From the first song of Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen’s set, I felt cast back in time, back to heady days of my youth in the 1960s and ‘70s. It was that inimitable sound of the times that was emanating from the stage - sweet country rock redolent with superb harmonies and masterly musicianship.
They started with a couple of Desert Rose Band songs, first the appropriately called Desert Rose, followed by She Don’t Love Nobody, a song written by John Hiatt. Turn Turn Turn, the famous Pete Seeger song, which was a big hit for The Byrds in 1965, was next. The lyrics are drawn from The Book of Ecclesiastes, so Chris Hillman informed us.
Herb Pedersen was associated with The Dillards, a legendary bluegrass band, and introduced the next song as one of their standards – Close The Door Lightly.
And so the concert proceeded with Chris & Herb ranging through their back catalogue, many of the songs being familiar to those of us who grew up with the songs on our record players or on the radio. For instance the fabulous Sin City written by Chris Hillman and Gram Parsons for The Flying Burrito Brothers influential record Gilded Palace of Sin, Dylan’s Mr Tambourine Man, which contains the wonderful line “In the jingle jangle morning…” and Bells of Rhymney another Pete Seeger song. I hadn’t heard many of these songs for decades, but as is the case with music, it’s amazing how you can still remember the words.
They played 20 songs in all, including the encore, and finished their main set with So You Want To Be A Rock ‘n’ Roll Star.
It was a great show, by two legends of folk/rock, country/rock fame. They proved that the genuine sound of the era from which they came, cannot be imitated. It was the real thing.
The Caravan Music Club is a great venue – it has an old fashioned ambience and is part of the Oakleigh RSL It’s a pity it’s so far from home, because it’s one of the best venues in Melbourne.
- Desert Rose
- She Don’t Love Nobody
- Turn, Turn, Turn
- Close The Door Lightly
- If I Could Only Win Your Love
- Sin City
- Bells of Rhymney
- Devil In Disguise
- Nevertheless I’m In Love With You
- Hey Boys
- Rank Stranger
- Old Crossroads
- Mr Tambourine Man
- Old Train
- Rangers Command
- Doesn’t Mean Much Anymore
- Eight Miles High
- Wait A Minute
- So You Want To Be A Rock ‘n’ Roll Star
- Heaven’s Lullaby