Hi Joseph, I noticed this thread come up on your blog. To answer your question, first it helps to understand the context. Rick loved country-rock from day-one. In the 50’s it was terms rock-a-billy. That was what resonated for Rick. That was the sound he wanted to capture in his early recordings. So, when his records stopped selling in the mid-60’s, he decided to go out on a limb and record two straight up country albums. The studio musicians included Clarence White, James Burton, Glen Campbell, Leon Russell. Soon after, he began looking for a regular touring band. There are only two known shows during this period at the Shrine Auditorium in L.A. The band included many musicians from those sessions. He didn’t do a whole lot after these two albums until he heard Richie Furay and Jim Messina with Poco at The Troubadour. That inspired two things; one, a renewed interest in country-rock as he experienced in the 50’s and two, to draft bass player/vocalist Randy Meisner for his newly forming band, Stone Canyon Band. Chief among his drafts was Tom Brumley, who was with Buck Owens and became a key member of his band for the next decade. The timing on all of this makes Rick a chief player in early California country rock. He went on and recorded a series of albums championing country-rock. Of course this peaked in 71 when he recorded “Garden Party,” which would be the last hit of his career. Most of them were uneven…but here’s a few I’d recommend:
Bright Lights/Country Fever
Live at the Troubadour
Rudy the Fifth and Rick Sings Nelson
These represent Rick’s second creative peak and his influence on the country rock of his times and his pioneer work as a key figure in Americana music today. Sadly, he is mostly known now as a ‘teen idol’ with Elvis envy, which couldn’t be farther from the truth.