Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Scottsville Squirrel Barkers - Blue Grass Favorites

The early-'60s bluegrass group the Scottsville Squirrel Barkers are most known for including Chris Hillman, who would join the Byrds a year after the band broke up. While they were together, they recorded an album of traditional bluegrass that marked the first recording not only by Hillman, but also by dobro player Larry Murray, who went on to the underrated Los Angeles country-rock group Hearts & Flowers.
The LP has solid and at times extremely rapidly picked bluegrass for musicians so young. Future founding Eagles member Bernie Leadon
was also in the Scottsville Squirrel Barkers, although he doesn't appear on the album, joining after it was recorded. Establishing the basic details of the group's career has been a little confusing, but basically they formed in San Diego in 1961 or 1962, recruiting Hillman as the final member of the quintet during his last year of high school. In 1963 they recorded the LP
for budget Crown label live in about four hours, according to Hillman's recollection. To confuse matters, Crown also reissued the album at one point with the title Best of the Blue Grass Favorites, changing the group billing to the Kentucky Mountain Boys. The ten songs from the record also show up on an album called The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde, billed to a nonexistent artist named Ray Waters, on Custom, which like Crown was a subsidiary of Modern. Bernie Leadon played with the group for a while after the album was cut, replacing banjo player Kenny Wertz.
The Scottsville Squirrel Barkers actually did a reunion gig about 40 years after they broke up in April 2003 at the 30th Annual Roots Festival in San Diego, with Hillman, Murray, Wertz, Leadon, and guitarist Doug Jeffords.
If you a Byrds / Chris Hillman fan and you never heard this one it's highly recomended to get this album!
Quality: VBR


TheSeeker said...

Link is:

BillFrank said...

Chris Hillman fans may be interested in a radio interview I conducted with Chris in September 2010. The link to the interview is:

Shlomo Pesach said...

I know it's been a white, but spring is springing and I would love to hear this early sound of Leadon and HIllman. Could you upload this again? Thanks either way!