Thursday, 6 March 2008

it hurts me, li'l darling

The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard & Clark is one of my all-time favourite albums. It's a record that I remember playing in the background when I was about five, and a couple years ago Adam Green's Gemstones caused me to dig it out again. Dillard & Clark are mostly forgotten these days, which is such a shame. Fronted by ex-Byrds-founder Gene Clark and "banjo virtuoso" Doug Dillard (who apparently played on the Bonnie and Clyde-soundtrack), the band included ex-Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers' Chris Hillman and Michael Clarke on mandolin and drums and Bernie Leadon (Flying Burrito Brother and later of the Eagles).

They released two brilliant records in the late sixties: Fantastic Expedition and Through the Morning, Through the Night. While Expedition consisted of mostly original songs, Through the Morning was a collection of country/folk standards such as 'Rocky Top' and 'Kansas City Southern'. One of the originals on the album, 'Polly', is one of their overall best tracks. I was surprised to find (through, that Robert Plant and Alison Krauss thought to cover it for their album together, Raising Sand. It goes without saying that I prefer Gene Clark's version, but I s'pose it's not half-bad.

Dillard & Clark, Polly (amazon)
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Polly Come Home (amazon)

While checking out Amazon, I noticed Robert Plant and Alison Krauss also did a cover of 'Through the Morning, Through the Night' (the song). I hope this'll generate some new interest in the Dillard and Clark-records, because nostalgia aside, they're beautiful and interesting records - with a guy named Sneaky Pete Kleinow on steel guitar, you really can't go wrong.

Dillard & Clark, Through the Morning, Through the Night (amazon)
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Through the Morning, Through the Night (amazon)

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