This fall, with his 73rd birthday looming on the horizon, Chris Hillman will release Bidin’ My Time, a new album that both upholds and updates the country-rock sound he pioneered during the mid-Sixties.
Although still something of an unsung hero within the Americana scene, Hillman has woven his legend throughout much of the last half-century, logging time in the Byrds’ original lineup before teaming up with Gram Parsons to launch the Flying Burrito Brothers in 1968. At 43 years old, he rebranded himself as a country chart-topper with the Desert Rose Band’s 1988 single “He’s Back and I’m Blue,” kicking off a string of mainstream hits alongside bandmates Herb Pedersen and John Jorgenson. Both musicians join him on this year’s Bidin’ My Time, sharing the spotlight with a long line of Hillman’s old collaborators, new friends and lifelong disciplines.
Produced by Tom Petty, “She Don’t Care About Time” finds Hillman revisiting a forgotten gem from the Byrds’ catalog.
“This is one of my favorite Gene Clark compositions, written by him in 1965,” he tells Rolling Stone Country. “It was the B-side of the Byrds’ single ‘Turn Turn Turn.’ He writes of a fantasy love existing out on the edge of time – wonderful imagery wrapped around a dream sequence. Amazing for Gene to be able to write with such depth and substance at such a young age. Fantastic song, and one I always wanted to record someday. He was a huge inspiration to me and everyone else in the Byrds.”
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From the jangling guitar pattern to the harmonized vocals, “She Don’t Care About Time” stays relatively true to the Byrds’ original, nodding to Hillman’s past along the way. There’s new life here, too, thanks to Hillman’s voice – an instrument that sounds surprisingly unchanged by the decades that’ve elapsed – and a hotshot band that includes the Heartbreakers’ Benmont Tench and Steve Feronne.
“They knew exactly where to go and what to play as we recaptured the original Byrds’ cut from 1965,” Hillman says of the song, which makes its premiere today on Rolling Stone Country. Listen to “She Don’t Care About Time” below. Bidin’ My Time arrives September 22nd.