Sunday, November 18, 2007

Gram Parsons- Live Archive, Vol. 1

At the time of this incredible two-disc set's release in 2007, the Gram Parsons rarities well had been wrung so dry that Amoeba Records co-founder Dave Pinz had to nose around another band's vaults (the notoriously deep archives of the Grateful Dead) for these Flying Burrito Brothers tapes. The material--recorded by Bear Stanley, the Grateful Dead's legendary live engineer--comprises two honky tonk-heavy sets from April 4, 1969 and April 6, 1969, when the Brothers opened for the Dead at San Francisco's Avalon Ballroom.

While the Parsons-era Burritos were never the tightest live band, Archives, Vol.1 captures the one short era during which everyone in the band was together, getting along, and feeling great about the music they had discovered. You can hear it in the tracks: Chris Hillman's delicate harmony on "Dark End of the Street," Sneaky Pete Kleinow's pedal steel pyrotechnics on Waylon Jennings's "Sweet Mental Revenge," and Parsons's lovely tenor on a devastating version of "Hot Burrito #1." This is the band's finest hour; it didn't last long, but thankfully for fans, it is thrillingly captured here.

Sin City (Live)
Thousand-Dollar Wedding (Home Demo)

Gram *** Myspace *** CD's *** eMusic *** Hype Machine


Paul said...

If you care to hear more samples from the album, you can do so here on the website

warm jet said...

is the download still alive?

DancingMadlyBackwards said...

While the recording from the April 4, 1969 does indeed represent a previously unreleased performance, the April 6, 1969 recording has circulated for years among collectors, albeit, from an off-the-air recording rather than soundboard tapes as the performance was simulcast over Berkeley's KPFA-FM radio station. It is also possible that a tape exists of the April 5 performance as this was a 3-night stand, with the Burritos and Aum opening for the Grateful Dead all three nights. While any Gram-era Burrito recordings are welcome, it would have been nice if Gram and Chris Hillman's guitars were not hidden in the mix. But a flawed Burritos recording is certainly better than none.