“Last Morning” probably best embodies the back-to-the-land ethos of Roots and Branches (see what I mean?) as The Dillards would imply in not just the album’s title but also cover:
[Pssst: Click on the triangle above to play “Last Morning” by The Dillards.]
How interesting then to discover that the song’s author is Shel Silverstein, a fairly cosmopolitan kind of guy who, nevertheless, was part of the country outlaw scene. Shel would also write “Cover of the Rolling Stone” that same year for Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show (who, when they did appear on the cover in 1973, were rendered in caricature so as not to reward outright that sort of behavior).
1972’s Roots and Branches — The Dillards’ first LP release on Anthem, a United Artists subsidiary, after having recorded five albums prior for Elektra — was recorded at American Recording Studio in Memphis and also Studio City in Los Angeles.
Anthem would release one single from Roots and Branches – “It’s About Time” backed with “One A.M.” I couldn’t help but notice OldOak’s emphatic comment on the 45Cat website related to this single: “The sound that comes out of the speakers from this little 45 is simply not reproducible on LP or CD. The guitars just crack and that piano riff sounds like it’s coming right up out of the floor.”
The Dillards are probably best known as the bluegrass band who (1) electrified their instruments and (2) played the fictional string band, The Darlings, on television’s beloved “The Andy Griffith Show” from 1963-1966. But The Dillards – who are still quite active, thank you very much – would like to point out that they are “much more than just the ‘Darling’ boys, but Rodney, Doug, Dean and Mitch will always be thankful to The Darlings for helping to spread their brand of entertainment to so many generations.”