In Concert: The Troubadour, 1969

by: Rick Nelson

The Garden Party is usually regarded as Rick Nelson's comeback album, but two years before its release, this live album peaked just below the Top 50, hardly a blockbuster but a lot better than anything he'd issued in three years, and his first charting album in all of that time. The tracks are a mix of the more enduring of his classic hits and some of the newer songs he was adding to his repertory, including a trio of Bob Dylan compositions and Tim Hardin's "Red Balloon." The performance is excellent, Nelson reveling in this newly cultivated audience and sound, which was as up-to-date in 1969 as "I'm Walkin'" had been in 1957, but the real beauty of this record is the debut of the Stone Canyon Band -- Randy Meisner on bass and backing vocals, Allen Kemp on lead guitar, Patrick Shanahan at the drums, and Tom Brumley on steel guitar. ~ Bruce Eder

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