Herb Pedersen is an American musician from California who plays in styles such as country, bluegrass, folk, and other related genres. Pedersen has been in the music scene since 1961, and over the years he has worked with a number of my favorite musicians and bands, including John Fogerty, Mudcrutch, David Grisman, Peter Rowan, Kris Kristofferson, Linda Ronstadt, Stephen Stills, Gram Parsons, John Denver, Jerry Garcia, and John Prine, just to name a few. This album, Lonesome Feeling (1984), is Pedersen’s third and most recent solo album, and is his only solo album available for listening on Apple Music. Pedersen was the banjo player in the 2002 reunion of Old & In the Way, which originally featured Jerry Garcia on the banjo, so I’m pretty stoked to give Pedersen’s solo work a listen. With that said, I’m going to jump on into the music.
“The Last Thing On My Mind” starts out with a sweet, somewhat folksy acoustic guitar line, which is soon backed by a country-flavored rhythm section. Holy smokes, a dobro enters the soundscape to bring about some earthy, bluegrass-type country flavors. Oh wow, there’s a pedal steel guitar that comes into the soundscape next that I’m really digging, which also adds even more country flavors to the soundscape. I really dig the sort of trodding feel of the drums and bass, which sort of make me think of groups like Longbranch/Pennywhistle. I really dig the country vocal harmonies in this track as well. The pedal steel guitar keeps pulling me further into the soundscape. Wow, great tune, and I’m excited to hear more.
“Childish Love” starts out with some super sweet, bright mandolin that immediately sets a sort of folksy bluegrass tone that I’m really digging. The soundscape reminds me a bit of modern bluegrass acts like Billy Strings. Admittedly, I’m not all that well-versed with bluegrass, but I sure do enjoy listening to it. Oh wow, the tight, twanginess of the banjo has me listening closer and closer to the soundscape. Holy smokes, I just noticed the acoustic guitar that seems to be grooving along to the bass guitar. Wow, great track.
Oh wow, “The Fields Have Turned Brown” starts out with some super sweet notes from a pedal steel guitar that immediately set a country tone. Holy smokes, the dobro comes in with some earthy country flavors after the pedal steel guitar part. I really dig the country rhythm from the acoustic guitar chord progression, with a mellow backbeat, and a sort of bopping country bass line. This tune reminds me of a sort of classic Kris Kristofferson country tune. Wow, great track.
“The Homecoming” gets grooving right away with some super smooth distorted guitar and a sort of breezy rhythm section. My first impression of the song is some sort of country impression of Steely Dan’s album, Gaucho (1980), and I’m really digging the sound. Holy smokes, I really dig the piano in this track, which really accentuate and provide a super sweet ‘oomf’ to the melody. The pedal steel guitar brings a sort of country flavor to the easy-going soundscape that I’m really digging. Holy smokes, I really dig the vocals during the chorus. This track sounds like one that could have charted in the 1980s. Holy smokes, the electric guitar is back; I can almost picture a beat-up Fender Telecaster playing some of the guitar lines in this track. Wow, great song.
“Easy Ride” gets started with an almost blues-inflected sort of country folk feel with the continuous acoustic guitar set to a country rhythm with the drums and bass. Oh wow, I really dig the electric guitar work in this song; some of the lines from the electric guitar remind me of a mellow version of some classic Jerry Garcia licks. Oh wow, the track has a super sweet sound as the song comes to a close. Great tune.
“Lonesome Feeling” gets started again with more of the blues-inflected country folk sounds. Oh wow, the sweetness of the vocals and the mixture of bluesy flavors with predominantly country flavors evoke a classic country blues sound that I’m really digging. Holy smokes, the electric guitar gets some super groovy licks in that pulled me even further onto the edge of my seat. Wow, great track.
“Willow Garden” starts out with a really sweet medley of country folk flavors, with a dobro coming in shortly to do the main melody while the acoustic guitar, drums, and bass all combine for a classic country rhythm section. The song has a sort of classic American folk feel, as though the song has been passed down multiple generations, and is presented with a sweet country style. Wow, great track.
“It’s Worth Believing” gets started with an upbeat acoustic guitar chord progression, which is soon joined by a sort of bopping country bass line and beat. Holy smokes, the track seems to open up as the dobro comes in. Oh wow, the pedal steel comes in for an instrumental section, bringing along even more country flavors with it into the soundscape. Wow, super sweet track.
“Even the Worst of Us” starts out with some super sweet piano work that has me hooked right away. Holy smokes, I really dig the instrumentation in this track. I can almost imagine this song being played in some old, dusty Texas saloon. The track almost reminds me of some sort of countryfied version of 80s pop rock ballads. Holy smokes, I really dig the pedal steel guitar at the end of the track. Great tune.
“Your Love Is Like a Flower” gets started right away with some fiddle, banjo, and acoustic guitar set to a bopping country rhythm section from the drums and bass. Holy smokes, there’s also a mandolin in the track that adds some super sweet folksy bluegrass flavors as it gets some really groovy lines into the track. Holy smokes, the dobro comes in for a couple lines and brings some earthy bluegrass and country flavors with it into the soundscape. Wow, great track, and a great way to finish up the album.
Holy smokes, I’m glad that I checked out this album tonight. It’s been a while since I listened to some country flavors, and I was reminded why they can be so enjoyable to listen to. While some tracks seem to be more along of a country folk territory, the track also incorporates a lot of bluegrass sounds and sensibilities, as the band sounds like they’re having fun with some super sweet bluegrass jams at times. If you’re into country folk or country music at all, and you also enjoy bluegrass or are looking to get more into bluegrass, then you might want to consider checking out this album. If you do decide to give this album a listen, then I sincerely do hope that you enjoy the listening experience at least as much as I did.