DIARY - 19/2/12 - RICE, RICE, HILLMAN & PEDERSON CD REVIEW
RICE, RICE, HILLMAN & PEDERSEN
RUNNING WILD (ROUNDER).
BEAUTY PAGEANT MURDERER STILL RUNNING WILD
forced entry, not many clues/ all the answers are way overdue/ it's the
mystery that won't go away/ the murder of little Jonbenet." - The
Mystery That Won't Go Away. - Larry Rice.
much of a mystery when Chris Hillman's sidekick Gram Parsons' body was
stolen after he died at 26 on September 19, 1973.
Tour manager Phil Kaufman and little Aussie mate Michael Martin gave Gram
an open cask cremation in the desert at Cap Rock near Joshua Pine after
snatching him from Van Nuys airport.
They escaped cops after being busted for traffic offences on the way back
to Phil's home where Arthur Penn was directing Gene Hackman movie, Night
"We're making the wrong movie" Hackman retorted when cops belatedly
fronted in search of Martin's battered hearse.
A more recent child murder is immortalised on Running Wild - the
third album by Hillman, Herb Pederson and Rice Bros - Larry and Tony.
Larry's tune, The Mystery That Won't Go Away, is a dramatic depiction
of a media storm - including many books - on the murder of Jonbenet Ramsey
on December 26, 1996.
The victim, just six and the child pageant daughter of multi-millionaire
couple John and Patsy Ramsey, was murdered in her Boulder, Colorado, home.
No visible sign of a break in was found and the file is still open.
Rice's song may not solve the murder mystery but is accurate barometer
of the lyrical growth of bluegrass since Hillman, Pedersen and the North
Carolina born Rice clan first worked the California country scene in the
Chris and Herb, now both 67, have also harmonised together for 50 years
after stints with Gosdin brothers, the late Vern and Rex in The Hillmen,
and later The Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers.
The duo and the Rices recruited Desert Rose Band pedal steel guitarist
Jay Dee Maness and Mary Chapin Carpenter drummer Robbie Magruder and pianist
Jon Carroll for this dynamic disc that almost escaped.
raised in an innocent age/ a story of love in every page/ a book written
true based on the golden rule/ a family you couldn't replace/ goodbye
to my old San Antone/ adios to the world I once owned/ just a place in
my heart, a memory of old/ adios to my old San Antone." - San
Antone - Chris Hillman-Steve Hill.
kicks of with beatific Hillman-Steve Hill tune, San Antone,
and segues into Herb and Chris's duet on the Louvin Bros title track.
Larry Rice sings lead on Lennon-McCartney tune Things We Said
Today and rhetorical question to a brazen hussy in vitriolic
Jim and Jesse McReynolds spurned lover lament, Hard Hearted.
Chris shared vocal duties with Stephen Stills in Manassas who headlined
our 1972 Mulwala pop fest and sings lead on Stills song 4 &
singer injects Stills suicidal character, reliving a 24-year-old
ruptured romance with a credible passion.
most of the disc is acoustic, drums and keyboards flesh out five tunes
including Buck Owens Take Me Back and Jon Ims tune, Two Of A
Ims wrote the historic Trisha Yearwood hit She's In Love With The Boy
long before she wed Oklahoma superstar Garth Brooks.
Pedersen injects Ims' Texas travelogue, in which a country song on radio
is a metaphor for a lover left behind, with true grit.
OF A KIND
midnight on the highway, Houston in the distance/ it seems I'm always
leaving love behind/ always singing along with someone whose soul is one
the radio/ it seems like the good old boy and I are one of a kind."
- Two Of A Kind - Jon Ims.
It's a perfect
companion song for Chris's Just Passing Through - a tortured travail
of a transient love.
Maybe She'll Get Lucky And Forget - a Hillman ode to a spurned
victim of a philanderer - features Ronnie and Rickie Simpkins on bass
and fiddle and Fred Travers of Seldom Scene on dobro.
As in many of these songs three-part harmonies soar in weary wisdom of
Don Wayne oldie It's A Long Way To The Top Of The World.
"It's a long way to the top of the world but it's only a short fall
I wish I listened to this gem more when it first arrived.
It took a Shipwreck Coast sojourn to convince me it was one of the best
acoustic bluegrass discs of the decade.
If you like this check out their previous disc Out Of The Woodwork
and Herb and Chris's albums, Bakersfield Bound and Way Out West.
If that's not enough try Pam Desbarres 1988 book I'm With The Band
in which she named Hillman, Larry Cordle and the late Waylon Jennings
among her lovers.
Ironically, Cordle co-wrote Nashville parody Murder On Music Row
with Larry Shell and recorded it with his band Lonesome Standard Time.
Texan George Strait and Georgia born Alan Jackson recorded it with Lee
Ann Womack and performed it live on the 1999 CMA Awards show.
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