Desert Rose Band members, left to right, Chris Hillman, John Jorgenson… (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles…)
The Desert Rose Band, set to play a rare Los Angeles area show Saturday at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, was on the scene in the mid-1980s when all sorts of intriguing new country music acts were sprouting through the cracks in Nashville.
Started by former member of the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers Chris Hillman with longtime collaborator Herb Pedersen on banjo, bassist Bill Bryson and guitarist John Jorgenson, the group was part of a boundary-pushing collection of artists that also included k.d. lang, Lyle Lovett, Steve Earle and the Mavericks.
The Desert Rose Band charted more than a dozen country hits including “He’s Back and I’m Blue,” “I Still Believe In You,” “Ashes of Love,” and “She Don’t Love Nobody.” Eight of those singles reached the top 10, with two getting all the way to No. 1 before the band members went on to other projects in the mid-'90s.
The group mounted a brief reunion tour in 2010 that included a stop at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace in Bakersfield, the town that had inspired numerous country-rock artists who came of age in the '60s and '70s. More recently, Hillman, Pedersen, Jorgenson and Bryson have been playing occasional acoustic performances, which is what they’ll be doing Saturday in a benefit for Ventura County’s St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church.
Hillman’s camp says that in addition to Desert Rose Band material, the quartet will touch on a variety of other songs each member has been part of over the decades, including some Byrds and Burrito Brothers chestnuts.
The show is scheduled for 7 p.m., and more details are available at Ticketmaster, www.toaks.org or www.saintdem.org.
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