Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Long Players With Guests Play The Byrds’ “Sweetheart Of The Rodeo” And More

The Long Players With Guests Play The Byrds’ “Sweetheart Of The Rodeo” And More

The Mercy Lounge, Nashville, Tennessee – March 25, 2017

The Long Players

With guests:

Walter Egan, Craig Fuller, Patrick Fuller, John Jorgenson, Chuck Mead, Gary Nicholson,  Sweethearts Of The Rodeo, Buddy Wego, Emmylou Harris, John Jorgensen…

The founding members of The Long Players include Bill Lloyd (from 80’s hit country-rockers Foster & Lloyd), Steve Allen (from LA power-pop icons 20/20), Steve Ebe (from Memphis rock band Human Radio), John Deaderick (sideman to Michael McDonald/Dixie Chicks/Patty Griffin/etc.) and Garry Tallent (Bruce Springsteen’s E. St. Band).

When Tallent moved from Nashville in 2007, The Long Players enlisted musician/record producer, Brad Jones (who has worked with Josh Rouse, Jill Sobule and many others) to take over bass duties.

The Long Players are a group of Nashville-based musicians who have, since 2004, taken classic albums and performed them live in their original sequence. Recruiting guest artists from their exceptional musical community, the band has celebrated over 50 seminal albums over the last seven years and gained national notoriety with feature news stories by NPR Radio ’’0All Things Considered’’, The Associated Press and Reuters / Billboard Magazine.

Their faithful renditions of LPs like Bob Dylan’s “Blonde On Blonde” (with sidemen from the original album, Al Kooper and Charlie McCoy sitting in) or The Rolling Stones “Sticky Fingers” (with Stones sax man Bobby Keys sitting in), have raised the bar of what “playing in a cover band” is all about. Their sporadic shows are treated by both fans and the band as a celebration of the music that shaped their lives.

They have now artfully recreated the grooves from about 60 different classic rock records. But, like band leader Bill Lloyd said from the Mercy Lounge stage, “It was about time we did a country record in Nashville”. Their choice was The Byrds’ “Sweetheart Of The Rodeo”, the mostly-overlooked at the time (but now-considered groundbreaking) foundation for the marriage of country and rock. The guy mostly to blame for the way the record turned out was of course Mr. Cosmic American Music himself, Cecil Ingram Connor, also known as Gram Parsons. Therefore, it was natural for the Long Players to bill tonight’s customary encore segment as a celebration of the music of The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers and Gram Parsons.
The Long Players previously performed “Sweetheart Of The Rodeo” a few years ago at a special engagement in Colorado and had once considered doing it here during the Americana Festival. The Colorado gig featured former Byrd, Flying Burrito Brother, Manassas and Desert Rose Band founding member Chris Hillman as a special guest. For tonight’s Mercy Lounge show, “special guests” were advertised, but with Emmylou Harris’ Bonaparte’s Retreat as the show’s featured charity, she was certainly the odds-on favorite to appear.
It was a great cast for the evening even without Miss Emmylou. New to the Long Players stage were the album-namesake country sister duo Sweethearts Of The Rodeo and country-rocker Craig Fuller, the man behind Pure Prairie League’s “Aimée”. Guitar-master John Jorgensen who played with Chris Hillman in The Desert Rose Band was also on hand. Pedal steel player, Lloyd Green, who played on the original 1968 record was in the house, but did not perform.

