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.
Quite simply, a masterpiece. Was it the first country rock album? That’s debatable.
There has been so much written and discussed about this music that I’m not even going to try and invent an original idea.
Just listen to the music. I’d have loved to have heard Roger McGuinn and Gram Parsons stay together longer. But then Gram might not have gone on to to record two other great pieces of music (Gram Parsons and GP). And maybe he wouldn’t have gone on to discover (along with Chris Hillman) EmmyLou Harris.
Some of the classic songs here are Bob Dylan’s ‘You Aint Goin’ Nowhere, You’re Still On My Mind.’ Woodie Guthrie’s ‘Pretty Boy Floyd,’ and of course, GP’s ‘Hickory Wind.’