Gram Parsons

Gram Parsons  (born Ingram Cecil Connor III; November 5, 1946 – September 19, 1973) was an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, and pianist.  Besides recording as a solo artist, he played with the International Submarine Band, The Byrds, and The Flying Burrito Brothers.  His relatively short career is described by AllMusic as “enormously influential” for country and rock, “blending the two genres to the point that they became indistinguishable from each other”.  Since his death, Parsons has been recognized as an extremely influential artist, credited with helping to found both country rock and alt-country.  He has a ranking at No. 87 on Rolling Stone’s list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”.  (More from Wikipedia)
How to describe Hacienda’s music has been a problem for me though.  Because of their 1960’s sensibility and love of harmony vocals, they are often compared with familiar bands from that era – even their website says:  “Think the Beach Boys meet the Everly Brothers”.  That’s a cute headline but isn’t really helpful in terms of a description:  If I were writing about the Everly Brothers, I certainly wouldn’t say, “They are a lot like the Beach Boys” – or Gram Parsons, or The Band, or any of the other artists that I have heard mentioned.
As I have thought it over though, I realize that Hacienda sounds more like by the Premiers than anyone else I can think of, so maybe it is a special Chicano sound that they have.  I had originally brought up the latter band as a device to start talking about Chicano rock bands – and as a way to write a tribute to one of my very, very favorite albums.  In any case, “Farmer John” is not to be missed, so I have included a link to a YouTube video of the original 45 of this great song: .  (I am not positive that this is the one that was on Nuggets, but it probably is, though the odd introduction about “Has anybody seen Kosher Pickled Herring?” is omitted).
(January 2011)
Last edited: March 22, 2021