Mike Headrick

Heart of the Night

Country Discovery

One of the things that made late ’60s/early ’70s country rock so great was pedal steel guitar. There was something pleasantly anachronistic about hearing that old-fashioned sound amid electric guitars and hard-chargin’ rhythm sections.

Intrepid fans just discovering the instrument via country rock and thirsting for more could track down output by such classic players as Jerry Byrd, Speedy West, Pete Drake, Leon McAuliffe, Lloyd Green, Buddy Emmons, Tom Brumley, Red Rhodes and Jaydee Maness, all of whom cranked out instrumental albums featuring covers of popular hits in which the pedal steel took the place of vocals.

Headrick offers the best of both worlds, cherry picking from country rock’s finest to fill an album of instrumental covers: three by Poco, three by the New Riders of the Purple Sage, two by the Eagles and one each by Pure Prairie League and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

Hearing the pedal steel carry the melody rather than embellishing it enables a new level of appreciation — there’s not as much of a “distancing” factor involved as there would be, say, in listening to a pedal steel rendition of “Danny Boy” or “Moonlight Becomes You.” Listeners quite possibly could forget they’re hearing an interpretation, since the originals featured the instrument to such a high degree to begin with.

Highlights include Headrick’s use of the Pedabro (a type of Dobro fitted with a pedal and played like a pedal steel guitar) for Jerry Garcia’s parts on “Teach Your Children,” and harmonicat Charlie McCoy’s guest solos on “Rose of Cimarron.”

Tracks
1. Take It Easy
2. Amie
3. She’s No Angel
4. Heart Of The Night
5. Teach Your Children
6. Bad Weather
7. Henry
8. Ol’ ’55
9. I Don’t Need No Doctor
10. Rose Of Cimarron

Total time: 41:39

External links
artist’s website
CD Baby

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