Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

May 11, 2017

FLYTE (Gene Clark & Chris Hillman), Live In Los Angeles, 1982

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 7:49 pm

FLYTE (Gene Clark & Chris Hillman)

Live in Los Angeles, 1982

Keyhole Records (UK), 2-cd set


These recordings have been circulating on Byrds-oriented websites for years, but if you’d like a physical copy that’s attractive and convenient and relatively cheap (under ten dollars), here it is….a grey-market, protection-gap UK release which looks suspiciously like it’s from the some people who do unauthorized compilations of 60’s obscure 45’s which I sometimes review. However, I’ve played both these discs at least ten times since getting this album 4 or 5 months ago, so I’d like to mention it as a number of you would love this as much as I do.

To put this band into perspective, this is Chris Hillman after the breakup of the McGuinn-Clark-Hillman band….and Gene Clark before his Firebyrd album, and one can hear elements of each of those items here. However, this is a bluegrass-based band—-essentially Chris Hillman and his long-time musical partner Herb Pedersen with Al Perkins and the added presence of Gene Clark. There is a Flying Burrito Brothers element here too, but imagine a bluegrass Burritos as opposed to a country Burritos.

Recorded at the Palomino in North Hollywood (according to knowledgeable people, on December 18, 1982, when the band was opening for Emmylou Harris), we have here two sets by the band–the first set contains two songs unique to it, and those two songs are stunners: Dylan’s Mr. Tambourine Man, which pre-figures Gene’s version of it on the Firebyrd album, and a beautiful and moving version of Gordon Lightfoot’s If You Could Read My Mind, sung by Gene, who states that it’s one of his all-time favorite songs. Based on this performance, I can hear why.  Clark fans need to hear this version. The second set concludes with a song not on the first set, One Hundred Years From Now. The shows are taken from an FM broadcast and bring back the days when one could tune in to a local FM station and hear shows from local clubs, settle back with a glass of wine, and be transported to the club while in your own apartment. I used to be able to hear a number of these in the Denver of the 1970’s.

I tend to listen to this album in the evening, while winding down from the day, and it’s like a comfortable visit from an old downhome friend. It should probably be mentioned that Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen are the dominant musical forces in this band, with the added harmonizing (and a few solo vocals) from Gene Clark, which of course add an intriguing depth to the pieces. These performances are informal and relaxed, just the way you’d want them to be.

Chris Hillman, unfortunately, tends to be taken for granted nowadays by many. Gene Clark has finally been getting a lot of acclaim since his death, and there’s probably more Gene Clark available now than at any time during the man’s lifetime. Chris Hillman is still active, and if you consider that his pre-Byrds Scottsville Squirrel Barkers LP was released in 1963, the man has had a 54-year recording career, and is surely one of the greatest country-rock pioneers alive today, still a fine performer who still puts out excellent music. His body of recorded work is much larger than you might suspect, unless you have been collecting his many albums (and appearances on others’ albums). He is in fine form here and clearly is enjoying himself and enjoying being in the presence of his fellow band members and friends. Also, by this time, his work had a sense of depth and gravitas and a lived-in quality that cannot be faked.

Another selling point for this album is that bluegrass purists would probably NOT like it and would consider it country. I lived in rural Virginia for six years, in an area where bluegrass (or as it’s often called there “old-time-music”) was the indigenous music, and there is sometimes a very strict definition of the genre….and the revival bands who self-consciously in that vein do tend to respect those boundaries and content/style requirements. FLYTE do not.

As this is not an authorized album, feel free to download the same recordings at  .

Early Set

  1. Tomorrow is a Long Time 2:02
  2. Still Feeling Blue 2:21
  3. Train Leaves Here This Morning 3:47
  4. Don’t Let Your Sweet Love Die 2:43
  5. Runnin’ the Roadblocks 3:12
  6. Easy Ride 2:48
  7. Wheels 3:42
  8. My Uncle 2:36
  9. If You Could Read My Mind 4:57
  10. Once More 3:52
  11. Mr Tambourine Man 5:44

Late Set

  1. Intro 0:11
  2. Tomorrow is a Long Time 3:02
  3. Still Feeling Blue 2:31
  4. Train Leaves Here This Morning 4:10
  5. Don’t Let Your Sweet Love Die 2:50
  6. Runnin’ the Roadblocks 3:16
  7. Easy Ride 3:00
  8. Wheels 3:43
  9. My Uncle 3:10
  10. Once More 3:26
  11. One Hundred Years 2:48

The perfect album to put on late at night, windows open, lights out and with a candle burning, on your second micro-brew or second bourbon. The music will take you to a good place….

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: