Chris Hillman

Ever Call Ready

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AllMusic Review by

This is one of the more obscure recordings in the vast discography of Chris Hillman. The group the mandolinist nominally leads, with fellow Flying Burrito Brothers alumni Bernie Leadon (on acoustic guitar) and Al Perkins (on Dobro), plus fiddler David Mansfield and bassist Jerry Scheff, focuses on inspirational and gospel tunes from several eras, all in a quasi-bluegrass setting. The tight four-part vocal harmonies, with either Hillman's tenor or Leadon's high tenor leading the way (Perkins is the lead singer for Don Reno's "I'm Using the Bible for My Road Map") are complemented by the band's understated playing. Hillman proves himself to be a more effective lead vocalist than Leadon, shining especially in Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs' "God Loves His Children" and Bill Gaither's "It's Beginning to Rain." The date wraps with a lively bluegrass instrumental of Leon McHuliffe's "Panhandle Rag," finally giving the musicians a chance to stretch out as instrumentalists. It is likely that many fans of Chris Hillman never saw this A&M LP during the brief time it was available during the 1980s, since it wasn't filed in stores with his other recordings under rock or country. Yet his love for this genre, already hinted at in several of his more mainstream albums, is sincere throughout this hard-to-find record.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:13
2
2:20
3
3:29
4 3:04
5 3:03
6 2:56
7 4:08
8 2:15
9
2:45
10
2:50
11 4:14
12
1:56
13 2:39
14 2:42
blue highlight denotes track pick