Valley Hi by Iain Matthews
Released: Aug 1973
Label: Rhino
Valley Hi is the country rock gem that Don Henley and Glenn Frey always dreamed of making, which makes sense because many rock historians believe the Eagles were really just "borrowing" their sound from Ian Matthews, an early member of Fairport Convention who spent the late-'60s and '70s fusing British folk-rock and the California sounds of the Byrds and Buffalo Springfield. But where the Eagles desert-dry soft rock feels prepackaged, Matthews' crystalline roots rock exudes a real humanity, especially when he lets his lonesome tenor soar high above them Sierras.
Justin Farrar
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