Despite a strong association with the Byrds, the Gosdin Brothers' progressive blend of bluegrass and country-rock never found its way to a popular audience, though Vern Gosdin would later become one of country's more acclaimed vocalists.
The Gosdin Brothers' obscure 1968 LP Sounds of Goodbye is an overlooked country-rock milestone, and one that owes as much to the sound of the 1966-1967 era Byrds as it does to country music. That's unsurprising, perhaps, given that the Gosdins helped out a lot on Gene Clark's debut solo album in 1967, and sometimes shared bills with the early Byrds, as they shared the same management. In truth, this will appeal far more to the early Byrds fan than to the straight country fan. That's not damning with faint praise, far from it; it's actually high praise. It's a fair guess, too, that anyone who likes Gene Clark's early work will enjoy this record, as it has a similar low-key, hurt, vulnerable mystique to the melodies, vocals, and harmonies. The material, though sometimes average, is also sometimes outstanding, as on "Love at First Sight," which actually comes quite close to the classic 1966 Byrds jangle rock sound; the melancholy, graceful "She's Gone," with the kind of unexpected compelling chord changes you'd expect from the Gene Clark songwriting school; and "The Victim," with its pungent burned-by-love lyrics, and an odd (though not displeasing) dash of psychedelic echo on the chorus. The covers cast an eclectic net ("Catch the Wind," "Let It Be Me," the Everly Brothers' "Bowling Green") and are not as distinctive as the originals, but even so there's an excellent reading of Ewan MacColl's "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face." (AMG).
1. Sounds of Goodbye; 2. Tell Me; 3. There Must Be a Someone (I Can Turn To); 4. Woman's Disgrace; 5. Multiple Heartaches; 6. Love at First Sight; 7. The Victim; 8. Uncommitted Man; 9. Catch the Wind; 10. She's Gone; 11. No Matter Where You Go (There You Are); 12. Hangin' On; 13. Wishing; 14. Louisiana Man; 15. I'll Live Today; 16. For Us to Find; 17. One Hundred Years from Now; 18. Bowling Green; 19. I'll Live With God (To Die No More); 20.The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face; 21. Love of the Common People; 22. She Still Wishes I Were You; 23. Had a Lot of Friends; 24. Let It Be Me .