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Richie Furay, Chris Hillman-Herb Pedersen trot out the hits, still sound good

The Paradise, Boston, July 23, 2007

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

The board of upcoming concerts at the club listed the evening's performer as the "Richie Furray Band." It didn't even mention the evening's opening duo, Chris Hillman with Herb Pedersen, who could have easily been the headliner this evening.

Guess it's hard to be a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as Furay is thanks to his stint with Buffalo Springfield (sic). But maybe the sign was misspelled because that was oh so many years ago, and who would remember Furay for his work with Buffalo Springfield, the Richie Furay Band, Souther Hillman Furay , Poco or on his own?

But Furay sure didn't act like he was upset if he even knew and did not rest on laurels from decades ago either. His generous 95-minute set steeped in country rock included songs from throughout his career, including a strong set closer "Good Feelin' To Know" and others such as "Fallin' in Love," a hit for SHF and "Kind Woman" from his Buffalo Springfield days.

Furay's voice has held up well over the years, not any worse for wear at all. This was not an evening of going through the motions, but one of appreciation that he remains able to play his music.

Furay has been off the charts for years, and his venture into Christian music (he's minister of a church in Colorado) is not going to get him back on the pop charts either. He played about four or five songs with a religious and/or spiritual message, which were well done and catchy, but didn't necessarily cut very deep.

Furay, 62, was aided particularly by guitarist Scott Sellen, and his daughter Jesse Furay Lynch provided a nice contrast in contributing backing vocals. In fact, Furay said that Sellen encouraged him to hit the road again, playing in churches and getting his music out there again. More than 200 people showed up, and if they were looking something particularly new and exciting this evening, they did not get it for their $35 a pop. But that did not mean they should not have been satisfied.

Hillman may have a more vibrant career going than Furay, although his last disc came out about 1 1/2 years ago. Like Furay, the former member of seminal country rock band The Byrds, still has a good voice ("Hello Trouble") and plays his mandolin just great. The same could be said for Pedersen's prowess on guitar.

The 75-minute Hillman-Pedersen set certainly was filled with excellent material, including "Wheels, "Turn Turn Turn" and "Sin City," a song Hillman wrote in 1969 with Gram Parsons. The songs were well sung and well played and did not sound dated.

But while Hillman recounted a bunch of interesting stories about the songs he wrote and/or played (he did a lot of covers during his show and often talked about 40-year-old songs), there was a feeling that this was bathed in a bit too much nostalgia. That's too bad because Hillman and Pedersen still make excellent music.

While the evening was a case of hit song makers of yesteryear mainly trotting out their tried and true, at least one got the sense that both Hillman-Pedersen and Furay care about making music that is tasty and sounds good today.

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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