Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen

Between them, these two have written entire chapters in the history of whatever you want to call what happened when rock met country, when Acapulco Gold and blotter acid met Bill Monroe and the Louvin Brothers, when the light show met the moonshiner. You could play word-association games with Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen's resumes all day: Gram Parsons. Flying Burrito Brothers. The Byrds. "Desert Rose." "High Fashion Queen." "Sin City." Their collective and individual impact on the evolution of "country rock" into "alt-country" is impossible to overstate. Nowadays, their wardrobes might have progressed from the Burrito Brothers-era psychedelic suits to the quieter, less conspicuous garb of workaday singer-songwriters, and I suspect that if there's any substance abuse today it's sneaking an extra Vitamin B or a slug of ginseng when the wife's not looking. But despite almost 40 years on the pop music scene, they still have their pitch-perfect voices, their bluegrass chops baptized in the spirit of rock and roll, a satchel full of killer songs and a personal aura that leaves you glad to have been in their presence during that one otherwise lonely hour.


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