When we spoke to Chris Hillman in the spring of 2016, we asked if he had a new album in the works. "I do have material," he said at the time. "I’m just lazy. But I think a new album will start to happen in June or July."
It turns out Hillman isn't so lazy after all. The former member and/or co-founder of the Byrds, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas and the Desert Rose Band is releasing a new album, Bidin' My Time, September 22 via Rounder Records.
The album—his first studio effort since 2005's The Other Side—was produced by Tom Petty and executive produced by Herb Pedersen, Hillman's longtime collaborator and co-founder of the Desert Rose Band. Best of all, the disc features a list of guest appearances that have longtime fans seriously chomping at the bit. These include former Byrds David Crosby and Roger McGuinn; Desert Rose Band alumni Pedersen, John Jorgenson and Jay Dee Maness (who also played pedal steel guitar on the Byrds' classic 1968 album, Sweetheart of the Rodeo); Petty and fellow Heartbreakers Mike Campbell, Steve Ferrone and Benmont Tench, plus Mark Fain, Josh Jové and Gabe Witcher.
The album kicks off with a new version of Pete Seeger’s and Idris Davies’ “The Bells of Rhymney,” which the Byrds recorded in 1965. Crosby and Pedersen contribute otherworldly harmonies to the tune, which swells from stripped-down folk into a layered rock-and-roll cry.
“I decided to cut it again because I wanted to sing with David and Herb, two great tenors,” Hillman says. “David just loves Herb’s singing, and at 75 years old, David is still a