Two essential seminars from country-rock school of midwifery, the latter including a clutch of unreleased obscurities

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Nashville West – Clarence White

Clarence White

TUFF & STRINGY (SESSIONS 1966-68)

BIG BEAT

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Along with splinter duo Gene Parsons’ and Gib Guilbeau’s Louisiana Rain (aka Cajun Country), Nashville West’s semi-legendary 1967 live outing is as important a country-rock harbinger as anything by Gene, Gram or The Byrds (all regulars at NW gigs). Alongside Guilbeau and future Byrd Parsons, Wayne Moore and ace guitar picker-cum-Byrd Clarence White cooked up Bakersfield twang and semi-cajun R&B that redefined California’s musical map for ever.

Meanwhile, ex-Kentucky Colonel White’s collection of rarities, demos and outtakes is a fascinating glimpse of the great man’s development as solo artist and innately sympathetic sessioneer on the cusp of Byrdsdom, including his dry run for “Nashville West” from Dr Byrds And Mr Hyde: “Hong Kong Hillbilly”.