The exhibition will examine the Los Angeles-based movement that transformed popular music and inspired future generations of country and American artists.
NASHVILLE, Tenn.and LOS ANGELES, June 22, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum announced its next major exhibition with two separate events at Troubadour in Los Angeles and the museum’s Ford Theater in Nashville. The exhibition, Western Edge: the roots and reverberations of LA country-rock, presented by City National Bank, will be housed in the museum’s newly transformed 5,000 square foot gallery and opened September 30 for a run of almost three years.
West edge will examine the close-knit communities of Los Angelessingers, songwriters and musicians who, from the 1960s to the 1980s, embraced country music, frequented local nightclubs and created and shaped the musical fusion known as “country-rock” – ultimately having an impact indelible and lasting on popular music.
The exhibit will examine the rise of the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Poco, Eagles, Emmylou HarrisNitty Gritty Dirt Band, Linda Ronstadt and many others who have found commercial success by fusing rock & roll beats and attitude with country and bluegrass instrumentation and harmonies.
The musical contributions of these pioneers were expanded by the next generation of Los Angeles roots music artists – the Blasters, Rosie Flores, Los Lobos, solitary righteousness, Dwight Yoakam and more – who once again drew inspiration from traditional American music. Mixing hard-edge honky-tonk, Mexican folk music, rockabilly and punk rock, these artists – along with their country rock predecessors – inspired future generations of country and American artists.
Today’s announcement included special performances by several artists central to the exhibition’s narrative:
- Winner of several Grammy Awards Dwight Yoakam and country-rock lighting Chris Hillman (the Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Desert Rose Band and more) performed “Sin City” and “Time Between” together at Troubadour in Los Angeles.
- Member of the Country Music Hall of Fame Emmylou Harris sang “The Road”, his song in tribute to fellow country-rock pioneer Gram Parsons, at the museum’s Ford Theater in Nashville. Harris also joined Jeff Hanna (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) and country singer and songwriter Matraca-Berg on stage for a performance of “Mr. Bojangles” in the museum theatre.
The West edge exhibition traces the history of young musicians who, in the 1960s, gravitated around Los Angeles as a bastion of youth-focused counterculture and a burgeoning recording hub. Newcomers found a rich local music scene rooted in clubs such as the Ash Grove, which featured young bluegrass bands including the Dillards and Kentucky Colonels alongside previous generations of masters of American roots music.
The exhibition also highlights the historical importance of the Troubadour in West Hollywood, which served as an important haven for like-minded artists. It provided space for creators to collaborate with a healthy dose of competition, challenging each other to write better songs, create tighter harmonies, and master their instruments.
“A new hybrid sound has grown from humble beginnings in a few small LA nightclubs and has quickly become one of the most popular musical styles around the world,” said Kyle Young, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. “Inspired by Bob Dylan and the Beatles, these artists and musicians also found community in their appreciation of traditional country, folk and bluegrass music. They built on this foundation, creating songs of unusual lyrical depth and ‘a layered musical richness – adding new textures to rock sounds that resulted in a wholly original form of American music.’
The museum’s curatorial and creative teams conducted over 40 hours of filmed interviews and collected an array of significant artifacts from central figures in the music movement for display in West edge. The exhibit will feature stage outfits, instruments, original song scripts and more. Interactive elements will illustrate the connections between the artists who make up the musical communities explored in the exhibition, allowing access to audio recordings, performance clips, original interview footage and historic photographs.
West edgeThe opening weekend of will include a pair of unique concerts in the museum’s CMA Theater, made possible in part by exhibit travel partner American Airlines:
- Western Edge: Los Angeles Country-Rock in concert – Friday September 30at 7 p.m.
A lineup of musical stars associated with country-rock will perform, as well as torchbearers who have been influenced by the sounds and artists of the Los Angeles music scene. Performers include David Alvin (the Blasters, the Knitters), Alison Brown (in tribute to California bluegrass), Rodney Dillard (the Dillards), Rosie Flores, richie furay (Buffalo Springfield, Poco), Jeff Hanna (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), Chris Hillman (the Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Desert Rose Band), Bernie Leadon (Hearts & Flowers, Flying Burrito Brothers, the Eagles), John McEuen (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), Wendy Moten (in tribute to Linda Ronstadt) and Pedersen Grass (Desert Rose Band and instrumentalist for Linda Ronstadt, Gram Parsons and many others). The house band will be led by a Grammy-winning guitar virtuoso and multi-instrumentalist. John Jorgenson and understand Jay Dee Maness (steel guitar), Steve Duncan (battery) and Marc Fain (low). More performers to add.
- Desert bunch of roses – Sunday October 2at 7 p.m.
For the first time in over a decade, the Desert Rose Band will reunite for a special concert.
In 1986, former Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers member Chris Hillman founded the band with Pedersen Grass and John Jorgensen. The original lineup included Bill Bryson (bass guitar), Jay Dee Maness (pedal steel guitar) and Steve Duncan (drums). The original members of the group will take the stage for this highly anticipated event, with Nashville bass player Marc Fain replace the deceased Bill Bryson. The Grammy-nominated group has garnered hit singles and won numerous awards from the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association.
Tickets for the events will go on sale to the public this friday june 24at 10am here.
The exhibition will also be supported by multiple educational programs, as well as the release of an illustrated and thoroughly researched book with a long-running main essay. Los Angeles music journalist Randy Lewisamong many other contributors.
More details about the exhibition and the accompanying book will be announced before the exhibition opens. Exhibition information and updates are available at www.CountryMusicHallofFame.org.
Photos and video of the Los Angeles and Nashville events
- Photos of performances and artefacts presented on stage to download here. (all photos by Brett Carlsen (Nashville) and Kevin Winter (Los Angeles)/Getty Images for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum).
- Video performance clips, remarks, and artifact B-rolls are available here.
The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum collects, preserves and performs country music and its history for the education and entertainment of diverse audiences. Through exhibitions, publications, digital media and educational programs, the museum explores the cultural significance and enduring beauty of the art form. The museum is operated by the Country Music Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization licensed by the state of Tennessee in 1964. The museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and is among the largest – visited history museums in the United States. The Country Music Foundation operates Historic RCA Studio B®, Hatch Show Print® Poster Shop, CMF Records, Frist Library and Archive and CMF Press. The museum’s programs are supported in part by the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission and the Tennessee Arts Commission.
More information about the Country Music Hall of Fame® and museum is available at www.countrymusichalloffame.org or by calling (615) 416-2001.
About the National City
With $90.9 billion of assets, City National Bank provides banking, investment and trust services through 74 branches, including 22 full-service regional centers, to Southern Californiathe San Francisco Bay Area, Nevada, New York City, Nashville, Atlanta, washington d.c. and Miami*. In addition, the Company and its investment subsidiaries manage or administer $80.6 billion in clients’ investment assets. City National is a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), one of the world’s leading diversified financial services companies. RBC serves more than 17 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through its offices in Canada, United States and 27 other countries. For more information about City National, visit the company’s website at cnb.com.
*City National Bank does business in Miami and the state of Florida as CN Bank.
SOURCE Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum