@Raven's excellent multi-label anthology of the Dillards is required listening for fans of late-'60s/early-'70s country-rock. Considering the group released material on Elektra, Capitol, White Whale, Anthem, Poppy, and Flying Fish, it's a wonder that Best of the Dillards 1963-79: Let the Music Flow is available at all, and with over 78 minutes of music, it's the definitive career overview from this influential, yet often over-looked, electric bluegrass collective -- the band's only other compilation, 1991's There Is a Time (1963-70) focused exclusively on their first five (and arguably best) records for Elektra. While they never found the success of contemporaries like the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, the Flying Burrito Brothers or the Byrds, the Dillards helped modernize the old-timey sounds of the South, drawing from rock, folk, and country without sounding contrived, earning the respect of both critics and musicians alike -- 1968's Wheatstraw Suite and 1970's Copperfields are progressive bluegrass classics. Americana fans looking to expand their knowledge of the genre's inception outside of Gram Parsons would do well to scoop up this soulful and detailed account of one of the era's more prolific and understated acts.
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