Back in the mid- to late-'70s, Heartsfield was one of those couldn't—miss country rockin' bands that somehow, and don't ask anyone how, missed. They were six of the hottest and hard workin'est guys you'd ever want to meet and put out four really fine (some would say excellent) albums before hanging up the sticks and guitars, much to the chagrin of their fans. It wasn't often you got to see six vocalists singing stunning stacked harmonies while shredding guitars and pulsing drums which, when they wanted, made ears bleed. They were the rock side of the lesser knowns like Cowboy and Pure Prairie League and never let you forget it, or wouldn't have if you were lucky enough to stumble across their albums or, even better, to catch them live. Man, they were killer!
Well, they still are. Okay, it's not the same six. Everyone but Perry Jordan gave up the band except for the occasional reunion (hey, try playing and having a family at the same time! It's tough!). But Jordan was lucky enough to find replacements and damn good ones, too. They out an album in 2001 called Rescue the Dog (you can read my review here) and maybe they weren't quite the original band, but that was as much a good thing as not. They rocked a little harder and twanged a bit harder, but man, when they sang or played their guitars, they were still killer!
Did I mention that they still are? A few months ago, they lined up once again, six crankin' rockers ready to roll, and came up with Disrupting the Country, as good redneck rock & roll as you'll find either side of the Pecos. Jordan supplied all of the songs but one (with help on two others) and he hasn't lost a thing. His songs range from smooth to crunchy (to borrow an old peanut butter phrase) and the band pulls it off like pros. Hell, they ARE pros! These guys play everywhere they're given a chance (and I mean PLAY!). What I wouldn't give to see the guitars lined up across the stage for one of their four-guitar/two slide jams or to hear their silky smooth choral bridges.
You can have Nashville, as far as I'm concerned. These guys rock the country just fine. Wish I could talk them into giving up those damn cowboy hats, though. Jeez, if they read this, I'm dead meat! But wait! Even if they can read, they don't have the time. They're too busy playing! Some days, things just work out, you know?
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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