Sweetheart of The Rodeo (Tribute to Gram Parsons and Joshua Tree National Park)
Sweetheart of the Rodeo: A Tribute to Gram Parsons and Joshua Tree National Park
Jeff Bowen, Patrick Carr, Kedric Becker, Richard Neal, Rebecca Scotka and a cast of all-star musical guests will perform the original 1968 release of the classic Byrds album, Sweetheart of the Rodeo. Guest stars include Dave Schneider and Cary Pollick from the Zambonis, Kevin Day from Gigglejuice, Val McKee from Junebug Saddle, Thom Guthrie, and Frank Critelli.
Sweetheart of the Rodeo is special for many reasons. It is the only Byrds album to feature Gram Parsons who later went on to form the Flying Burrito Brothers. The album is credited for paving the way for future alt-country and Americana acts such as The Eagles, Poco, and even R.E.M. and Wilco. Gram Parsons, however, considered the album to be simply “country.” In addition to original songs by the Byrds, the album covers hits by Merle Haggard and Bob Dylan. Perhaps the most famous song on the album is the Dylan cover “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” which is sometimes referred to as the “Armchair Song.”
In 1973 tragedy struck and Gram Parsons died of an overdose in Room 8 of the Joshua Tree Inn. In addition to music, Gram loved California, country music, mountains, and the beautiful Mojave Desert. Joshua Tree National Park was his favorite place in the world. Fans still make pilgrimages to the famous roadside inn and leave gifts and light candles outside his last hotel room.
Tragedy struck Joshua Tree again during the recent government shutdown when Gram’s beloved park was vandalized by crowds of scofflaws who left piles of trash, spray painted boulders, lit hundreds of illegal campfires and even cut down some of the rare Joshua trees for which the park was named.
Proceeds from this event and merchandise sales will benefit Joshua Tree National Park Association, a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) association dedicated to protecting and preserving this beautiful national treasure.