Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Eagles, Many More In New ‘Western Edge’ Exhibit
‘Western Edge: The Roots and Reverberations of Los Angeles Country-Rock’ surveys the rise of west coast artists in a new style of country music.
The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, the Flying Burrito Brothers, and the Eagles are among the seminal bands celebrated in a new exhibit at Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
Western Edge: The Roots and Reverberations of Los Angeles Country-Rock, presented by City National Bank, surveys the rise of those and other west coast-based artists in the emergence of country rock, such as Poco, Emmylou Harris, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and Linda Ronstadt. The presentation analyzes how the combination of banjos, steel guitars and a rock’n’roll attitude and style impacted country music in such a huge way in the late 1960s and early 70s.
“As they flourished,” says the exhibit publicity about the artists in the vanguard of the new trend, “so did the Los Angeles-based recording industry. These trailblazers’ musical contributions were expanded upon by the next generation of Los Angeles roots music performers – the Blasters, Rosie Flores, Los Lobos, Lone Justice, Dwight Yoakam, and more – who once again looked to traditional American music for inspiration.
“Blending hard-edged honky-tonk, Mexican folk music, rockabilly, and punk rock, these artists – along with their country-rock predecessors – provided inspiration to future generations of country and Americana artists.”
A preview event for Western Edge was held at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on September 29 and was attended by, among others, Chris Hillman, a massively influential part of the country rock story as a member of the Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, his own solo records, the Souther-Hillman-Furay Band, McGuinn Clark Hillman and other configurations.
Billboard Country Update reports Hillman’s comments at the launch, where he said that California “drew so many diverse characters and made for edginess and risk. People took chances and consequently, out of that, created some amazing art. So I think that’s appropriately titled Western Edge, but also, if you look at in the literal sense, it’s the edge of the continent and you can’t go any further [unless] you’re going to swim to Hawaii.”
Western Edge: The Roots and Reverberations of Los Angeles Country-Rock is open now at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and booking until May 2025.
Buy or stream the Flying Burrito Brothers’ The Gilded Palace Of Sin.