Guest player Pete Finney kicked things off with the pedal steel intro of the record’s lead track, “You Ain’t Going Nowhere”, from Bob Dylan’s LP “The Basement Tapes”, in what would be the first of four Dylan songs in the set. Jorgenson’s slick guitar and solid vocals started things off on a high note, and the evening never seemed to falter.
Emmylou made her surprise entrance for the third song to sing on the Louvin Brothers “The Christian Life” and gave the night its first Gram Parsons story. She recalled that her first exposure to the Louvins came on a photo-less cassette Gram gave her, and how she thought brother Ira was a girl!
Local songwriter and bluesman Gary Nicholson was the perfect choice for soulster William Bell’s “You Don’t Miss Your Water”. His Gram story was about when he let a young Parsons stay at his Nashville crash pad, and how Gram later helped Gary’s band get into the Palomino talent night competition in L.A. which they wound up winning.
Kristine Arnold of the Sweethearts wore a beautiful green Nudie shirt that she said once belonged to original Byrds drummer Michael Clarke. She got it indirectly through Phil “Road Mangler” Kaufman, who got it from Clarke in trade for a Flying Burrito Brothers tee-shirt.
Walter Egan knew Emmylou in her early Washington D.C. days, and he told his story of how Gram and she sang for the first-time ever in his kitchen. Walter’s song “Hearts Of Fire” was on Gram’s “Grievous Angel” album, and as Bill Lloyd earlier alluded might happen, history was made when he and Emmy sang this song together in tonight’s encore segment.

With the songs being short, the album segment was over in just 45 minutes. After a short break, the band returned for the encore segment of an hour of Flying Burrito Brothers, Gram Parsons and of course more Byrds. As for the latter, however, the Rickenbackers came out, and we got to hear some of the non-country side of the diverse band that The Byrds were, including two numbers written by the often overlooked but brilliant Gene Clark.

This was a remarkable evening in the history of this great Nashville institution called The Long Players. It was also a fine celebration of a seminal album that will soon turn 50 years old.

Audience Recording

Set 1

1. Intro (1:31)
2. You Ain't Going Nowhere (John Jorgenson) (5:08)
3. I Am A Pilgrim (Sweethearts Of The Rodeo) (4:45)
4. The Christian Life (Emmylou Harris) (3:51)
5. You Don't Miss Your Water (Gary Nicholson) (5:01)
6. You're Still On My Mind (Craig Fuller) (3:19)
7. Pretty Boy Floyd (Buddy Wego) (3:51)
8. Hickory Wind (Craig Fuller) (4:37)
9. One Hundred Years From Now (Walter Egan) (4:30)
10. Blue Canadian Rockies (Sweethearts Of The Rodeo) (3:09)
11. Life In Prison (Patrick Fuller) (3:26)
12. Nothing Was Delivered (Chuck Mead) (5:09)

Set 2

1. Christine's Tune (Buddy Wego) (4:06)
2. Wheels (Emmylou Harris and Gary Nicholson) (4:02)
3. Time Between (Brad Jones) (3:04)
4. Chimes Of Freedom (Bill Lloyd) (4:36)
5. She Don't Care About Time (John Jorgenson) (4:05)
6. So You Want To Be A Rock 'n' Roll Star (Chris James) (3:56)
7. Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man (Craig Fuller) (6:34)
8. Deportee (Patrick Fuller) (5:22)
9. I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better (Chuck Mead) (3:00)
10. Mr Tambourine Man (Sweethearts Of The Rodeo) (4:29)
11. The Bells Of Rhymney (Walter Egan) (5:07)
12. Hearts On Fire (Emmylou Harris and Walter Egan) (5:31)
13. Ooh Las Vegas (Emmylou Harris) (4:44)
14. You Ain't Going Nowhere (ALL) (6:34)

Artwork Included (front, back, pictures)

The link to download this concert was sent to Rocking--Byrd by a faithful visitor. Many thanks to him.

The text comment was present in the original download. Thanks to the unknown original taper and uploader.

The artist mentioned between parentheses is the main performer.


Rocking--Byrd said...

Set 1 + Artwork

Set 2

Edwin Deas said...

Thanks R-B
Interesting concept.
I remember when SOTR came out that I did not know how to evaluate it. It was so different. Came to love it however.

dino said...

This is great! I think I saw it on Dime but I couldn't grab it at that time.
Thanks a million, RB!

James Kelly said...

Thank you so much! Once again you made my day. SOTR gave me the ambition to take up
pedal steel so I really appreciate this one.


Bill Martin said...

Wonderful show, love these tribute shows with guests. Rockin Byrd you never cease to amaze me with the shows you come up with. i am eternally grateful, Bill