Album of the Day
As Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman take a well-deserved victory lap across America to celebrate the 50th anniversary of SWEETHEARTS OF THE RODEO, it's a good time to re-examine another seminal country-rock album from 1968 – The Dillards' WHEATSTRAW SUITE. The quartet had cut three previous bluegrass collections before dipping their toes into folk-rock on a couple singles as a lead-up to waxing this near-masterpiece for Elektra Records. Given the group's roots, you'd expect the deft finger-picking of Rodney Dillard and Herb Pedersen and the spot-on harmonies here. What's new on WHEATSTRAW SUITE is the stronger rhythmic pulse (from future Derek & The Dominos drummer Jim Gordon) and more contemporary material, including Beatles (“I've Just Seen a Face”) and Tim Hardin (“Reason to Believe”) covers along with several strong originals (“Nobody Knows,” “Hey Boys”). It's The Dillards' finest hour.