The Dillards' blend between pop and bluegrass on this impeccable recording paved the way for a generation of country-rockers and folk-rockers, making it, arguably, their most influential album. Wheatstraw Suite is the fourth album by The Dillards, released in 1968 it's their first album to move away from their traditional bluegrass sound by using a full orchestra and occasional drums.
The Dillards had been experimenting for some time before they released this album, Rodney and Douglas Dillard, Dean Webb and Mitch Jayne made up one of America's premier bluegrass groups and by 1965, certain members began exploring other ideas. The band toured with The Byrds, (featuring future Buffalo Springfield drummer Dewey Martin), but Wheatstraw Suite was the first time they explored the new sound on a full length album. The album features seven original songs and six covers, the covers being drawn mostly from contemporary rock and pop musicians rather than traditionals. One of the tightest ensembles of all time, the Dillards perfected a brand of eclectic bluegrass-country-folk that has never been equaled. The songs all come together to form this masterpiece of great vocal harmonies and virtuosic banjo picking.
Rodney Dillard - vocals, guitar, dobro
Herb Pederson - vocals, banjo, guitar
Dean Webb - mandolin
Mitch Jayne - bass