Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Desert Rose Band plays the whole "Sweetheart" album in concert!

Something very special happened at a Long Players with Bill Lloyd / Desert Rose Band concert last week.

Here, lifted from the Byrdmaniax Yahoo List, is "Wild" Bill Cody's review of the event.

This would have been every DRB Fans delight! It was an absolutely beautiful day up in the high country of Colorado, except for a little wind. The crowd was suprisingly sparse, maybe 300+ people? The DRB did their soundcheck at approx 10am...and they sounded GREAT! They all looked relaxed and refreshed; I guess that high country Colorado air will do that to you.
Now here's the most of you know, the first group up "The Long Players with Bill Lloyd" was going to perform the "Sweetheart of the Rodeo" album in its entirety, Chris Hillman was scheduled to perform it with them, since he was one of the original Byrds that put that historic album together. Well, I'm watching the stage and notice that J.D.Maness (who played pedal steel on the original Sweetheart album) was setting up. Then John Jorgeson appears on stage, tuning a number of instruments. Herb Petersen then walks up with a banjo and is testing a mike....WHAT...ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
Chris Hillman then takes the stage, the lame announcer this day introduces the Long Players and says that Chris, J.D., John and Herb would be joining in....GET OUTTA HERE!!! So they kick it off with "You Ain't Going Nowhere" with the genius of the DRB front and center, the only thing that would have made this better would have been to see Roger McGuinn walk out onstage with his signature Rickenbacker 12 string; unfortunately Roger wasn't there. The DRB then performed the entire album, and you could tell they hadn't practiced at all, because after a couple of verses on nearly every song Chris would say..."who wants to do a lead?" John or J.D. or both of them would break into some incredible leads, even Herb would break in with a lead on his banjo or Chris would dive into a searing lead on his mandolin. The harmonies were incredible. Whoever the Long Players were, they pretty much were in the background as the Desert Rose Band performed "Sweetheart of the Rodeo". What a great feeling knowing that they then would be back up on stage a little more than an hour later for the "last" DRB Show EVER!
After a memorable rendition of this incredible historic album (the first Country Rock album ever produced), the guys got off the stage and made way for Radney Foster (who invited Chris up to play on a number of tunes). Then the stage belonged to Richie Furay and his was indeed a "Good Feelin' To Know" that the DRB would be next.
At approx 4:10pm, the DRB took the stage and didn't disappoint. Even though I had no paper and pen to write down each and every song, it was an extended playlist that featured every DRB tune imaginable. The harmonies were heavenly as were the instrumentals. I was awestruck, sitting on one of the most beautiful places on God's Great Earth, seeing one of the greatest groups ever. It wasn't until near the end of the show that a sadness grew in my heart, knowing this could very well be the LAST TIME they ever perform together again! When the group hit the first few notes of "The Price I Pay" I knew this was it. John put together one of the most memorable leads I have ever witnessed on this tune!
After the show, everyone was accessable behind the stage, I asked John about all the guitars he lost in the Nashville flood and it nearly brought a tear to his eye, as he reinterated the devastation. I then asked him point blank...."Is this it for DRB"? He said with a wink and a smile...."You never know" as he was whisked away in a golf cart.
All in all a most memorable experience, those that were there were treated to an incredible and most memorable show ever AND to top it was FREE!!!
"Wild" Bill Cody

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