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Mountain Blog

News and Notes

Radio Preview: Hillman-Pedersen and more from Grand Marais

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By Mountain Stage
 · October 25, 2012

Stephan Hoglund
Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen, live on Mountain Stage in Grand Marais, MN

Mountain Stage returns this week with the second of our two shows recorded at the North House Folk School in Grand Marais, Minnesota. Recorded just feet away from Lake Superior, you’ll hear from Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen, Jonathan Edwards, Mollie O’Brien & Rich Moore, Gretchen Peters, and Chip Taylor featuring Paal Flaata.

Click here to see a list of stations and times where you can tune in. And click here to preview this week’s show via our Mountain Stage Song of the Week. This time, it’s Hillman & Pedersen taking on the bluegrass standard “The Old Crossroads.”

As members of the Byrds, the Dillards, the Desert Rose Band, and the Flying Burrito Brothers, Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen have been part of the very fabric of American Music for nearly a half-century. In the early ‘60s, Chris Hillman switched from mandolin to bass to take a job in the original Byrds lineup.

Serving time with the Byrds (including the Gram Parsons’ incarnation) and the Flying Burrito Brothers, Hillman played an important role in the evolution of folk- and country-rock and, more recently, the “Americana” movement. In the early ‘80s, Hillman joined forces with Pedersen who, for decades, was one of the top session singers and instrumentalists in the Los Angeles area, and guitar master John Jorgenson in the successful Desert Rose Band.

By the mid-‘90s, Hillman and Pedersen were performing as an acoustic duo and recorded several projects together. Their latest record, “At Edward’s Barn,” continues their long-running love for country and bluegrass music.

Stephan Hoglund
Jonathan Edwards, live on Mountain Stage

Born in Aitkin, MN, folk and country singer-songwriter Jonathan Edwards may be best known for his Top 5 hit "Sunshine." After growing up in Virginia and studying art in Ohio, Edwards and his blues band Sugar Creek moved to Boston in the late ‘60s.

Opting to try a career as a solo artist, “Sunshine” made its way onto his solo debut as an afterthought. “Honky-Tonk Stardust Cowboy” followed in 1972 as did singing backup on Emmylou Harris’ 1976 LP “Elite Hotel.” He recorded his 1976 release “Rockin' Chair, with Harris' Hot Band.

After touring with a national production of the musical “Pump Boys and Dinettes,” Edwards joined the bluegrass group the Seldom Scene for 1983's “Blue Ridge.” After moving to Nashville, his 1989 album “The Natural Thing” spawned his biggest country hit, "We Need to Be Locked Away." In 2011, Edwards returned with the studio album “My Love Will Keep.”

Stephan Hoglund
Mollie O'Brien and Rich Moore, live on Mountain Stage

Comprised of powerhouse singer - and Wheeling, WV, native - Mollie O’Brien and guitarist Rich Moore, this pair is no mere “folk duo.” Described as “national musical treasures... and truly among the best out there keeping American music alive and vital” by renowned roots rocker Dave Alvin, their repertoire spans the range of American music from ragtime, jazzy blues, gospel to Dixieland, tango and saloon cabaret.

The instrumentation on their debut “Saints and Sinners” includes with tuba, bouzouki, accordion, fiddle, trumpet, trombone, oboe, and steel guitar. Mollie, one of acoustic music’s premiere vocalists, started her career in a duo with her brother Tim O’Brien.

Stephan Hoglund
Gretchen Peters, live on Mountain Stage

Respected by songwriters, musicians and critics alike, Gretchen Peters’ tunes have been covered by a who’s who of country artists including Trisha Yearwood, Pam Tillis, George Strait, Martina McBride and Patty Loveless.

Born in Westchester County, NY, she moved with her mother to Boulder when she was in her teens. In the late’80s, she relocated to Nashville to pursue songwriting. In 1995, Peters won a Grammy for “Song of the Year” with her hit "Independence Day" (recorded by Martina McBride).

At the Country Music Awards that year, the song won the same award, as well as a CMA Video of the Year in 1994. She also co-wrote "Rock Steady" with Canadian pop-rocker Bryan Adams which was covered by Bonnie Raitt. After a tumultuous year in her personal life, she released “Hello Cruel World” in 2012.

Stephan Hoglund
Chip Taylor, live on Mountain Stage

Singer, songwriter, and producer Chip Taylor has penned some of the most memorable songs in music history including “Wild Thing” and “Angel of the Morning” and “Try - Just A Little Bit Harder.” When Chet Atkins heard some of Taylor’s country songs, he quickly started recording them with artists he was producing.

Taylor is also credited with discovering, then co-producing both James Taylor and Neil Diamond. He released six solo albums in the ‘70s and ‘80s, including “Chip Taylor's Last Chance” which “Rolling Stone” named as one of the best country albums of 1973. A true renaissance man, Taylor also finished third in Las Vegas’ World Black Jack Championship, was a professional golfer, and one of the foremost thoroughbred horse race handicappers on the east coast.

Thanks again for listening to Mountain Stage. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr for the latest news, backstage photos, and stories.

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