Dillard & Clark

Through the Morning, Through the Night

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Dillard & Clark's second outing was a disappointment in relation to their far more eclectic and original prior effort, The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard & Clark. The primary difference is that whereas the earlier record had leaned on Gene Clark's original compositions, and a reasonably adventurous attitude toward country-rock fusion in general, the follow-up saw them turning into a much more traditional folk/bluegrass act. In part this was due to the addition of guitarist Donna Washburn on harmony and occasional lead vocal, and the departure of Bernie Leadon. But in the main, it was because Clark wrote just four of the tracks, surrounded by covers of songs by Reno & Smiley, Bill Monroe, the Everly Brothers, and even the Beatles' "Don't Let Me Down" (which is actually one of the better songs on the album). Taken on its own, it's a fair, pleasant, heavily bluegrass-flavored outing with few surprises. The Clark originals sound considerably more personal and contemporary than the more traditional tunes, though Clark's "Corner Street Bar" was a surprisingly dreadful comic barroom lament. Either the band didn't realize that Clark's voice and compositions were their greatest potential assets, or Clark himself was not assertive enough in pushing himself to the forefront.

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