The Dillards - Pickin Fiddlin Wheatstraw Suite Copperfields (2004)
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The Dillards - Pickin Fiddlin Wheatstraw Suite Copperfields (2004)

Artist: The Dillards
Title Of Album: Pickin & Fiddlin & Wheatstraw Suite & Copperfields
Year Of Release: 2004
Label: Warner Music / 8122 76508-2
Genre: Progressive Bluegrass, Country Rock, Folk
Total Time: 1:43:36
Format: Mp3 / FLAC (tracks +.cue, log-file)
Quality: CBR 320 kbps / Lossless
Total Size: 277 mb / 654 mb (Booklet)
This double-CD set from WEA International contains three albums by the Dillards -- Pickin' and Fiddlin', Wheatstraw Suite, and Copperfields -- that are all regarded as classics in their respective musical subgenres. So on its face, this is an extraordinarily attractive set, with great sound and full annotation. Indeed, the only thing that would prevent any Dillards fan from buying this set is the fact that all three albums have also appeared from Collectors' Choice in the United States. The sound is comparable to that of the rival U.S. releases, and the value of the three albums -- each with a distinctly different musical approach, varying between traditional bluegrass and progressive bluegrass (with some folk-rock elements incorporated) -- speaks for itself, each a classic in its own right. But what makes this collection special is the presence of the four folk-rock-style songs that the Dillards recorded for Capitol Records during a hiatus in their contractual relationship with Elektra Records, circa 1966. It seems that despite the fact that they were soon to be in the process of signing up acts such as Love and the Doors, Elektra Records' management didn't like the idea of the progressive bluegrass sound that the Dillards wanted to try on for size, and as their contract was up, they jumped to Capitol, where they were put together with a string of producers who didn't understand what it was they were aiming for, and they lasted for just two singles. And those records, which disappeared without a trace and have hardly been heard, even by most longtime fans of the group, are unlike much else that they ever released -- with a heavy electric guitar sound and richly harmonized vocals, the Dillards sound like an alternate-universe version of the Byrds or the Beau Brummels on "Nobody Knows," "Ebo Walker," "The Last Thing on My Mind," and "Lemon Chimes," the first and last of which were re-recorded in very different form for Wheatstraw Suite. It's a very commercial folk-rock sound, but also a bit generic, and it's easy to understand how the songs fell between the cracks -- the Dillards apparently weren't happy with the results and re-signed to Elektra soon after, where they cut Wheatstraw Suite, which was closer to what they'd had in mind in the first place. Those four sides also represent the tail end of Doug Dillard's tenure with the group, as he left prior to Wheatstraw Suite. Otherwise, the production is first-rate, as is the annotation by Johnny Rogan, and those four bonus tracks are unique to this set.
TRACKLIST:
Pickin' And Fiddlin
01. Hamilton County
02. Fisher's Hornpipe
03. Paddy On The Turnpike
04. Jazz Bow Rag
05. Apple Blossom Rag
06. Tom & Jerry
07. Cotton Patch
08. Durang's Hornpipe
09. Wagoner
10. Sally Johnson
11. Crazy Creek
12. Drunken Billy Goat
13. Black Mountain Rag
14. Twinkle, Twinkle
15. Wild John
16. Soppin' The Gravy
Single Only Releases
17. Nobody Knows
18. Ebo Walker
19. Last Thing On My Mind
20. Lemon Chimes
Wheatstraw Suite
01. I'll Fly Away
02. Nobody Knows
03. Hey Boys
04. The Biggest Whatever
05. Listen To The Sound
06. Little Pete
07. Reason To Believe
08. Single Saddle
09. I've Just Seen A Face
10. Lemon Chimes
11. Don't You Cry
12. Bending The Strings
13. She Sang Hymns Out Of Tune
Copperfields
14. Rainmaker
15. In Our Time
16. Old Man At The Mill
17. Touch Her If You Can
18. Woman Turn Around
19. Yesterday
20. Brother John
21. Copperfields
22. West Montana Highwa
23. Close The Door Lightly
24. Pictures
25. Ebo Walker
26. Sundown
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