CHRIS HILLMAN AND HERB PEDERSEN, “At Edwards Barn,” Rounder. 15 tracks.
Most musicians can only dream of careers like Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen have had.
Hillman, 65, who got his start in the California-based Scottsville Squirrel Barkers as a teenager, went on to make music history with The Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas and The Desert Rose Band.
Pedersen, 66, played in the Pine Valley Ramblers, the Dillards, The Desert Rose Band and the Laurel Canyon Ramblers, contributed music to several TV shows and movies, and performed on a number of albums by other artists.
The two California musicians have been friends for more than 45 years and have worked together off and during that time, including their years in The Desert Rose Band.
On Nov. 7, 2009, Hillman and Pedersen got together with David Mansfield, Larry Park and Bill Bryson to record a live album at Mavi and Dave Edwards’ music barn in Nipomo, Calif.
The resulting “At Edwards Barn” is easily one of the best bluegrass albums of 2010.
The 15 songs are really a career retrospective done bluegrass style.
From The Byrds, we get “Turn, Turn, Turn,” “Eight Miles High” and “Have You Seen Her Face.”
From the Burritos, there’s “Sin City” and “Wheels.”
The Desert Rose era produces “Love Reunited.”
There’s a great version of Ralph Stanley’s “Going Up Home,” which features some a capella harmony; the Louvin Brothers’ “If I Could Only Win Your Love,” which Pedersen recorded with Emmylou Harris in 1975; and Buck Owens’ “Together Again,” a salute to the Bakersfield, Calif., legend who was a mentor to both men.
Hillman wrote or co-wrote nine cuts on the album. Pedersen wrote one, “Wait A Minute,” a song recorded by the Seldom Scene in 1972.
A great album by a couple of great musicians.
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