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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