. I only have their compilation in my collection. An example of their country tone can be heard beginning in "Danny's Song" with some fiddle, and gets even more into the genre with two tracks that follow, "Long Tail Cat," and Just Before the News" from their album Loggins & Messina

The Best: Sittin' in Again, released in May 2005 is a good overview of the band. I would have preferred a chronological approach to the music and better personnel credits, either by song or at a minimum by album. Instead, they just list the major musical contributors. There is an essay and loads of photos. 

Messina notes "... these master reproductions are as close to the original recordings as they can be." 

The Best: Sittin' in Again
Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

Lynyrd Skynyrd

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Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

We think Lynyrd Skynyrd's best studio album is Street Survivors, released just days before the crash that took the life of several band members. 

Guitarist Steve Gaines joined the band and made his first appearance on the live Lynyrd Skynyrd classic One More from the Road. His first and only studio album is Street Survivors. While it is not a country rock album throughout, there are some inferences that are among my favorites put down on record including a cover of Merle Haggard's "Honky Tonk Night Time Man," and Gaines' country seasoned "I Know a Little" is a smoking country fused jam. 

More Lynyrd Skynyrd content

Street Survivors
Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

Marshall Tucker

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Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations
While Marshall Tucker Band offer a mix of musical styles, country, blues, jazz, and rock. Their two disc niche compilation's, Where a Country Boy Belongs, liner notes explains, "After 33 years the "Tucker boys" are still firmly rooted in country..." This is a good compilation of their country style, and would be even better if it was sequenced chronologically. 

Marshal Tucker have a very good anthology that showcases all of their styles, The Marshall Tucker Anthology: The First 30 Years. This has very little overlap with Where a Country Boy Belongs.

More Marshall Tucker content

Where a Country Boy Belongs
Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

Rick Nelson

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Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations
Rick Nelson's first two country albums on the old Decca label, Bright Lights & Country Music/Country Fever, were reissued together as a two-fer.

Bright Lights and Country Music sessions were recorded in December 1965 and Feb. 22 - 24, 1966, which had different bands. The December sessions was a James Burton line-up,  and Feb. 1966 a was Clarence White line-up. According to the Rick Nelson box-set Legacy credits Bright Lights and Country Music appears to include all of the Clarence material recorded and none of the seven songs record in December 1965. 

Meanwhile, Country Fever sessions were recorded in April 1967 and had 17 songs recorded. Of them, 12 are included on the album. This Rick Nelson band featured James Burton on lead guitar.

As a side note, both Clarence White and James Burton went on to play some of the best country rock with Gram Parsons, but at different times. Clarence with The Byrds and James on the two solo Gram Parsons albums. 

The Rick Nelson county albums noted below have rotating personnel, but a mainstay is one of the top pedal steel guitarist Tom Brumley from Buck Owens' band. Others members include Randy Meisner from Poco, and The Eagles, Linda Rondstat (her early Capital albums), and several others played with the New Riders at different times.  

Rick Nelson Bright Lights & Country Music/Country Fever
Rick Nelson in Concert (The Troubadour, 1969) Garden Party/Windfall  Rick Sings Nelson/Rudy the Fifth
Rick Nelson in Concert
* Rick Nelson - guitar, vocals
* Randy Meisner - bass guitar, guitar, vocals
* Allen Kemp - guitar
* Tom Brumley - steel guitar
* Patrick Shanahan - drums
Garden Party
* Rick Nelson - guitar, lead vocals
* Allen Kemp - lead guitar, background vocals
* Tom Brumley - steel guitar
* Stephen A. Love - bass, background vocals
* Patrick Shanahan - drums
* Don Nelson - wood flute

Windfall 
* Rick Nelson - guitar, lead vocals
* Dennis Larden - lead guitar, background vocals
* Tom Brumley - steel guitar
* Jay DeWitt White - bass, background vocals
* Ty Grimes - drums
Rick Sings Nelson 
* Rick Nelson - guitar, piano, lead vocals
* Allen Kemp - lead guitar, background vocals
* Tim Cetera - bass, background vocals
* Tom Brumley - steel guitar
* Patrick Shanahan - drums


