My Top 1000 Songs #189: Hymn To Me

Nick Lowe makes his second appearance on the list (or maybe third), but who would have imagined the purveyor of perfect power pop got his start with some rustic cosmic Americana that sounds far more indebted to the Grateful Dead and Crosby, Stills & Nash?

While later Brinsley Schwarz albums veered more into R&B-flavored pub rock, their self-titled 1970 debut sounded like American Beauty's British cousin. This was particularly acute on album opener "Hymn To Me," a languid, laid-back country vibe with Lowe's gentle bass and slide guitar and hippie-fied lyrics augmented by gorgeous harmonies and a rousing Allman Brothers-styled guitar break.

I've long been a fan of early '70s early Americana, and this track in particular seems to set the stage for an entire sub-genre of Dead/CSN/Byrds-influenced rock that mostly drifted off into obscurity.

Meanwhile, check out this awesome cover version by Nightlands (a side project from War on Drugs bassist Dave Hartley--faithful to the original, but with a more contemporary jam-band bent.