Gram Parsons And The Fallen Angels, Live, 1973

Dave Veitch
Calgary Sun
Sunday, March 16, 1997

Twenty-four years have passed since Parson’s death, yet the spectre of this cosmic country-rocker looms larger than ever.
Indeed, it’s difficult to imagine Wilco, Son Volt, Blue Rodeo or any of country’s New Traditionalists without him.

This in-concert radio broadcast — recorded six months before his death and presented for the first time in an unabridged, unedited form — captures the band rocking out in pure-country mode and paints a complete picture of Parsons.

Drawing material from his stints in The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers, as well as from his two essential solo albums, Live 1973 contains the melancholy, soul-searching songs he’s known for, as well as a just-for-kicks cover of Bony Moronie, on which you can almost hear Parsons crack a broad smile. The Fallen Angels turn in a performance of spirit and grace — and lest we forget, Emmylou Harris harmonizes with Parsons as only soulmates can; their achingly beautiful rendition of Love Hurts will leave you teary-eyed every time.

Rating: ****