Live Review: Chris Hillman and Herb Pederson Brent Parlane notes

1 April 2012 | 9:26 am | Danielle O'Donohue

On Sunday night in a small club in Newtown, Chris Hillman and another country rock hit-maker Herb Pederson took a leisurely stroll through their past and put on a show that deserved a much larger audience.

Brent Parlane was the support and you could hear the influence of the headliners in his gentle acoustic songwriting. The pleasant set really started to pack some punch before Parlane wrapped things up.

With Herb Pederson playing acoustic guitar and Chris Hillman swapping between his acoustic and a lovely looking mandolin, the pair worked their way through their collective musical history, playing songs they made famous with The Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, The Dillards and the Desert Rose Band and dropping in a couple of songs made famous by their friends including Emmylou Harris' first hit single, the Louvin Brothers' song If I Could Only Win Your Love.

While Hillman was a crack mandolin player – the epic solo of Byrds' classic Eight Miles High was jaw-droppingly good – it was the way the pair wove their voices around the classic Americana melodies that made this a truly special night. The chorus of Sin City, the return of Mr Tambourine Man's country-esque jangle, Pederson's sparse but beautiful Close The Door Lightly – there were many highlights to the set.

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The only thing that could've made this night even more magical was more stories about the songs. The pair has such a history in that '60s rock scene, the few times Hillman or Pederson talked about a song's origins it felt like a real insight into such an influential world, but then again, more talking would have left less time for the music. Hillman suggested it had been 30 odd years since either musician had been in Australia. Maybe they need to start planning a new tour and this time make the set twice as long – time for stories and for those incredible voices to be raised up in song.