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Let's all rejoice : the first CD by ERNIE HAGAR is finally out !!
And what a cracker it is !!

DJ supreme, Dave Chamberlain, in the WRFG studio.'It is music truly sprung from the same fertile place that spawned Speedy West. I have given the CD my Number One rating for the Austin, Texas music publication - 'Third Coast Music' - for the month of August 2001.'
David Chamberlain * Tucker, Georgia

(host & producer of the 'Sagebrush Boogie' radio show every Thursday on WRFG - FM 89.3 in Atlanta)

Track listing : Lickity Split/Perdido/My Elusive Dreams/How High The Moon/Blue Jade/Cherokee Maiden/Morning/Hi Jinks/Desperado/ It Could Happen To You/Swingin' Steel/
Blue Steel/Tumbleweed/At Sunrise/Steel Boogie Twist/Outside Inn/Space Walk/ Surf 'n' Sand/String Duster Blues/Spindrift

Titled 'Man Of Steel - The classic stylings of a steel guitar master', it has just been released (late June 2001) by a new US record company, Ambiance Records (AR 10135). First thing you'll notice when you unseal the CD, is that the packaging is first class. The 8-page foldout booklet was designed by noted graphist/photographer, Ed Guthero, who also contributed a fine set of notes. Ernie's cohort, Larry Hosford, better known as Lorenzo, also wrote a superb piece which is sheer poetry to me. Last, Ernie himself gave some more info on the 20 recordings included : ten which represent the whole Midland album from 1978, five taken from the oh-so-rare Sage LP and the remaining five taken from his three Sand '45s (see Ernie's Discography). Ernie decided to dedicate the CD to his longtime friend and guitar player supreme, the late Jimmy Wright. The photographs which decorate the booklet are very nice ; there's a recent pic of Ernie on the back of the case and a 1956 photo is reproduced on the disc itself.
The sound is okay but obviously, the digital mastering was not helped by the lack of master tapes ; still, the original sound and feel have been preserved which makes for great listening pleasure.

Anybody with an interest in pedal steel guitar sounds should investigate and purchase this CD. Ernie Hagar is a self-taught master who not only amazed his mentor, Speedy West, decades ago but also delighted Hank Penny when I played him Ernie's 'Steel Guitar Odyssey' album in 1987 in my music room, here in the South of France ; Hank, who played with more top drawer steelers than anybody else, told me that Ernie was in the same class as Curly Chalker : there's surely no better compliment as far as steel players are concerned.

© Paul VIDAL * Privas, France * July 3, 2001

This CD has long sold out and is now out-of-print
should you need a copy, please contact me by using the e-mail button below
It has now been replaced with the disc pictured below, especially created by yours truly on my APCD imprint.
The sound quality is noticeably better and there are extra tracks. The cover is totally different, though.

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