Various Artists

Hillbilly Fever, Vol. 5: Legends of Country Rock

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Hillbilly Fever, Vol. 5: Legends of Country Rock Review

by Richie Unterberger

If you're a big country-rock fan, you're probably familiar with most of the work on this compilation. If you're not, it's a good introductory survey of the genre; if you're a fan but not passionate enough about the style to actively collect country-rock recordings, it may satisfy more basic needs. Focusing exclusively on music from country-rock's heyday in the late '60s and early '70s, it has cuts by most of the leading lights of the scene, including the Flying Burrito Brothers, the International Submarine Band, the Byrds, the Everly Brothers, Poco, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Michael Nesmith, and the New Riders of the Purple Sage. The compilation also briefly visits the mid-'70s with Pure Prairie League and Marshall Tucker. There are also off-the-beaten tracks by Linda Ronstadt and Bob Dylan, as well as country-rock outings by name acts who weren't primarily affiliated with the style, such as the Lovin' Spoonful, the Youngbloods, and Delaney & Bonnie. It's a good mix of the familiar and the unfamiliar, though it doesn't include important work in the field by Buffalo Springfield, the Grateful Dead, the Beau Brummels, and Rick Nelson, mostly because of licensing restrictions.

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