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.
Poco laid their plan, right there, in the lyrics in the title cut.
Call it a Mission Statement:
‘Well, there’s a little bit of magic
In the music we’re playin’
So let’s begin
We’ll bring you back down home where the folks are happy
Sittin pickin’ and a-grinnin’
Casually, you and me
We’ll pick up the pieces.
That’s it. Richie Furay and Poco were laying the ground work not only for their plans, but also laying the groundwork for the new genre of country-rock.
This album features the original Poco lineup.
Richie Furay (guitar, vocals) and Jim Messina (guitar , vocals) had just finished a stint in another ground breaking group ‘The Buffalo Springfield.’
Rusty Young (pedal steel guitar, guitar, vocals) came in after playing on one track on the last Bufflalo Springfield album. ‘Kind Woman.’
George Grantham (drums, vocals) was a friend of Rusty’s.
Randy Meisner (bass, vocals) came over from a band called ‘The Poor.’ They had once opened for Springfield.
This would be the last time they would record together until the reunion album ‘Legacy.’
Shortly after this release, Meisner went on play bass for The Eagles while Jim Messina formed Loggins and Messina.
They’d be replaced by long term Poco members Timothy B. Schmit and Paul Cotton. (Or NORM! as he was known by his given name when he still lived in the Chicago Roseland area.)
Other highlights include, Consequently, So Long. Grand Junction. Calico Lady and Just incase it Happens, Yes Indeed.
This weekend, go out and listen to two album that started a genre, The Byrds ‘Sweethearts of the Rodeo’ and Poco’s ‘Pickin’ Up the Pieces’, Today’s Cool Album of the Day!’