Country Gazette (Part 2)

1972 - 1973

Country Gazette

Alan Munde / Byron Berline / Roger Bush / Kenny Wertz

Byron

Byron

Then came the choice to either join Stephen Stills on a concert tour or work on a "Country Gazette" album.
Byron, Roger, Kenny

Byron / Roger / Kenny

In September 1972 Country Gazette recorded their first album "A traitor in our midst", which was produced by Jim Dickson who also produced The Byrds, The Dillards, Gene Clark, The Flying Burrito Brothers ... .

This first album "A traitor in our midst" set the style for all their later records and performances, containing a mixture of traditional and original bluegrass instrumentals together with songs that would not usually be given a completely acoustic treatment. It was cut at the old World Pacific studios at 8713 West-3rd. Street LA, California.
The Gazette line-up was Byron Berline, Roger Bush, Alan Munde and Kenny Wertz. Guests were Herb Pedersen, Skip Conover and Chris Smith.
A lot of songs on that album came from the time before Country Gazette was formed. With "Keep on pushing" and "Tried so hard" two Gene Clark compositions they played often with "Dillard and Clark", the song "Aggravation" is from the "Dillard and the Expedition" time written by Doug Dillard, Byron Berline and Roger Bush. "I might take you back again" and "If you're ever gonna love me" from "The Kentucky Colonels" shows.

Alan Munde points out: "We at first were going to have Clarence White overdub lead guitar but Jim Dickson felt that it was not needed and Clarence felt the same way"
 

COUNTRY GAZETTE: A Traitor In Our Midst Traitor ...
- COUNTRY GAZETTE: A traitor in our midst (United Artists UAS 596)
Produced by Jim Dickson
with Byron Berline, Alan Munde, Roger Bush & Kenny Wertz
guests: Herb Pedersen, Skip Conover & Chris Smith

Side A: Lost Indian/Keep on pushin'/I wish you knew/Hot Burrito breakdown/I might take you back again/Forget me not
Side B: Tried so hard/Anna/If you're ever gonna love me/Aggravation/Sound of goodbye/Swing low sweet chariot

A few singles from that album were released:

Single COUNTRY GAZETTE: Singles Single
- COUNTRY GAZETTE: Keep on pushin'/Hot Burrito breakdown (50982)
with Byron Berline, Alan Munde, Roger Bush & Kenny Wertz

- COUNTRY GAZETTE: Swing low sweet chariot/I wish I knew
with Byron Berline, Alan Munde, Roger Bush & Kenny Wertz
guest: Herb Pedersen

- COUNTRY GAZETTE: Sound of goodbye/ ?
with Byron Berline, Alan Munde, Roger Bush & Kenny Wertz

Shortly after the release Kenny Wertz told the band he want to quit. Country Gazette had released that first album and were at the begining of a big tour - the band could change Kenny's mind.
On that tour around the States the band showed what they can. Byron Berline on fiddle and mandolin, Kenny Wertz played beside the guitar also from time to time banjo, Roger Bush on bass, sometimes the banjo and he did all the talking for the audience and Alan Munde on banjo and also guitar. They had a wide repertoir and played also rock and pop songs but ever with their acoustic instruments.

Country Gazette

Munde / Berline / Bush / Wertz

          Country Gazette

          Munde / Berline / Bush / Wertz

1972 sessions were done at Byron Berline's house. Musicians were the Country Gazette members Byron Berline, Roger Bush and Alan Munde together with Roland White (who became a Gazette member 1974), Clarence White (who played as a guest on the second Gazette album "Don't give up your day job"), Skip Conover (who played a lot of sessions with the Gazette), John Hickman, Vern Gosdin and Don Parmley both singing a few songs.

They played songs like: Foggy mountain breakdown/I wonder where you are tonght/Goldrush/On and on/If you're ever gonna love me/Hard hearted/A good woman's love/Fire on the mountain/Ocean of diamonds/Rollin' my sweet baby's arms (sung by Vern Gosdin)/I'll fly away (sung by Vern Gosdin)/I might take you back again/Write your name in the sand (sung by Don Parmley)/Sally Goodin'/New river train/ and a few instrumentals

Byron

Poster 1974
Ronstadt &
The Gazette

During a tour 1972 Country Gazette played a show with Linda Ronstadt at McCabes - Linda did all the lead vocals. Between the songs Linda and the group told a lot of stories from their former music activities. Roger Bush said that Country Gazette and Linda tried to play earlier together but they never found the time.
FBB 73

Hot Burrito Revue '73
Munde/Berline/Bush/Wertz

Between the songs they talked about the next songs of the show. They had no time to rehears for that concert. All the songs were sung by Linda Ronstadt, Skip Conover played as a guest musician dobro and Bob Kimmel (ex-member of the Stone Poneys with Linda Ronstadt) on background vocals on a few songs. They also played a Doug Dillard song "Poor old slave" which Doug recorded three years later.

