Way Out West

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Back in the '70s, a music scribe observed that Chris Hillman had never been part of a bad record. Thirty years later that's still true. Way Out West reunites Byrds/Flying Burrito Brothers vet Hillman with his Desert Rose Band partner Herb Pedersen, and it's like they never parted. The disc honors all the classic styles -- hard-edged Bakersfield country, bluegrass, New Traditionalist ballads, honky-tonk -- and when it's over, Way Out West takes its place as one of this year's best albums. Pedersen has one of the most affecting tenors in all of music, and it's on grand display here, especially on the Stanley Brothers-redolent bluegrass gospel song "The Old Crossroads," ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Back in the '70s, a music scribe observed that Chris Hillman had never been part of a bad record. Thirty years later that's still true. Way Out West reunites Byrds/Flying Burrito Brothers vet Hillman with his Desert Rose Band partner Herb Pedersen, and it's like they never parted. The disc honors all the classic styles -- hard-edged Bakersfield country, bluegrass, New Traditionalist ballads, honky-tonk -- and when it's over, Way Out West takes its place as one of this year's best albums. Pedersen has one of the most affecting tenors in all of music, and it's on grand display here, especially on the Stanley Brothers-redolent bluegrass gospel song "The Old Crossroads," which finds Pedersen in his keening upper range, à la Ralph, and Hillman bringing up the bottom, à la Carter. Hillman & Pedersen do a splendid job of remodeling the Everly Brothers' 1958 pop hit "Problems" as a traditional country tune: Their retooled version boasts fiddles, twangy guitars, and a solid backbeat supporting their close harmonies. Conversely, the Louvin Brothers' heartbreaking kissoff ballad "You're Learning" sticks close to the original's classic country approach. For honky-tonk heartbreakers, it's hard to beat Roger Miller's "Invitation to the Blues," and the harmonies and weeping pedal steel lines here make an exquisite backdrop for Pedersen's heartfelt leads. They close out the set with a buoyant, western-styled ballad, "Good Year," and a nice bit of ensemble picking on "Backporch Boy." With equal parts reverence and soul, Hillman & Pedersen have crafted a western country album of the highest order.
All Music Guide - Jonathan Widran
Here's the perfect antidote for country fans who mourn the loss of old-school flavors in lieu of the modern polished pop crossover approach. First the pedigrees for those who know the names but can't place them: Hillman is one of the great innovators of California country-rock, with legendary associations including the Byrds, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas, and other post-Byrds and Burrito lineups featuring former members. Pedersons crystal-clear tenor has graced the work of artists like Vince Gill, Johnny Rivers, and Linda Ronstadt, along with his bands the Dillards and the Laurel Canyon Ramblers. These two met as members of the Desert Rose Band and, all these years later, still apparently love folk, bluegrass, and old country -- styles which make up the bulk of the influences on this easy-going-down project. There are lots of crisp, twangy guitars and a colorful 17-track run featuring familiar themes like love, heartache, and living life the hard way. "Backporch Boy" is an instrumental bluegrass prelude, followed up by traditional honky tonk flavors on the she-done-me-wrong song "There You Go" and "Problems" the perfect cross of country instrumentation and Everly Brothers harmonies. Other highlights are the lament "Invitation to the Blues" and "Better Man Than That," which sounds like one of those classic, Eagles-flavored early-'70s Southern California classics. There are also gospel elements here and there on pieces like "The Old Cross Roads." Affiliated with Narada and Virgin, Back Porch Records is billed as a roots rock and Americana label, and this disc offers a throwback to various classic styles that are all at once comfortable and challenging.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/4/2002
  • Label: Back Porch
  • UPC: 724381197820
  • Catalog Number: 11978

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Backporch Boy - Herb Pedersen (1:01)
  2. 2 There You Go - Herb Pedersen (2:20)
  3. 3 Invitation to the Blues - Herb Pedersen (3:00)
  4. 4 No Longer a Sweetheart of Mine - Herb Pedersen (2:28)
  5. 5 Problems - Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen (3:19)
  6. 6 Better Man Than That - Herb Pedersen (3:43)
  7. 7 The Old Cross Road - Herb Pedersen (2:55)
  8. 8 Sugar Cane - Herb Pedersen (2:09)
  9. 9 After All Is Said and Done - Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen (2:31)
  10. 10 You Done Me Wrong - Herb Pedersen (2:06)
  11. 11 Save the Last Dance for Me - Herb Pedersen (2:49)
  12. 12 Are You Missing Me? - Herb Pedersen (2:45)
  13. 13 That's the Way It Was - Herb Pedersen (2:47)
  14. 14 You're Learning - Herb Pedersen (2:15)
  15. 15 Our Love It Don't Come Easy - Herb Pedersen (3:20)
  16. 16 Good Year - Herb Pedersen (3:10)
  17. 17 Backporch Boy (Outro) - Herb Pedersen (0:37)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Chris Hillman Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin, Vocals
Bill Bryson Bass, Acoustic Bass
Flaco Jiménez Accordion
Jay Dee Maness Pedal Steel Guitar, Steel Guitar
Jim Monahan Guitar
Willie Ornelas Drums
Larry Park Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
Herb Pedersen Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, 5-string Banjo
Kenny Blackwell Acoustic Guitar
Sergio Gonzales Drums
Dennis "Cannonball" Caplinger Fiddle
Gabe Witcher Fiddle
Sharon Soldi Accordion
Technical Credits
Chris Hillman Producer
Herb Pedersen Producer
Johnny Hoyt Engineer
J. Stanley Johnston Engineer
J. Stanley Johnson Engineer
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Desert Rose Revisited

    This album is a return to the days of the Desert Rose band. However this musical offering successfully mixes roots, country folk and bluegrass in a tasty stew that leaves mainstream canned country choking in the dust of their BMW's. Peddle steel by JayDee Mannes is wonderfully evocative of the aforementioned DRB while not carbon copy. And couple that with great soaring harmonies and yoeman musicianship by the rest and you have an ultimately listenable offering. It's also encouraging to hear that old guys can still play so well.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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