Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen - At Edwards Barn
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At Edwards Barn (Rounder, 2010)

Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

As a member of two of the most influential bands of all time, Chris Hillman took a back seat to front men Roger McGuinn and David Crosby in The Byrds and Gram Parsons with the Flying Burrito Brothers. It was with the Desert Rose Band that Hillman achieved his greatest personal success on the country charts in the '80s, and it is the sound that he established with that band that is most prominent on this live effort with longtime Desert Rose collaborator Herb Pedersen.

Hillman recalls all phases of his past in this set. The Byrds' folk rock classic Turn, Turn, Turn and the psychedelic Eight Miles High, as well as the Hillman/Parsons penned Burrito tunes Wheels and Sin City, receive a modern bluegrass treatment here. Hillman's later career is also revisited with the song Desert Rose, which first appeared on Hillman's solo album from 1984 by the same name, and Love Reunited from the debut Desert Rose Band album.

Other highlights are effective renditions of Buck Owens' Together Again and the Louvin Brothers' If I Could Only Win Your Love and The Byrds era Hillman composition Have You Seen Her Face.

The musicianship is stellar throughout led by Hillman on mandolin. Though Pedersen is given equal billing with Hillman, he is more of a sideman providing nice harmonies and guitar work, along with solid support from David Mansfield (fiddle), Larry Park (guitar) and Bill Bryson (bass).

While Chris Hillman's place in music history will remain subordinate to his higher profiled peers this collection illustrates his own significant contributions.

CDs by Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen

At Edwards Barn, 2010

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