Musical palate cleanser, can’t beat that Rickenbacker sound edition

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Attended the final show of the 50th anniversary of Sweetheart of the Rodeo tour, featuring Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman, last night.  If you didn’t get the chance to take it in, that’s a real shame, as it turned out to be one of the best concerts I’ve ever heard.

They played the album in its entirety, mixed in with some great Byrds chestnuts and even a Tom Petty tribute for the encore (a gorgeous bluegrass edition of “Wildflowers” was the highlight for me).  I have always loved the ringing sound of a 12-string Rickenbacker and McGuinn’s playing didn’t disappoint.  Hillman’s a good acoustic picker in his own right, but he’s always been underrated as a rock bassist (listen to his lines in Younger than Yesterday, for instance) and when he picked the bass up for a few songs, like he did in “My Back Pages”, the opener, it immediately took me back… well, a half century.

The musicianship all around was superb and a lot of credit for that has to go to the band the two played with on this tour, Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives.  Stuart is a virtuoso on both the guitar — he plays an electric guitar that originally belonged to Clarence White, swoon! — and the mandolin.  The Superlatives were just that.  They got to play a couple of songs on their own last night.  Here’s one.

In his introduction, Stuart mentioned how much “Time Don’t Wait” owes to the Byrds and the path they blazed with Sweetheart.  You can hear a little “Feel a Whole Lot Better” in the guitar riff on that Rickenbacker, that’s for sure.

Just a great, great show.

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17 responses to “Musical palate cleanser, can’t beat that Rickenbacker sound edition

  1. truck

    Sounds like a great show. Color me jealous. I love the Byrds, and Marty’s band makes everybody sound better.

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  2. Bulldog Joe

    Marty Stuart and Kenny Vaughan also played Verizon and Lakewood this past weekend. Great treat for Atlanta rockabilly fans.

    What did you think of the new Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center?

    Have not yet seen a show there.

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  3. Damn, I wish I had known such a thing was happening .
    Its been my goal to crank “You ain’t goin nowhere” if/when we finally beat ‘bama.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. DSLDawg

    Great venue and fabulous show. My face is sore from smiling all night

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  5. stoopnagle

    Considering how much I like R.E.M., I really need to do a deep dive on The Byrds.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Muttley

    I saw a weird line-up of Byrds in Macon, Georgia in 1985. I went just to see who’d show up. The answer turned out to be Clark and Clarke, a Burrito, and Blondie Chaplin. The show introduced me to “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” and I snapped up “Sweethearts” and have loved it ever since. It was my gateway to country music.

    I saw McGuinn walk on with the Beach Boys in Tampa the next year and Crosby at a political rally in Santa Monica a few years later. Just need a Hillman sighting to complete my ornithology.

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    • If I recall correctly, Michael Clarke took advantage of some sort of lapse and appropriated the Byrds’ name for his use.

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      • Muttley

        Yeah, there was a big dispute, even though none of the others wanted the name. Eventually they did a little reunion of the original five for the 1990 box set and all was peace again…and then Clarke went back out as the Byrds, wasn’t challenged, so he died in possession of the name.Then David Crosby bought it.

        On a bonus track to (I think) Dr. Byrds- or maybe Notorious Byrd Brothers- you can here Crosby in the studio REALLY ripping Clarke, at length, over his drumming. (Why would they keep rolling tape on that?)

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  7. Raleighwood Dawg

    Color me jealous 🙂 but so happy for you all that got a chance to see the show(s)!

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  8. Dave Griffin

    Great show, I’m sure!
    I booked Marty and His Superlatives several weeks back for the 21st Annual Gram Parsons Guitar Pull and Tribute Festival in Waycross GA. It was the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen in the whole 21 years I’ve been doing this…and rightly so. They are as good as it gets!

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