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ELLN October Music Pick

Each month, I highlight an album as part of the ACC’s Employment and Labor Law Network’s outreach and engagement, and just to give you something non-legal related to enjoy every month.  I hope you join us on our Forums and at tomorrow’s monthly teleconference entitled Religious Accommodation Requests in light of COVID-19: The Employer’s Path Forward.

Many organizations are finding themselves with an unprecedented amount of religious accommodation requests due to COVID-19-related policies, especially vaccination policies.  Jackson Lewis’ Drew Maunz will discuss the legal requirements employers need to be aware of and strategies for approaching these requests.

If you’re an in-house counsel and not part of the ACC or the ELLN, you can join ACC and ELLN today and see what we’re all about!  I hope to (virtually) see you soon.

ELLN October Music Quick Pick

Former ELLN Chair Doug Hass has long been a music buff (he founded country music site Roughstock.com in 1993) and had plenty of windshield time for work over the years. That’s given him lots of time to indulge and explore his music interests! To help entertain you on your commutes or at the gym, office, home, or on the go, Doug is offering another year-long series of picks that will showcase some of the best albums you may have never heard, or that deserve another listen. We hope that each monthly choice piques your interest in these albums and artists. These may be titles that you have never heard of, but our hope is that your interest will be piqued and your musical world enriched!

Chris Hillman – Bidin’ My Time (2017)
  Amazon Music – Apple Music – Spotify – Pandora

It is hard to believe that this month wraps another year of music picks!  I hope you have enjoyed this year’s journey through everything from classic country storytelling and crossover stars to the “West Coast” Bakersfield sound and the “Red Dirt” artists of Oklahoma and Texas. Last year, I wrapped up the picks with an important starting point: Bob Wills.  This month, I’ll leave you with an album by an artist that I think you can credit with the genesis of much of modern country (and rock, and alt-rock, and country-rock, and folk, and more): Chris Hillman.

You know Chris Hillman even if you don’t recognize the name.  After a stint in the Los Angeles bluegrass band The Golden State Boys, Hillman joined Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, David Crosby, and Michael Clarke to form The Byrds in 1965.  Hillman played electric bass (listen to the iconic opening bass line here on their famous cover of Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man” or hear Hillman on “Everybody’s Been Burned” from the Younger Than Yesterday album).  When he joined The Byrds, Hillman had never played bass before, and says he learned by listening to Paul McCartney.  The Byrds, and more specifically Hillman, are the link between the ‘50s Beach Boys and ‘60s Beatles and ‘70s rock/southern rock/country rock.  Chris Hillman is the Kevin Bacon of country and rock music (Hillman has a Bacon number of 3, by the way).  Hillman connects (actually and musically) to the Eagles, Rolling Stones, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Fleetwood Mac and more.  Hillman’s admirers include R.E.M., The Smiths, and Tom Petty, the latter being the producer and a contributor to this month’s pick.  Here’s my hot take: modern country music starts with Hillman.

After leaving The Byrds, Hillman launched The Flying Burrito Brothers with Gram Parsons.  The Burritos included…Bernie Leadon, who co-founded the Eagles.  The connections musically and through the six-degrees-of-separation game go on and on.  In my opinion, the height of Hillman’s influence on country and rock was 1968’s Sweethearts of the Rodeo album, a classic that probably deserves its own month.

This month’s pick, Bidin’ My Time, was, sadly, Tom Petty’s last studio project and was recorded at Petty’s California studio.  The album is in some ways a retrospective look by Hillman at his career, and it incorporates all of the country, rock, folk, and bluegrass styles he has influenced over the years.  Guest appearances pop up all over the place: David Crosby (with legendary Herb Pedersen) singing background vocals on Pete Seeger’s “Bells of Rhymney,” a standout as the first track, or Petty joining McGuinn on “Here She Comes Again,” a song that Hillman and McGuinn wrote together and played on tour in the late ‘70s, but never recorded in a studio. Petty’s Heartbreakers band joins “Given All I Can See” and “Restless,” showcasing their chops as a country band. The album closes with my favorite, a bluegrass-flavored version of Petty’s “Wildflowers.”  That proved to be a fitting ending, too, given that Petty passed away just days after this album’s release.  If you’re a fan of any of the bands above, you will find a piece of all of them in this month’s pick.

Enjoy!

Can’t get enough? Further Listening:

There are too many choices for Further Listening that are tied to Hillman, but I went with my two favorites:

The Byrds, Sweethearts of the Rodeo (1968) (via Amazon)

The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Gilded Palace of Sin (1969) (via Spotify)

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