I’ve got some incurable contrarian streak. Every time the subject of Gram Parsons comes up, I’m inclined to spend a little of my energy deflating the cult of GP. It’s my problem. I can’t figure out why I’m so quick to do that. I mean I do love the Burritos and I love GP solo, and I love Sweetheart of the Rodeo, and I even love some of the International Submarine Band. But it seems like Gram worship is a little over the top. I may have picked this line of reasoning up from an interview I did with former Burrito and Byrd Chris Hillman, who plays in a sort of old time string duo these days. On the subject of Parsons, Hillman had developed a narrative about how GP had never really lived up to his promise and that he basically squandered his talents. Hillman, a zealous Christian these days, seemed genuinely sad, but in a (self) righteous judgmental kind of way. Still, just last night I was sitting around singing "The Streets of Baltimore." Here’s a free download from Amoeba Records (up through Aug. 23). It’s from a 1969 live recording of the Burritos at the Avalon Ballroom.