"Man Of Steel"
There are actually two different West Coast steel guitar
styles. The first is stone country, as popularized by Ralph Mooney,
Jay MacDonald, and Jay Dee Maness on records out of Bakersfield.
The other is more experimental, with elements of swing and rock-a-billy
as well as country. It has its roots in the classic 1950's recordings
of Speedy West and Jimmy Bryant, and its early proponents included
Red Rhodes, Vance Terry, and Ernie Hagar.
This excellent 20-song retrospective of Ernie Hagar's work includes
10 cuts from the 1970's LP Steel Guitar Odyssey and 10 more
that were released as singles or album cuts in the 1960's by Sage
& Sand Records. In the Sage & Sand tracks, we hear the
West/Bryant influence, but by the 70's Ernie Hager was exploring
a brave new world. The Odyssey tracks include electronic effects
and overdubbing, and the songs encompass a wide variety of musical
styles. My favorite track is Morning, the familiar classical
theme from Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite, which shows just how
adventurous Ernie had become.
This is a classic collection that no steeler should be without.
- Lickity Split
- My Elusive Dream
- How High the Moon
- Blue Jade
- Cherokee Maiden
- Hi Jinks
- It Could Happen to You
- Swingin' Steel
- Blue Steel
- At Sunrise
- Steel Boogie Twist
- Outside Inn
- Surf N' Sand
- String Duster Blues