Rudy the Fifth
* Rick Nelson - guitar, piano, lead vocals
* Allen Kemp - lead guitar, background vocals
* Randy Meisner - bass, background vocals
* Tom Brumley - steel guitar
* Patrick Shanahan - drums
* Andy Belling - piano

 

Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

New Riders of the Purple Sage

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Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

The New Riders of the Purple Sage country rock sound take their roots, and perhaps their success from their collaboration with some members of the Grateful Dead. Their friendship was fruitful in 1970 and 1971 during which time the New Riders of the Purple Sage opened up many concerts for the Grateful Dead and would feature Jerry Garcia playing pedal steel. Tapes of these shows are not too difficult to track down. 

They not only shared the staged, but also collaborated in the studio. Jerry Garcia was a major contributor on the New Riders of the Purple Sage's first album and took a minor part on their second album and other guest appearances. Likewise, David Nelson performed on one track, "Cumberland Blues," on the Grateful Dead's Workingman's Dead album, and several Purple Sage members appear on American Beauty.  Their friendship continued through the years, and David Nelson joined Garcia's short lived band The Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band that took New York's Broadway by storm in 1988 playing acoustic guitar, back-up vocals, and lead vocals on a few songs.

The New Riders of the Purple's added Buddy Cage to replace Garcia on pedal steel. In 2003 they began an archival series of live releases, there are four releases as of this writing.

Additional New Riders content

New Riders of the Purple Sage
 

Live: Worcester, MA 4/4/73

Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

The Outlaws

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Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations
The Outlaws trademark is a blend of country and rock with a strong three guitar attack. While Lynyrd Skynyrd had one lead singer, The Outlaws had several members that would contribute lead vocal duties. Another trademark is their vocal blending and harmonies, sort of in the style of the Eagles.

The Outlaws have a superb compilation called The Best of the Outlaws: Green Grass and High Tides. This includes all the music most fans seek in an Outlaws collection. The liner notes provide credits, band history, and photos.  Perhaps some fans may want to supplement this with live versions of the songs, Though their live album Bring It Back Alive is not the original  band.

The Best of the Outlaws: Green Grass and High Tides
Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

Gram Parsons

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Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

Gram Parsons' two solo albums G.P./Grievous Angel have been packaged together on one CD resulting in an excellent bargain of superb music. The liner notes include essays on Parsons by John M. Delgatto and Marley Brant, the original notes from both albums, lyrics, photos and more. 

For the collector, the box set Gram Parsons: The Complete Reprise Sessions includes the two solo albums along with alternate takes and interviews. It is spread over three discs and reasonably priced. The alternate takes as great, many of them are quite different arrangements. Highly recommended.

Another option is to get the Gram Parsons anthology, Sacred Hearts and Fallen Angels: The Gram Parsons Anthology. Its two discs cover Parsons career and include material from The International Submarine Band's, The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, and his solo career. 

While the above choices offer the most essential Gram Parsons, don't overlook Live 1973 for a loose, wild set with great duet singing by Gram and Emmylou.

Please visit our Gram Parsons section for additional content of his solo material, The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, tributes, and related content.

G.P./Grievous Angel
Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

Poco

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Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

Through the years there have been numerous collections of Poco, one of the country rock genre's best. The Ultimate Collection is a good 18 song collection that spans their four labels between 1969 and 1989.

For a more comprehensive approach, two-disc The Forgotten Trail(1969 - 1974)  for coverage of Poco's Epic Records years, and the single disc Crazy Loving: The Best of Poco 1975-1982 for their ABC/MCA Records years. 

 

The Ultimate Collection
Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

Forgotten Trail: 1969-1974

Editorial Reviews
Boasting two members of Buffalo Springfield-Richie Furay and Jim Messina-this band pioneered the mellow country-rock sound that later made the Eagles superstars. This 2-CD retrospective provides the perfect career summary with key tracks A Good Feelin' to Know; Pickin Up the Pieces; Crazy Eyes; You Better Think Twice , and more. 

