Gram Parsons - GP (1973)

Gram Parsons was an American singer-songwriter, considered a pioneer in the country-rock genre.

Gram Parsons was born in Florida in 1946, and as a teenager discovered a love first of rock & roll, and then of folk music. It wasn't til he went to Harvard that he became truly interested in country music, and formed The International Submarine Band, which released the obscure and underappreciated Safe At Home in 1968. However by the time of its release he had already joined The Byrds, and remarkably re-directed the pioneering folk-rock band's sound towards country music. He was only with The Byrds for a short time, resulting in the country-rock classic Sweetheart Of The Rodeo, before he formed a new band with The Byrds' Chris Hillman, The Flying Burrito Brothers. After releasing a splendid debut and a disappointing follow-up with them, he was was on on his own again by 1970.
He then had a musically unproductive couple of years. During this time he attempted a solo album with producer Terry Melcher (which came to nothing), hanged out with the Rolling Stones (though Anita Pallenberg reportedly asked him to leave during the making of Exile On Main Street), got married and nursed a heroin habit. His role in the late 60s as a country-rock pioneer was apparently a distant memory.

However in 1972 he managed to kick his addiction and got himself signed to Reprise Records. His first solo album saw him backed by an army of session musicians including guitarist James Burton, drummer John Guerin, pianist Glen Hardin, pedal steel guitarists Buddy Emmons and Al Perkins, bassist Ric Grech, fiddle player Byron Berline and singer Emmylou Harris. It was a fantastic album, leaning further in the direction of traditional country music, with alot of great original songs and a scattering of well-chosen covers. One of the originals, "She", was a third collaboration with his old bandmate Chris Ethridge.

|> Grievous Angel (1974)
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