Souther-Hillman-Furay Band

The Souther-Hillman-Furay Band

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When David Geffen convinced Richie Furay, Chris Hillman, and J.D. Souther to join forces to form a country-rock supergroup, it seemed like an inspired suggestion. Crosby, Stills & Nash's folk-rock had scored big with a similar idea, while bands such as the Eagles, who recorded for Geffen's Asylum Records, had made some waves commercially in recent years. But despite high expectations along with the history of their members, the Souther-Hillman-Furay Band's 1974 eponymous debut never quite lived up to its promise. The trio, along with steel guitarist Al Perkins, drummer Jim Gordon, and Paul Harris on piano, delivers a collection of ten pleasant, if overall unremarkable tunes in the singer/songwriter, country-rock vein. There are glimmers of past glories by each, but only Furay really connects solidly. His "Fallin' in Love," which opens the record, is a winning, Poco-like rocker, while "Believe Me" is by far its most beautiful track. On the other hand, with the exception of a pair of modest successes, including the lightly funky "Border Town" and the straightforward rock & roll of "Safe at Home," Souther and Hillman's contributions are fairly lightweight. Even "Heavenly Fire," Hillman's heartfelt tribute to former bandmate Gram Parsons, who had died a few months earlier, is a bit lackluster and pales in comparison to the Eagles' "My Man" from the same year. Still, there should be enough here -- thanks especially to the Furay tracks -- that will at least be of moderate interest to most fans. Originally released by Asylum in 1974, The Souther-Hillman-Furay Band was reissued domestically on CD by the Wounded Bird label in 2002.

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