The albums represented here are Picking up the Pieces, Poco, Delivering, From the Inside, A Good Feeling to Know, Crazy Eyes, Cantamos, Seven, other unreleased material. 

Forgotten Trail: 1969-1974
Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

Pure Prairie League

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Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

Pure Prairie League is in the middle of the pack in the country rock genre. Their Greatest Hits offers a good value of their music and it includes all but one song from their best album, Bustin' Out

I haven't explored  their music beyond this, but did see them a pair of times as an opening act back in the 1970's. Pure Prairie League released ten albums through the 1970's and '80's.

Pure Prairie League: Greatest Hits
Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

The Souther Hillman Furay Band

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Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations
The Souther Hillman Furay Band recorded two albums, a self-titled debut and Trouble in Paradise

The line-up was never as successful as the expectations. The members were most know prior to their 1974 debut with J. D. Souther work with members of the Eagles, Chris Hillman of The Byrds, and Richard Furay of Poco and Buffalo Springfield. While, the music is pleasant country rock, it is one of the weaker picks on this page of our Country rock recommendations. 

Line-up on debut
J.D. Souther, guitars, vocals ; Chris Hillman, guitars, mandolin, vocals ; Richie Furay, guitar, vocals ; Paul Harris, keyboard ; Al Perkins, steel guitar, guitars, bass, dobro ; Jim Gordon, drums, percussion ; Joe Lala, percussion.

(for Trouble in Paradise replace Jim Gordon with Ron Grinel)

Souther Hillman Furay
Trouble in Paradise
Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

Linda Ronstadt

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Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

The Very Best of Linda Ronstadt is a solid 21 disc compilation. It focuses more on her folk, country, and rock material than her pop standards and Latin phases.

Capital's 2006 album, The Best of Linda Ronstadt: The Capital Years is more of a complete material reissue than a compilation. Her third self-titled album includes several members of the soon to be formed Eagles were members of Linda Rondstadt back-up band: Frey, Henley, Meisner, and Leadon.

It is on two cd's and it includes:
Hand Sown..Home Grown her 1969 solo debut, 
Silk Purse
, 1970
Linda Ronstadt self-titled third album 
Heart Like a Wheel,- 1974
plus five bonus tracks, two of them capturing her live at The Troubadour.

The Very Best of Linda Ronstadt
The Best of Linda Ronstadt: The Capital Years
Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

James Taylor

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Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

James Taylor is not deep into the country rock genre, but he offers elements of it. His music is more towards The Eagles than The Byrds and he's is more towards the singer songwriter category. But he incorporates instruments such as fiddle, pedal steel, and banjo giving some of his material country leanings. 

You get a glimpse of country with the title track of the classic Sweet Baby James. While, "Anywhere Like Heaven" is purely in the country genre.  In between the album offers some great pop, folk, jazz, and a few blues numbers. 

A solid supporting cast with well-known artists Carole King on piano, well known session player Danny Kootch  on guitar, and Randy Meisner (The Eagles) is one of the bass players.

Sweet Baby James
Gram Parsons - Reviews and recommendations
Clarence White
Gram Parsons - Reviews and recommendations

See also, The Byrds Sweetheart of the Rodeo.

Nashville West featuring Clarence White 

1. Nashville West (Intro) - Nashville West, White, Clarence
2. Mental Revenge - Nashville West, Tillis, Mel
3. I Wanna Live - Nashville West, Loudermilk, John D.
4. C C Rider - Nashville West, Traditional
5. Sweet Susannah - Nashville West, Guilbeau, Gib
6. Green, Green Grass of Home - Nashville West, Putman, Curly
7. Love of the Common People - Nashville West, Hurley, John
8. Tuff & String (Intermission Theme) - Nashville West, Paxton, Gary [1] S.
9. I Washed My Hands in Muddy Water - Nashville West, Babcock, Joe
10. Greensleeves - Nashville West, Traditional
11. Ode to Billy Joe - Nashville West, Gentry, Bobbie
12. Mom & Dad's Waltz - Nashville West, Frizzell, Lefty
13. Louisiana Rains - Nashville West, Guilbeau, Gib
14. Sing Me Back Home - Nashville West, Haggard, Merle
15. Columbus Stockade Blues - Nashville West, Traditional
16. Memphis - Nashville West, Berry, Chuck
17. By the Time I Get to Phoenix - Nashville West, Webb, Jimmy [1]
18. Nashville West (Reprise) - Nashville West, White, Clarence


Visit our Clarence White section.

