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GP – Gram Parsons

Gram Parsons GP

GP

(1973), 7.5/10
After his stints in The International Submarine Band, The Byrds, and The Flying Burrito Brothers, GP was the beginning of Parsons’ solo career. Parsons recruited Elvis Presley’s backing band, and grabbed folk singer Emmylou Harris from a folk club to sing harmony with him. Parson’s strength on GP is for tender ballads, emotionally affecting pieces such as ‘A Song for You’ and ‘The New Soft Shoe’ which he delivers with his engagingly creaky tenor, backed exquisitely by Harris’ gorgeous harmonies. Parsons is less convincing on the uptempo covers like ‘That’s All It Took’ and ‘Cry One More Time’ (an obscure J Geils Band album track), and the album feels two paced with Parsons’ excellent country ballads sharing space with dispensable sounding covers. The highlight of GP is the sweet gospel of ‘She’, co-written with Chris Etheridge. Parsons’ posthumous followup, Grievous Angel, is a more satisfying record, but you can find them together on one CD, and there’s still plenty to enjoy on GP.

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