On his first album in over a decade – and what he says is likely his last – Chris Hillman sums up a five-decades-plus career in just over a half-hour.
Bidin’ My Time finds the former Byrd, Flying Burrito Brother and Desert Rose Band leader produced by his most-famous acolyte, Tom Petty (and expertly covering Petty’s “Wallflowers”) and playing and singing with old colleagues and friends including Byrds David Crosby and Roger McGuinn, Punch Brother Gabe Witcher, Heartbreaker Benmont Tench and Desert Rose’s Herb Pendersen.
Like Hillman’s long musical odyssey, Bidin’ My Time moves from jangly folk to country rock that leans more country than rock over its 33-minute runtime. He and his co-conspirators revisit Byrds numbers such as “Bells of Rhymney” and “She Don’t Care About Time,” cover the Everly Brothers’ “Walk Right Back” and prove their continued songwriting prowess on new originals like “Restless” and “Such is the World that We Live In.”
Rickenbacker electric guitars, 12-string acoustics, pedal steel, fiddle, banjo, harmonica, piano and smooth vocal harmonies are all present and the result is a vintage-sounding, contemporary album that could’ve come out at any point in the past 60 years and been of its era. Which is to say Bidin’ My Time is timeless.