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Author Topic:  Chris Hillman
Jerry Overstreet


From:
Louisville Ky
Post  Posted 14 Nov 2019 6:16 am    
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Pardon me if this is old news to most of you, but I just found some info concerning Chris Hillman that I was not aware of. Certainly, I remember him from the Byrds, Burrito Brothers, Manassas, Desert Rose Band and other associations, but I did not know that he once played mandolin with Vern Gosdin in a blue grass band named the Hillmen, formerly the Golden State Boys in CA. Vern and his brother Rex. Don Parmley of the future Bluegrass Cardinals.

This would have been way back in the early 60's, probably 62, 63.

A terrific vocalist, writer and multi instrumentalist whose resume goes back further than that even.

Most people I know, think of him primarily as a country rock pioneer, but he is well grounded in early bluegrass and traditional country. No johnny come lately for sure.

I've always considered him as a very important figure in the history of music and believe he is due a lot of credit for keeping the steel guitar up front is his groups post the bluegrass stuff. He's one of my heroes and I believe he is deserving of many accolades for his presence and loyalty in this music.
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Dave Mudgett


From:
Central Pennsylvania
Post  Posted 14 Nov 2019 6:54 am    
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Yeah, there was a Hillmen album reissued some years ago, I have a copy somewhere. Good, solid bluegrass. I totally agree with everything you wrote about him - he's one of the seminal pioneers of American roots music.
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scott murray


From:
Asheville, NC
Post  Posted 14 Nov 2019 8:09 am    
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he has found many opportunities to play his mandolin in just about every project he's ever been involved with over the years, and plays it quite a bit in his current shows with Herb Pedersen. seems to be his favorite thing to play.

there's a great interview he did through the Library of Congress a few years ago, worth the watch: https://youtu.be/AcEjCnMlxfY
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Ben Elder

 

From:
La Crescenta, California, USA
Post  Posted 16 Nov 2019 12:40 am    
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Not to forget the Scottsville Squirrel Barkers.
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Joachim Kettner


From:
Germany
Post  Posted 16 Nov 2019 12:45 am    
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He also played on the two Dillard And Clark records.
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Mike Bacciarini


From:
San Luis Obispo, California
Post  Posted 19 Nov 2019 10:30 am    
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I agree with Scott about the Library of Congress talk he gave. Great history....
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George Biner


From:
Los Angeles
Post  Posted 8 Jan 2020 6:12 pm    
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Chris Hillman told us at a show that he was a mandolin player when his agent told him a band called the Byrds was looking for a bass player and asked him if he was interested - "Sure", he said -- having never played bass before.

That's why some of the bass lines on Byrds records are great but just a bit busy.
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Alan Shank

 

From:
Woodland, CA, USA
Post  Posted 1 Apr 2020 2:48 pm    
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Ben Elder wrote:
Not to forget the Scottsville Squirrel Barkers.


One of my introductions to Bluegrass was that album!
Cheers,
Alan Shank
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Pete Burak

 

From:
Portland, OR USA
Post  Posted 2 Apr 2020 9:24 am    
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I saw him with McGuinn, Clark and Hillman in the late 70's.
We opened for The Desert Rose Band one time and got to meet him and John Jorgenson. Tom Brumly was on Steel that day and it was like 105deg on stage when they went on, and Tom was not having a good time due to tuning issues.
'Love all his stuff. Lot's of Steel.
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Joachim Kettner


From:
Germany
Post  Posted 2 Apr 2020 11:05 pm    
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One of my favourite songs from him:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25YxNSkLDB8
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John De Maille


From:
On a Mountain in Upstate Halcottsville, N.Y.
Post  Posted 3 Apr 2020 10:31 am    
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George Biner wrote:
Chris Hillman told us at a show that he was a mandolin player when his agent told him a band called the Byrds was looking for a bass player and asked him if he was interested - "Sure", he said -- having never played bass before.

That's why some of the bass lines on Byrds records are great but just a bit busy.

My band opened for the Byrds back in 1965 or 66, can't remember exactly. Back then, my band did many different R&R styles, but, I was tremendously interested in their sound.
They played two sets with us in between. The funny thing was that, Chris never faced the audience. He played with his back to them, both sets. We didn't talk to them so I never figured out why. Their sound was fantastic and really impressed this young kid just starting out.
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Ron Funk

 

From:
Ballwin, Missouri
Post  Posted 3 Apr 2020 8:51 pm    
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Chris Hillman sure has a long and storied history.

