Who was/is Truckers, Kickers, Cowboy Angels ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more
TRUCKERS, KICKERS, COWBOY ANGELS
The Blissed-Out Birth of Country Rock
On January 12, 1970, 'Time' magazine placed The Band on its cover with the headline, 'The New Sound of Country Rock.' In the taxonomy of popular music, Country Rock was now a thing, a categoryby 1970. There were Country Rock browser bins in some stores, and trade magazines like 'Billboard'routinely classified records as country-rock or country/rock, expecting readers to know what they meant.
A category as vague and fissiparous as Country Rock can be defined narrowly or broadly. We've focused on rock musicians who embraced the concision, narrative drive, melodicism, and folk roots of country music, but we've also included a few country artists reaching out the other way. Rock musicians began trekking to Nashville after Bob Dylan began recording in Nashville in 1966, and they come still. Taking their cue from Dylan, a new breed of country songwriters, led by John Hartford, Mickey Newbury, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson, began writing songs that dared to stray from the I-IV-V chord norm. A scene coalesced around them, attracting guys like Donnie Fritts, Billy Joe Shaver, and Tony Joe White. Before long, established country artists like Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash began to think about not making records the way Nashville liked to make them. Whether from Nashville, Los Angeles, or someplace else, country rock was enough of a category by 1970 to attract artists who often understood neither country nor rock. We tried to avoid bandwagon jumpers, preferring those who brought an original spin to their music.
Licensing can be a problem with compilations like this. Artists as well-known as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Creedence Clearwater Revival were unavailable to us, alongside inexplicable denials like Rig. Some artists like Shiloh were on labels that have fallen into a contractual black hole. So if a recording that seems to belong here is missing, there's probably a clause in an aging contract explaining that. Even so, there's still plenty to love on the road to 1975.
"There was a shared sense of direction that was in tune with the times. The Band, the Byrds, Poco, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Dylan were all exploring traditional music augmented by the power of rock 'n' roll. Psychedelia had had its moment and we were continuing to evolve what we believed to be the logical next step in American music."
(Robert Hunter, lyricist for the Grateful Dead)
"The winds that were blowing moved us all along. We each had different approaches - different tacks and different sails in the wind - but we mostly headed the same direction, just because of the push. I had no notion of country rock as a possible genre, although we used the phrase among ourselves as First National Band members. This was more to frame up and focus a feeling of playing. We weren't conscious of this being innovative. It was fun to play like that, and there was plenty to say with it, and we enjoyed listening to it, to each other. I listened to all the bands at some point, but not until some time after the form was well under way. We were all immersed in playing it and giving it voice; we only slowly discovered each other over time. Ideas come along like this regularly that push everyone along. No one controls it; no one leads it. Certainly, no one invents it. It is the moment when the songs start to sing the singers, and not the other way round. Everyone who plays and sings knows this when it happens, and it is the most fun you can have playing music. Like flying in your dreams, effortlessly - and especially fun if you find someone up there with you. You wave and smile and acknowledge the forces at work."