The Dillards: Pickin’ and Fiddlin’/Wheatstraw Suite/Copperfields
Barney Hoskyns, Uncut, September 2004
WHEN DOUGLAS and Rodney Dillards quartet hit Los Angeles in 1963 they blew everyones minds. Playing bluegrass with fuck-you rocknroll attitude, they wasted the competition at clubs like the Troubadour. 1965s Pickin and Fiddlin was so-titled because red-hot violinist Byron Berline entered the fray, sawing brilliantly away on a selection of rags, reels and hornpipes. With Dougs departure for his Fantastic Expedition with Gene Clark, the more conservative Rodney oversaw late 68s Wheatstraw Suite, a surprisingly bold mix of acoustic trad and electric contemporary (including Beatles and Nilsson covers) that influenced the whole LA country rock clique. 1970s Copperfields was more of the same, only slightly less so.
Total word count of piece: 109