In February 1973 The Gazette was off to the Netherlands again with The Flying Burrito Brothers/Hot Burrito Revue. But now again with Sneaky Pete Kleinow. Those shows were the last in this line-up: Byron Berline, Alan Munde, Kenny Wertz, Roger Bush, Rick Roberts, Eric Dalton and of course original member Sneaky Pete Kleinow. He played the steel guitar and not Don Beck like the year before. The shows were extremely successful - they played around 12 shows in Holland.

FBB 73
The Flying Burrito Brothers 1973

back:
Byron Berline
middle:
Kenny Wertz
Rick Roberts
Alan Munde
Eric Dalton
front:
Sneaky Pete Kleinow
Roger Bush


Note: In September 1974 Gib Guilbeau and Sneaky Pete Kleinow reformed the Flying Burrito Brothers with Gene Parsons, Joel Scott Hill and Chris Ethridge.

Country Gazette went into the studio to record their second album "Don't give up your day job" produced again by Jim Dickson, which was released 1973 after they'd toured Europe and U.K. in September, October and November 1973. Line-up again Berline, Bush, Wertz and Munde with a lot of guests: Herb Pedersen, Clarence White (on 5 songs), Leland Sklar and ex-Flying Burrito Brother Al Perkins.
They recorded songs from various musical genres. Stephen Stills "The fallen eagle", Graham Nash's "Teach your children", Lester Flatt's and Earl Scruggs' "Down the road", Elton John's "Honky cat", Don McLeans "Winterwood", a Herb Pedersen composition and own songs.
 

COUNTRY GAZETTE: Don 't give up your day job Don't give up ...
- COUNTRY GAZETTE: Don't give up your day job (United Artists UA-LA090-F)
Produced by Jim Dickson
with Byron Berline, Alan Munde, Roger Bush & Kenny Wertz
guests: Clarence White, Herb Pedersen, Leland Sklar & Al Perkins

Side A: Huckleberry Hornpipe/The fallen eagle/I don't believe you met my baby/Deputy Dalton/Teach your children/My Oklahoma
Side B: Down the road/Winterwood/Honky Cat/Snowball/Lonesome blues/Singin' all day & dinner on the ground

Note: This album was released in Holland on Sunset Records (5022) with a different cover. Picture almost like FBB "Blue-Grass Special" cover.

A few singles were released from that album:

Single COUNTRY GAZETTE: Singles Single
- COUNTRY GAZETTE: Honky Cat/My Oklahoma (XW 390)
with Byron Berline, Alan Munde, Roger Bush & Kenny Wertz
guests: Herb Pedersen, Clarence White, Leland Sklar

- COUNTRY GAZETTE: My Oklahoma/Down the road (XW 354)
with Byron Berline, Alan Munde, Roger Bush & Kenny Wertz
guest: Herb Pedersen

- COUNTRY GAZETTE: Teach your children/Huckleberry hornpipe (XW 227)
with Byron Berline, Alan Munde, Roger Bush & Kenny Wertz
guests: Clarence White, Leland Sklar, Al Perkins, Herb Pedersen

United Artists Records released a 14 track compilation album 1979 under the title "From the beginning" of the first two albums ("A traitor in our midst" & "Don't give up your day job"). This album was also released on Sunset Records (SLS 50414) in Italy and UK:

COUNTRY GAZETTE: From the beginning From the beginning
- COUNTRY GAZETTE: From the beginning (United Artists ORL-8234)
Produced by Jim Dickson
with Byron Berline, Alan Munde, Roger Bush & Kenny Wertz
and guests from the first two albums

Side A: Keep on pushin'/Sounds of goodbye/Huckleberry Hornpipe/My Oklahoma/Hot Burrito breakdown/Aggravation/The fallen eagle
Side B: Forget me not/Lonesome blues/Deputy Dalton/Down the road/Tried so hard/Snowball/Lost Indian

On April 4th 1973 Clarence White was at Bob Baxter's "Guitar Workshop" TV-show. Guests with Clarence White was his brother Roland and the Gazette members Byron Berline and Alan Munde. Sierra Records released a video of that performance 1998.

Again some sessions were done around April 1973 at Byron Berline's house. Byron Berline, Roger Bush, Herb Pedersen, Roland & Clarence White taped songs like:

John Henry/Willow garden/Hard hearted/If you ever gonna love me/Wicked path of sin/If I be lifted up/Stoney creek

When Clarence White started to record his first solo album the Gazette members Byron Berline and Roger Bush, early days Gazette member Herb Pedersen, Clarence's brother Roland White (future member of Country Gazette) helped him recording a few songs. Additional musicians were Leland Sklar, Ed Green and Ry Cooder. Produced were those recordings by Jim Dickson. They recorded "Never ending love", "Last thing on my mind", "Alabama jubilee" and "Why you been gone so long". Those songs were recorded June 28-29 1973 - 16 days later Clarence died when he was hit by a car after a gig in Palmdale (July 15, 1973). Those songs were released by Sierra Records on the album "Silver Meteor".
Note: Two more songs were recorded for Clarence's solo album "Waterbed" and "Lucky me". Those songs are still unreleased!

