13 Songs, 35 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Much like the similarly seminal albums Sweetheart of the Rodeo by the Byrds and Michael Nesmith’s The Wichita Train Whistle Sings, the Everly Brothers’ Roots came out in 1968 to no commercial success, yet influenced the country rock genre. But unlike the aforementioned records, Roots was a conceptual album — a sequel to their 1958 LP Songs Our Daddy Taught Us with updated covers of the songs that Don and Phil Everly grew up on, including hillbilly standards and their household favorites by Merle Haggard, Jimmie Rodgers, George Jones and Ray Price. Interspersed with mono recorded samples taken from their childhood performances on their family’s KFNF radio show in 1952, the Everlys also balanced out Roots by performing a few hip numbers by Ron Elliott of the Beau Brummels, Randy Newman and Glen Campbell. Their cover of the Hag’s “Mama Tried” floats on rustic tones that blend with tastefully psychedelic soundscapes. Rogers’ “T for Texas” gets a Beatlesque backbeat before bleeding into the lightly pulsing drone of their own “I Wonder If I Care As Much.” Roots is easily the most underrated album of the Everlys’ discography.  

EDITORS’ NOTES

Much like the similarly seminal albums Sweetheart of the Rodeo by the Byrds and Michael Nesmith’s The Wichita Train Whistle Sings, the Everly Brothers’ Roots came out in 1968 to no commercial success, yet influenced the country rock genre. But unlike the aforementioned records, Roots was a conceptual album — a sequel to their 1958 LP Songs Our Daddy Taught Us with updated covers of the songs that Don and Phil Everly grew up on, including hillbilly standards and their household favorites by Merle Haggard, Jimmie Rodgers, George Jones and Ray Price. Interspersed with mono recorded samples taken from their childhood performances on their family’s KFNF radio show in 1952, the Everlys also balanced out Roots by performing a few hip numbers by Ron Elliott of the Beau Brummels, Randy Newman and Glen Campbell. Their cover of the Hag’s “Mama Tried” floats on rustic tones that blend with tastefully psychedelic soundscapes. Rogers’ “T for Texas” gets a Beatlesque backbeat before bleeding into the lightly pulsing drone of their own “I Wonder If I Care As Much.” Roots is easily the most underrated album of the Everlys’ discography.  

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Ratings and Reviews

5.0 out of 5
10 Ratings

10 Ratings

Tim Bombadim ,

That's Old Fashioned

That's the way country should be.

While the remainder of the album does not measure up to the sweet manna of "Mama Tried"/"Less of Me," only someone with a heart of stone could sit through the family radio clips without smiling.

Many folks--probably most--in the know favor the Brothers' early Cadence recordings; however, Warner Records showed a more heartfelt, sentimental side to their craft. Four of these tracks show up on the wonderful compilation _Walk Right Back_.

John Beland ,

A very important album

The SGT Pepper of Country Rock. The most influential album to those of us who were there at the begining of what is now called country rock. Don and Phil as honsest and bold as you could ever want. This album set my course...and I was off to join Ronstadt, Rick nelson and the Flying Burritos. need I say more? JB

FACD 50 1981 ,

This drew the blueprint

This flawless record gave birth to the "country rock" sound that became popular about five years later. You could draw a direct line from here to The Eagles, Poco, and many others in the genre. What can you say about the EB's perfect harmonies that hasn't been said already? Apply those voices to some great country standards and you have an instant classic. In 1968, the Everly's weren't considered hip or were thought of as relics from the 50's. The truth is they never stopped making great albums and although many passed up these albums at the time, many are starting to figure out what the die hards and true lovers of great music knew along, the Everly Brothers were innovative and you just can't beat the harmonies of Don and Phil.

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