Nashville West featuring Clarence White 
33 Acoustic Guitar Instrumentals Flatpick Live at Royal Albert Hall 1971
Gram Parsons - Reviews and recommendations
Dwight Yoakam
Gram Parsons - Reviews and recommendations

Dwight Yoakam's debut Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc. offers memories of the Bakersfield fathers Merle Haggard and Buck Owens, as well as disciples of them such as Gram Parsons, the sounds from his two solo records and only one with The Byrds, Sweetheart of the Rodeo

The original 1986 album, Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc., has 10 songs. The Deluxe Edition add demos and a live performance from a concert supporting Dwight's debut.

Track List:
Disc 1 
The 1981 Demos: 

This Drinkin' Will Kill Me 
It Won't Hurt 
I'll Be Gone 
Floyd County 
You're the One 
Twenty Years 
Please Daddy 
Miner's Prayer 
I Sang Dixie 
Bury Me

The album Guitars, Cadillacs, etc., etc.
Honky Tonk Man 
It Won't Hurt 
I'll Be Gone 
South of Cincinnati 
Bury Me (duet with Maria McKee) 
Guitars, Cadillacs 
Twenty Years 
Ring of Fire 
Miner's Prayer 
Heartaches by the Number 

Disc 2 
Live at the Roxy 1986

Can't You Hear Me Calling 
Honky Tonk Man * 
Guitars, Cadillacs * 
Rocky Road Blues * 
Heartaches by the Number 
I'll Be Gone * 
It Won't Hurt * 
My Bucket's Got A Hole In It 
South of Cincinnati * 
Mystery Train * 
Ring of Fire * 
Since I Started Drinking Again * 

* Previously Unreleased 

Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc. 
Dwight Live The Very Best of Dwight Yoakam Dwight Sings Buck
Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

Neil Young

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Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

Neil Young's music is among my favorites within the country rock category. Of course, Young intertwined rock and country within much of his albums so often their is a combination of material. A big part of Young's country charms come from his long time musical collaborator, Ben Keith, who plays a variety of instruments from guitar, to saxophone, and for the county style, some great pedal runs. Keith made his first appearance on a Neil Young record on After the Gold Rush. Pairing Young's writing and Keith's musical fills is a match made in heaven.

Some of the better mixed rock and county releases include After the Gold Rush, On The Beach, Tonight's The Night, and American Stars & Bars.

More dedicated country releases, include the trio of Harvest releases, Harvest, Harvest Moon, and Prairie Wind, CD|DVD. As well as albums like Comes a Time, and some less successful releases Old Ways, and Silver & Gold. 

Decade
Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

Desperado: The Best of Country Rock

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Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

This Time Life collection has a good collection of songs from the genre, even though it could a better selection of artists. How can it not include The Eagles?

1. Amie - Pure Prairie League    
2. Ballad Of Easy Rider - The Byrds    
3. You Are The Woman - Firefall    
4. An American Dream - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band    
5. Lotta Love - Nicolette Larson    
6. Blue Bayou - Linda Ronstadt    
7. Danny's Song - Loggins & Messina    
8. Heard It In A Love Song - Marshall Tucker Band    
9. Seven Year Ache - Rosanne Cash    
10. Garden Party - Rick Nelson    
11. You're Only Lonely - J.D. Souther    
12. Third Rate Romance - The Amazing Rhythm Aces    
13. Fallin' In Love - The Souther-Hillman-Furay Band    
14. Crazy Love - Poco    
15. I Can Help - Billy Swan    
16. Joanne - Michael Nesmith And the First National Band    
17. Never Ending Song Of Love - Delaney & Bonnie & Friends    
18. Wildfire - Michael Murphey    

Desperado: The Best of Country Rock
Country Rock Music - Reviews and recommendations

 

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