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Country Gazette

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One of the most influential bluegrass acts of the ’70s — as well as one of that decade’s most popular country artists in Europe — Country Gazette blended bluegrass with country-rock and, in the process, sowed the seeds for the newgrass movement of the ’80s. The Los Angeles-based band was originally formed in 1971 by fiddler Byron Berline, bassist Roger Bush, and banjoist Billy Ray Latham, who had all played with Dillard & Clark. The trio added guitarist Herb Pedersen, who was quickly replaced by Alan Munde. Shortly after the band’s formation, Berline and Bush played on the Flying Burrito Brothers’ Last of the Red Hot Burritos album, which turned out to be the last album the group would release before breaking up; they would reunite later in the decade. Berline and Bush convinced guitarist Kenny Wertz to join Country Gazette during the Burrito sessions and, following the Burritos’ dissolution, the trio returned to Country Gazette and finished recording the band’s debut, A Traitor in Our Midst.

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