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Hearts And Flowers
Hearts and Flowers were one of the most eclectic groups on the Southern California folk-rock scene in the '60s, skewing more to the folk side of the equation and often adding flourishes of psychedelia and, most importantly, bluegrass and country music. The group was founded by guitarist Larry Murray, a Georgia native who had come to California in the late '50s and played with a bluegrass group called the Scottsville Squirrel Barkers. At various points, the Barkers' membership included Chris Hillman and Bernie Leadon, and they recorded a rare album for Crown in 1962 before breaking up. Murray went on to play in several other bands, including another one with Hillman called the Green Grass Group, before forming Hearts and Flowers with vocalist/guitarist Dave Dawson and vocalist Rick Cunha, who had worked together as a folk duo in Hawaii. The trio played the Los Angeles club scene, sometimes by themselves, sometimes with a rhythm section, and eventually landed a deal with Capitol. Their debut album, Now Is the Time for Hearts and Flowers, was released in 1967 and echoed work by the Byrds, the Stone Poneys, and the Dillards. Its eclectic originals and wide-ranging taste in covers meant that it didn't sell very well, however, and at Capitol's urging, the group underwent an overhaul, adding Terry Paul and Dan Woody to flesh out their live sound, though both left before the group completed its second album. So too did Cunha, who was replaced on guitar by Leadon. The group's sophomore effort, Of Horses, Kids and Forgotten Women, was released in 1968 and featured more elements of pop and psychedelia than their debut, in spite of the fact that the band had taken to playing folk-rock arrangements of country tunes almost exclusively at their live shows. Of Horses didn't sell either, and the group disbanded not long afterward. Murray and Cunha both went on to release solo country-rock albums. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi