Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen had bluegrass in common when they met as teenagers in Los Angeles back in the early '60s, but the two didn't make much music together until years later. Hillman first came to fame as a member of The Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers, before recording two critically- acclaimed acoustic albums with Pedersen in the early 1980's. The pair then went on to form the Desert Rose band, one of the most popular country music bands of the late 1980's and '90s.
At Edwards Barn, their latest album, is a live sampler of songs that Hillman and Pedersen loved when they were growing up. At the time, Buck Owens ruled the California music scene, so it's not surprising to find a cover of "Together Again" on At Edwards Barn.
Hillman has often referred to Buck Owens as "a mentor."
True to its name, this album was recorded in a barn in a rural California town. The concert was a fundraiser for local church. The set list included a few songs with a spiritual bent, including one that Hillman introduced as "the first song that ever made the Top 40 that came straight out of the Bible." He was talking about "Turn! Turn! Turn!" Folk music legend Pete Seeger set passages from the Book Of Ecclesiastes to music, and the Byrds turned it into a hit single more than 40 years ago.
While Hillman might be the better known of the pair, thanks to his stints with The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers, Herb Pedersen's resume is equally impressive. In addition to his time with Hillman in The Desert Rose Band, he's made music with Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, John Prine, and a host of other performers. Pedersen's song "Wait a Minute" is considered a modern bluegrass classic. The story of love and loss on the road hits home with both musicians, and anyone else who's ever had to spend time working on the road, far away from their family.
With so much elaborately produced music currently coming out of Nashville and Los Angeles, the simple acoustic sound of Chris Hillman, Herb Pedersen, and the other musicians on At Edwards Barn is a reminder of an earlier time. The performance is warm and fun, and their choice of material is impeccable.