Country Rock is somewhat of a niche genre and, like Classic Rock, has lost some of its popularity recently in the wake of other, more digital trends. However, historically there have been a great bunch of releases that have been identified as classics in the Country Rock music genre. This is one of them. It features the legendary Country Rock musician Gram Parsons who is seen as a real musical hero for those in the know of Country-based music. This is where he first got really noticed as a professional musician. Given the regard that this album is held in, let’s take a listen to the album and hear where it takes us.
Christine’s Tune opens the album with awesome strummed acoustic guitars, pedal steel slide guitar and some really great Country singing. Gram Parsons sings with a deep and soulful tune about a devil in disguise of a lady who cannot be trusted. There is a fuzz laden guitar solo, followed by some interesting Southern USA style music and musicianship. A really great piece of music, the band plays superbly and although this is very much Country music that is attempting to link itself up to Hippie era trends, it is fantastic music. Great to listen to from start to finish.
Sin City begins with slower tempo acoustic guitars and some great slide guitars. Gram Parsons and co. sing beautifully on this song, and do a really fine Country delivery. A slower but beautifully and wonderfully delivered piece that is perfect to waltz along with a partner to, this sounds really incredibly amazing. An amazing and pretty sounding piece of music. Of course, fans of most postmodern music would hate this kind of music to be fair. However, despite that, it does sound very much like pure and lovely listening. A genuinely great listen which is great to close one’s eyes and picture the lyrical imagery to, this is without a doubt a solid gold tune. A fine and awesome listening experience, very unforgettable.
Do Right Woman begins with a lone vocal, before acoustic guitars and piano enter. This is really quite a sweet sounding tune by these guys. A bit like Southern fried goodness, this is a lovely and amazing sounding tune that has aged well musically. No doubt that this was a large influence on groups such as the Eagles, this does sound genuinely great. The slide guitar solo is terrific. This is a rather dated sort of statement lyrically though, and no doubt not the sort of thing you’d hear from many RnB Pop stars of today. Still, a very good song, and 100% worth listening to.
Dark End Of The Street begins with joyful and upbeat playing by the group. It sounds like Country music made in a certain sort of paradise out there. Nonetheless, this is another solidly awesome tune to dig and to listen to. It is about facing one’s troubles in life with a loving partner, and is particularly gorgeous sounding compared to the other songs on the album, although they are great songs too. A nice clean slide guitar solo is here to listen to, which sounds nicely played. A legendary and awesome tune about making it through one’s troubles with a love, this is superb. Great tune.
My Uncle is a quirky and very Country sounding piece of music. It has some unique and brilliant Country sounds aplenty, and is short and sweet. There is what sounds like ukelele as well, which is definitely Redneck territory for some. Still, a nicely performed piece that is totally enjoyable from start to finish. The slide guitars and other wacky sounds are very enjoyable. A wonderful piece of music, this sounds great and grand. Nice tune.
Wheels begins with chorus heavy electric guitar and the rest of the band follows nicely. Singing about life and love, and some drug based adventures, this is a really nice and wonderful piece of music. These songs are relatively short as well, with most around the two to three minute mark. Still, a pretty and enjoyable listen from start to finish. More lyrics are here about connecting with faith and God, which are lovely and reassuring. Very good and melodic Country Pop/Rock music, nice to listen to.
Juanita is a busier sounding piece with some louder slide guitars and acoustic strumming. The song itself is about broken love and the relationships that are torn up as a result. There are references to the scientific experimentation of booze and pills in amongst the negativity of the lyrics. Still, this is a must listen like the rest of the album and sounds incredibly decent and lovely. A nice tune that runs for two and a half minutes long, very enjoyable.
Hot Burrito #1 comes next, and has quite an unusual sound to it from the go. Gram Parsons sings very honestly and beautifully here, as though he is really choking up with emotions, which is a real rarity on many recordings. This is very much a crossover piece for fans of Classic Rock to get into Country Music. It is a very relatable piece for that reason, especially emotionally. The instrumentation suits the song perfectly, with strummed clean electric guitars and a very Abbey Road style feel to the sound recorded. The song discusses love/sex/relationship issues in an articulate way. A good listen all the way through, another really essential piece from this album.
Hot Burrito #2 begins with nimble bass playing and pacing piano, along with guitars. Gram Parsons sings about further relationships downs-and-outs, but does it in such a wonderfully article way. There are some interesting guitar parts with slide guitar, handclaps, piano, organ and many other sonic treats available to listen to. The music here is really wonderful and lively, although it is about breaking it off with a partner. Great Country Rock music all the same, and with open references to Jesus, this is gloriously amazing. There are some intense fuzz based guitar parts at the end, which are odd but interesting listening.
Do You Know How It Feels begins with classy piano and gorgeous melodies in the background. More slide based guitar is in this tune, and the whole thing sounds really amazing and great. This is a short and blue sounding piece based on torn up emotions, which this album seems to cover almost exclusively. Nonetheless, this is a really great tune that should grab your attention if you like rural USA Country Music. Short and bittersweet.
Hippie Boy is the last track on this album and the longest on it as well, being nearly five minutes long. It begins with fairground organ, subtle percussion, electric guitar in the background and great bass guitar playing. The song itself is about the people who recognised themselves as such Hippies, and the differences between Hippies and regular folk, so to speak. It is a very interesting and different piece of music, and is one of the best tracks from the album. In any case, a rather strange piece of music but something that is a brilliant snapshot of the Hippie era. Excellent music nonetheless, and is a slow and driven piece of music with a singalong ending. Nice work, but it is difficult to know what to think of this song, particularly the ending. It does sound good though.
This is a very underrated album and is a good recommendation for fans of Rock to dive deep into the world of Country Music. Sure, this hasn’t aged terribly well, but it definitely is a genuine good quality and excellent listen. Gram Parsons became immortalised as a brilliant musician from this point onwards, sadly having an early death in 1973 from a drug overdose. Still, these guys made an awesome album for people to enjoy. A must listen.
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