At Edwards Barn
If you’re one of those folks who aren’t wild about rock-driven country, this album might surprise you. At Edwards Barn features one of country-rock’s foremost pioneers, but it actually sounds more traditional than most of the stuff currently scorching country airwaves.
Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen scored a handful of hits 20-odd years ago as members of The Desert Rose Band, and the twosome reprises one of those (“Love Reunited”) on this rustic live set. But the package is primarily a stripped-down, acoustic overview of the remarkable career of Hillman, one of the first musicians to add real-deal twang to rock ’n’ roll in the 1960s and ’70s. Now graying gracefully, Hillman seems more content tearing the rock remnants out of these songs and restoring them to their rural roots.
Whether they’re paying tribute to Buck Owens, taming The Byrds’ wiry raga-rock classic “Eight Miles High” or offering a bit of bluegrass gospel, mandolinist Hillman and instrumentalist Pedersen prove that today’s amped-up and tattooed version of country-rock must have been somebody else’s idea.