Chris Hillman

Desert Rose

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Chris Hillman was never the songwriter of the caliber of Gene Clark, Gram Parsons, or Stephen Stills, his bandmates back in the heady days of folk-rock and early country-rock, so it's not surprising to see him mine the treasures of traditional Nashville once he broke free as a solo artist. Desert Rose is his second album for the Sugar Hill label, and it features largely the same crack backup musicians as on Morning Sky, as well as a lineup of breezy country tunes by the likes of Jimmie Rodgers, and Acuff-Rose publishing. Hillman again plays mandolin, and the use of banjo and fiddle on this record further add to a bluegrass feel. The title track, a Hillman original, would later be used as a name for his band, and you can sense Hillman's contentment at leaving his rock baggage behind. This is a pleasant, understated affair, great music to unwind to while sipping cold lemonade on a hot summer day.

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