McGuinn, Hillman Add ‘Sweetheart of… Rodeo’ Dates

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Marty Stuart, Roger McGuinn, Chriss Hillman (Photo: Alysse Gafkjen; used with permission)

Byrds co-founders Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman announced on July 2 additional dates for the 50th anniversary tour of their groundbreaking album, Sweetheart of the Rodeo. The pair will present the album in its entirety “and tell the stories that brought the album to life,” according to the original June 4 announcement. The concerts will also feature other favorites from their long recording careers. (See the schedule below.)

McGuinn and Hillman will be joined on stage for the tour by country legends Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives. The tour began with a short performance of a few songs from Sweetheart of the Rodeo at Stuart’s Late Night Jam last Wednesday, June 6 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Stuart himself plays the famous 1954 Fender Telecaster originally owned by legendary country-rock pioneer Clarence White, a performer on Sweetheart of the Rodeo.

Watch them perform a portion of the album’s “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” on June 6

Sweetheart of the Rodeo is widely considered to be one of the most influential country rock albums of all time, and credited with giving rise to the genre. In 2003, the album was ranked #117 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums. The album introduced new band member Gram Parsons, who was a new kid in town seeking success with the International Submarine Band, whose debut album was weeks from release. Invited by Hillman to audition for the Byrds on piano, Parsons’ voice, guitar and original songs quickly established him as more versatile—and ambitious. Not content to be a mere hired hand, the charismatic Parsons lobbied for a shift away from McGuinn’s grand concept. Instead, Parsons pushed for a narrower focus highlighting the country elements he was already exploring with the ISB.

In Best Classic Bands’ Album Rewind, our reviewer called Sweetheart… “a cornerstone of country-rock and point source for alt-country and Americana, The Byrds’ most consequential stylistic stroke since the band’s pioneering folk-rock debut three years earlier.”

Watch McGuinn and Stuart perform “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” from Sweetheart of the Rodeo

“On March 9, 1968, Roger McGuinn and I along with many fantastic musicians began recording the Sweetheart of the Rodeo album at Columbia Studios in Nashville,” said Hillman in the announcement. ”It was truly a pivotal moment in our lives taking a turn toward the music we always felt a strong kinship with. We are honored that it has left a strong, long lasting impression on country and rock music.”

McGuinn said: “I can’t wait to be on stage with Chris Hillman, Marty Stuart and those Fabulous Superlatives! We’re all looking forward to taking the fans through the back pages of the recording.”

Stuart said about the influence the album had on him: “The Byrds’ Sweetheart of the Rodeo recording stands as a milestone in American music. Upon my first listen, I was mesmerized at the effect of the combined power Country music, Rock & Roll, Bluegrass, Gospel and Folk music had on me. From that day forward, I considered Sweetheart of the Rodeo a blueprint as to how I should live my musical life. It is truly an honor for me and the Superlatives to get to go out and play music from Sweetheart with Roger and Chris. We love and greatly admire both of them.”

Listen to “Hickory Wind” from the album

The individual performers’ existing tour commitments are preventing the Sweetheart tour from being seamless. Stuart, for instance, is on an arena and amphitheater tour with Chris Stapleton, from July into November.

Sweetheart Of The Rodeo Tour Dates (Tickets for several dates are available here and here or via an individual venue’s box office. Several of the original dates are already sold-out but may be available on StubHub)

Jul 24 – Los Angeles, CA – Ace Hotel
Jul 25 – Los Angeles, CA – Ace Hotel
Jul 29 – Saratoga, CA – Mountain Winery
Sep 17 – Albany, NY – Hart Theater @ The Egg
Sep 18 – Albany, NY – Hart Theater @ The Egg
Sep 20 – Hopewell, VA – Beacon Theatre
Sep 24 – New York, NY – The Town Hall (On sale July 13)
Sep 26 – Boston, MA – Emerson Colonial Theatre (On sale July 13)
Oct 03 – Akron, OH – Akron Civic
Oct 08 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium
Oct 10 – Roanoke, VA – Jefferson Center

More dates will be announced soon.

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  1. Weed
    #1 Weed 3 July, 2018, 23:55


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