This fantastic concert recording of Gram with Emmylou Harris et al has been out before, but it's been awfully hard to find 'til now. Recorded on March 13, 1973, the band does We'll Sweep Out the Ashes; Love Hurts; Streets of Baltimore; The New Soft Shoe; Drug Store Truck Driving Man , and more. Gram's final recording.
Because he was gone by age 27, any opportunity to hear Gram Parsons in action is worthwhile. This record was recorded in front of a studio audience and broadcast live on WLIR in New York in March of 1973, a mere six months before Parsons's untimely death. Most of the material comes from his two solo albums (now collected on one CD
) and his groundbreaking work with the Byrds
. Still, there are a few noteworthy additions to the canon, namely an urgent reading of Merle Haggard
's "California Cottonfields," a roughshod '50s-rock medley, and the relatively obscure sacred tune "Country Baptizing," which was written by North Carolina fiddler Jim Shumate, a onetime member of both Bill Monroe
's Blue Grass Boys and then Flatt & Scruggs
's Foggy Mountain Boys. Parsons's touring band, the Fallen Angels, play with fire and looseness, especially Neil Flanz on pedal steel, and, of course, the wonderful Emmylou Harris
harmonizes ever so passionately with the lead Fallen Angel. --Marc Greilsamer