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Gram Parsons Tribute                               The Troubadour, November 11, 2006

Halfway, Chris Pickering, The Duke Wilde Band, DJ Lori Lee

Review by Lori Lee Cash

The Gram Parsons Tribute held on Nov 11 was a very special celebration honouring the cosmic American cowboy.

Holding the event at The Troubadour in The Valley was totally appropriate, as the venue’s name acknowledges the original Troubadour nightclub in Los Angeles. The West Hollywood club was the epicentre of country, rock and folk music in the 1960s. 

As DJ Lori Lee, I played a selection of Gram Parsons tunes from all areas of his career, while screening video footage up on stage, setting the mood of the evening and giving the early-comers a visual feast of Gram Parsons. The Duke Wilde Band opened up the live proceedings with a set of country tunes that all-night truckers would have blasted out of the AM band in 1961. The Duke, plus bass player Paulie Burke and drummer Mal paid homage to Gram with their take on Wheels, Wild Horses and Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man.

Next on stage was Chris Pickering, who looked every bit like Gram Parsons in his flashy western threads and dark-eyed features. It was obvious Chris is a dedicated Gram Parsons fan and he took on his tribute role sincerely, assembling a quality band including
Megan Washington on harmonies and Mike Flanders on steel guitar. The beautiful vocal harmonies created between Chris and Megan, laid over the mournful pedal steel, commanded the attention of the audience and left many jaws dropped in awe. Chris switched between guitar and piano throughout the set, playing his own compositions plus wonderful versions of Gram Parsons tunes including 'Return of the Grievous Angel', 'Christine's Tune', 'Hot Burrito #1' and 'Hot Burrito #2'.

Between bands we were treated to Jacob S. Harris performing 'Sin City' and he was joined by Texas Kate on 'Love Hurts'.

Burrito Brothers disciples are talented Brisbane alt. country band, Halfway, who opened their set with ‘Song For You’ setting off a wave of goose bumps throughout the room, followed by The Byrds classic ‘You Aint Going Nowhere’. I was looking forward to hearing Halfway tunes from their new cd ‘Remember The River’ and wasn’t disappointed when they played a whole bunch of ‘em that simply rocked. In closing the evening, the accomplished six-piece band sung ‘Millers Cave’ followed by a kick-ass version of The Byrds tune ‘One Hundred Years’, ending the evening on an extreme high.

Here are some comments from the audience:
Had a great time on Saturday night, the music sent chills up my spine”; and
“I loved the Gram Tribute! Every band was great and to have fantastic music in between was awesome.";
“Do it again next year!” 
Thank you to everyone who came along on the night and to those that provided feedback.

I too had goose bumps throughout the night and often the hairs on the back of my neck were vertical. All the bands put on superb performances and, just like at the Johnny Cash tributes, it was great to hear these tunes of yesteryear played LOUD and LIVE, the way they should be.

Chris Pickering

Chris Pickering

Megan Washington



Happy Gram fans