One of the best concerts I ever attended was opening act "Sweethearts of the Rodeo," followed by headliner "The Desert Rose Band"

Whew !! What a shew !!
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Mike Bacciarini


From:
San Luis Obispo, California
Post  Posted 30 Apr 2020 11:48 am    
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Never knew Chris played with his back to the crowd. Reminds me of Buffalo Springfield’s Bruce Palmer. Saw them in 67 and that was his thing.
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Last edited by Mike Bacciarini on 7 Dec 2020 6:41 am; edited 1 time in total
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John De Maille


From:
On a Mountain in Upstate Halcottsville, N.Y.
Post  Posted 2 May 2020 3:25 pm    
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I only saw Chris play that way one time. Don't know about other times. When I saw the Byrds playing again, Skip Batten was playing bass for them.
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Joachim Kettner


From:
Germany
Post  Posted 22 Nov 2020 2:14 am    
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https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/chris-hillman-flying-burrito-brothers-time-between-excerpt-1043901/
Very interesting!
He talks about Sneaky Pete here, and how he's got his name.
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Craig Stock


From:
Westfield, NJ USA
Post  Posted 22 Nov 2020 6:19 am    
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My buddy just told me about this new book that Chris released on Friday.

Time Between: My Life as a Byrd, Burrito Brother, and Beyond By Chris Hillman
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post  Posted 22 Nov 2020 7:01 am    
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Craig Stock wrote:
My buddy just told me about this new book that Chris released on Friday.

My copy of Time Between was delivered Thursday and I can't put it down. Written by Chris himself; no ghostwriter. Definitely one of the preeminent founding fathers of SoCal country rock. Highly recommended.
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Jerry Overstreet


From:
Louisville Ky
Post  Posted 22 Nov 2020 7:16 am    
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Thanks for the heads up re: this input and Chris' new book release.
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Bob Watson


From:
Champaign, Illinois, U.S.
Post  Posted 23 Nov 2020 1:40 am    
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I've been a big fan of The Byrds since their first record came out, Mr. Tamborine Man. I remember going through my old vinyl years ago and for some reason when I found the Mr. Tamborine Man album I read the liner notes. Here is a quote off of those liner notes that went over my head back in 1965 when it came out, but that I got a huge kick out of reading years later. The writer starts out by introducing the band, here's what he said about Chris Hillman. "Chris Hillman, who used to play a lot of Bluegrass mandolin, now plays bass guitar with the group. (I’m told he plays John Coltrane solos on the mandolin – does that wake you up?)"
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Joachim Kettner


From:
Germany
Post  Posted 23 Nov 2020 6:16 am    
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That is the first time I've read the liner notes, Bob. Thank you for making me aware of them. I've probably had a little more difficulties deciphering them, than you because of the language barrier Sad
He wrote them:


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Bob Watson


From:
Champaign, Illinois, U.S.
Post  Posted 23 Nov 2020 2:13 pm    
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Joachim, it totally blew my mind when I re-read those liner notes later on in my life. I was only around 9 years old when that album came out. I've been into Jazz since I was really young but I didn't start paying attention to who the Jazz icons were until I was about 11 years old, so the reference to Coltrane went over my head. I haven't read any of the books about the history of The Byrds yet. I did read the book about Gram Parson's called Twenty Thousand Roads and I really enjoyed all of the references to The Byrds that were in that book. I'm glad you enjoyed the quote I posted. It gives an insight into the musicality of Chris Hillman, who has been one of my favorite musicians for a long time.
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Craig Stock


From:
Westfield, NJ USA
Post  Posted 24 Nov 2020 4:43 pm    
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Just ordered my book today. Looking forward to reading it.
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I cried because I had no shoes, then I met a man who had no feet.

Today is tomorrow's Good ol' days
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Mike Bacciarini


From:
San Luis Obispo, California
Post  Posted 25 Nov 2020 6:31 am    
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Anybody remember Ever Call Ready?
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Joachim Kettner


From:
Germany
Post  Posted 25 Nov 2020 7:41 am    
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Yes, they made a few Christian albums. I have one of them, but this is without Chris.
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Jim Fogle


From:
North Carolina, Winston-Salem, USA
Post  Posted 26 Nov 2020 10:02 am    
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I just received my latest copy of Tape Op. It has an interview with Chris. I haven't read it yet but I'm looking forward to it.

If you don't subscribe to Tape Op, consider it. The magazine is free to US subscribers. https://tapeop.com/
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