Parsons, Gram – Another Side of This Life [Sky Blue Vinyl] – New LP
Another Side of This Life is 13 originally unheard demo recordings of Gram Parsons, country-rock pioneer, former member of the Byrds and founding member of the Flying Burrito Brothers. It features Parsons, singing and playing acoustic guitar, recorded from March 1965 to April 1966 at the home of his Winter Haven, Fla. friend Jim Carlton. Another Side of This Life also features rare photos and a detailed liner essay by noted writer Stanley Booth (The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones).
For those who don’t know, Gram was influenced by such artists as Buck Owens, Don Rich, Albert King, George Jones, Gene Pitney, Van Dyke Parks and even the country pop star, Jim Stafford. Truth is, Stafford was the one who encouraged Gram to play country music. Most of these recordings were made on a splendid Sony 500 reel-to-reel machine that a family friend had brought back from Tokyo.
By March of ‘65 his Harvard career was being supplanted by the lure of the folk music scene of Greenwich Village. He was dropping names like Fred Neil, Dick Weissman and Bob Dylan, and was busy making a name for himself playing the old Night Owl Cafe on West 3rd. He was an urban folkie and damn good at it. Several of the tunes on this CD are the only surviving recordings of Gram’s foray into the Village folk music scene.
Subsequent tunes here document his exploration and love of R&B (“Searchin’” and “Candy Man”), and others provide a glimpse of the incipient stages of his landmark group The International Submarine Band, which many credit as being the archetypal country-rock group.