Skip Battin / Topanga Skyline


Two legendary Americana bassists on one slab! Cited by this writer in Huff Post as Eleven More Bass Players Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ( for his outstanding tenure in the latter-day Byrds, the late, great Skip Battin waxed this platter just days following the tragic passing of Clarence White in 1973.

Though not released until well into the 21st Century, Skip’s cosmic cowboy yearnings, produced by his pal and co-writer Kim Fowley, recall his work with the countrified McGuinn & Company. Backing Battin on this song-cycle is bassist extraordinaire Chris Ethridge – working the pocket.  

Note: included on the CD version is a hidden bonus rehearsal cut featuring Clarence’s last known recording.  

As cited in the Sierra Records Press Release: "Skip Battin: Topanga Skyline" was to be part of a five album release back in 1973 that would include the album releases of Gene Parsons' "Kindling", Country Gazette's "Don't Give Up Your Day Job", Gram Parsons' "Sleepless Nights" later released as "Grievous Angel", and what turned out to be the never released "Clarence White" solo album on Warner Bros. Records. All five releases were to promote a Fall 1973 Concert tour with all these performers on stage with Skip providing the bass playing and adding his vocals. I wonder what a Gram Parsons/Skip Battin duet would have sounded like! The tour was to be kicked off by a "Folk/Bluegrass/Country" Festival in September 1973 in Lancaster CA. Sadly, it too never materialized because the "city fathers" did not want a music festival with "long hairs" and by then Clarence and Gram were gone. 

Thomas SemioliComment