Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#134 in the Series) is Gram Parson’s, GP.
I was shocked to see that I hadn’t featured Gram Parson’s as of yet. He’s one of my all-time favorites. I did feature him as part of The Byrds, Sweethearts of the Rodeo era.
GP was Gram’s first of two studio albums. Grievous Angel was the second and could have been as easily featured as GP since they are both outstanding pieces of music.
GP was home for some of Gram’s most wonderful moments. He was in excellent voice in this era. Give a listen to some of the slower moments of the disc including ‘A Song For You, Streets of Baltimore, She’ or ‘The New Soft Shoe.’ Gram never sounded better.
There are some nice up tempo songs here as well. Those would include ‘Still Feeling Blue, We’ll Sweep Out the Ashes in the Morning’ and ‘Big Mouth Blues.’
Gram will always hold a very special place for me in the landscape of American music. He was one of, if not the, first to bring country music to the rock and roll field. He would play albums of the early country greats to the hippies in LA until they ‘Got it.’ Without his influence we may never had heard the likes of bands like his own ‘Flying Burrito Brothers’ or ‘New Riders of the Purple Sage, Poco, Heartsfield, The Eagles, Pure Prairie League, etc etc.’
GP was produced by Blind Faith bassist Rick Grech. It was released in 1973.
Unfortunately, Gram would leave us by the end of that year.
Listen to the masterpiece of She or Song For You (Including a short interview with Gram) or the up tempo, Still Feeling Blue.
Today’s “Cool Album of the Day” is the debut self-titled album by “Mudcrutch.”
I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve never been the biggest Tom Petty fan. Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s OK. I’ve liked some of this work but I think the best thing he ever did was his original single ‘American Girl’ and that was 1976.
But however, I really liked his “Mudcrutch” album.
Here’s what Mudcrutch was all about. They were Petty’s first band formed in 1970. The band did include a number of ‘Heartbreakers.’ They released a single and never amounted to all that much.
Here’s the lineup, Tom Petty on vocals and BASS guitar. Mike Campbell on lead guitar, Benmont Tench on keyboards, vocals. Randall Marsh on drums and Tom Leadon on rhythm guitar and backing vocals.
Tom Leadon is the brother of Bernie Leadon. You of course know Bernie from the Flying Burrito Brothers and some other band named after a popular American bird.
Another I liked about “Mudcrutch” is that it was recorded live in studio. It’s a shame that more acts don’t do that.
Highlights, lets go with the traditional ‘Shady Grove.’ (Think the Dillards on The Andy Griffith Show.) ‘Lover of the Bayou.’ This was an old Byrds song that was always very hard to find. In fact, I’m pretty sure they only place to find it was on a live album. ‘Topanga Cowgirl, Bootleg Flyer’ and ‘Scare Easy.’
“Mudcrutch” debuted at #8 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart.
It was produced by Tom Petty, Mike Campbell and Ryan Ulyate.
The band did a short tour and released a follow up live EP later in 2008 called “Extended Play Live.”