By Ian Bremner
While country rock bands like the Eagles were reaching peak popularity in the late 60’s and early 70s, Gram Parsons was continuously searching for his own cosmic awakening. After leaving the Byrds in 1968 shortly after basically hi-jacking the band to create Sweatheart Of The Rodeo, he created the Flying Burrito Brothers and with the likes of Emmylou Harris and other like minded singer-songwriters, there became an entire subculture of country music. As American Rock music went in another direction, major labels dismissed the underground country scene spreading from Texas to California. It was basically southern gospel with pedal steel and violin in the western foothills that cowboys and hippies could appreciate equally.
Fast forward to 2016, and Numero Group has scraped the bottom of the dollar record bins in search of the remains of this movement. They recently released an incredible collection of “Cosmic American Music” titled Wayfaring Strangers. The concept of the compilation was inspired by the term Gram Parsons had given to this small segment of 60s and 70s country music. Despite not reaching any commercial success, cosmic american music was critically adored and left a beautiful legacy. Thankfully, reissue and compilation labels like Numero Group see this an opportunity to not let this great music be underappreciated again.
Wayfaring Strangers | Cosmic American Music