1973 Skip Battin recorded his second solo album "Topanga Skyline" for Atlantic records which is unrleased.
Musicians on that unreleased album were Byron Berline, Roger Bush and Alan Munde from Country Gazette, Herb Pedersen, Roland White (future Gazette member), Al Perkins, Chris Ethridge (ex-Flying Burrito Brothers) Mike Botts and Bob Beeman, produced by Al Hersh.

Skip Battin: Topanga Sykline - unreleased
- SKIP BATTIN: Topanga Skyline (Atlantic Records - unreleased)
Produced by Al Hersh
with Skip Battin, Al Perkins, Roger Bush, Byron Berline, Alan Munde, Roland White
Mike Botts, Chris Ethridge, Herb Pedersen & Bob Beeman

Recorded tracks: Salty dog blues/Bolts of blue/Stoned sober/Relax with me/Relax with me (second version)
Don't go down the drain/Roll in my sweet baby's arms/Roll in my sweet baby's arms (second version)
Hully Gully/Foggy Mountain top/Wintergreen

White Brothers

The New Kentucky Colonels
Alan Munde/Roland, Eric & Clarence

Note: Clarence White rehearsed for the recordings but died before Skip started to record that album. Al Perkins also played the parts Clarence should play on the lead guitar.

White Brothers

Roland, Eric & Clarence

There were plans of an all star world tour 1973 with the new reformed Kentucky Colonels (with Clarence White), Gene Parsons, Sneaky Pete Kleinow, Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris and of course Country Gazette. Their was a test show on the East Coast with that bunch of people which got fantastic critics.

But before that tour started the Kentucky Colonels (Clarence, Roland and Eric White and Herb Pedersen) did a few shows in Europe. Herb Pedersen had to leave in Holland right before group headed for Sweden and Alan Munde replaced him on the banjo.

One Swedish show was released as The White Brothers (The New Kentucky Colonels): "Live in Sweden" on Rounder Records (0073) with Alan Munde on the banjo. This album was released fall 1976.
 

The White Brothers: Live in Sweden, 1973 Live in Sweden
- The White Brothers: Live in Sweden, 1973 (Rounder Records 0073)
with Clarence, Roland & Eric White, Alan Munde

Side A: Tell me baby why you been gone so long/Banjo boy chimes/Last thing on my mind/Sally Goodin/Take a whiff on me/Rawhide/If you're ever gonna love me
Side B: I'm blue and lonesome/Alabama Jubilee/You won't be statisfied that way/Soldier's joy/Black mountain rag/I know what it means to be lonesome/Blackberry blossom/New river train

In the liner-notes to the "Live in Sweden" album is written about Alan Munde:

"To top it off Alan Munde, despite his last minute inclusion on the tour, fits like he had picked all his life with the White Brothers. His superbly controlled and distinctive banjo style blends perfectly with the new Colonels to round out what is doubtless one of the few truly great bluegrass reunions."

Countrya Store

"Country Store"

When Alan Munde returned from that tour he heard that Kenny Wertz had left Country Gazette.

Bluegras Gospel

"Bluegrass Gospel"

1977 Ridge Runner Records (RRR 0012) released an album recorded live 1973 by Alan Munde, Keith Whitley, Jimmy Gaudreau & Bill Rawlings "Country Store: Live!". Alan Munde played this show in Hugo/Oklahoma as a guest because the band's banjo player (Jimmy Arnold) was in the hospital.
Note:Alan Munde played with "Country Gazette" at the same festival.
In the liner-notes to that album is written: Jimmy Arnold is ill and won't be here. The "Country Store" has borrowed the banjo player from the "Country Gazette", Alan Munde. Alan, a native Oklahoman and former "Sunny Mountain Boy", is well known here at Hugo. There is scant time for rehearsal, but these men are quick. Standing under a dripping tree in mud and pine needles they work up two shows for Saturday and two for Sunday.

Another interesting release with "Country Gazette" members is an album by LeRoy (Mack) McNees (former "Kentucky Colonels" dobro player) and brothers Steve & Dave Hatfield "Bluegrass Gospel According To Steve, LeRoy & Brother Dave" released on Manna Records (MS-2023) 1974. Guests on that album are Gazette members Byron Berline and Roger Bush, Roland White (future Gazette member), Al Perkins (played in the Flying Burrito Brothers 1971 line-up with Gazette members Kenny Wertz, Byron Berline and Roger Bush), John Hickman, Tom Keene & John Parker.
Note: Another album was released 1976 as "Steve, LeRoy and Brother Dave" (SLBD-001) including Berline, Bush, Roland White, Al Perkins & John Hickman.The album "Steve and LeRoy sings: Life's Railroad To Heaven" released on Crown Sound (CS-004) was recorded with Roger Bush.

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