Steel Moments

From two directions came Speedy West into my Facebook. Smile lights ruddy Scots-Irish face with ritual bald circle atop. Those are great cards lads, but I see your bet.

Red Rhodes, with Mike Nesmith; thinking of Jamie the amazing Dynamo Man

Al Perkins with Manassas; for your Mr. Mike

Buddy Cage, New Riders of the Purple Sage reunion; for you Casey drivin’ that train.

Instigation? Speedy West with Lawrence Welk.

Bert, Red, and Pa Nes

English folkie Bert Jansch collaborated with Mike Nesmith on his 1974 gem,L.A. Turnaround. Nesmith brought along his colleague, pedal steel guitarist Red Rhodes too. By this time, Nesmith was three years into his travels down his own distinctive country-rock byway. Jansch had left Pentangle and returned to a solo career.

I don’t know the back story behind L.A. Turnaround, one of Jansch’s finest–among many fine–records. Much to my surprise, there are on youtube a series of clips of sessions featuring Jansch and Red Rhodes. The setting is a country cottage in Britain. The sessions are marvelous and intimate. Eventually, Nesmith would augment tracks cut in the impromptu studio with contributions from L.A. session men, guitarist Jesse Ed Davis and fiddler Byron Berline, as well as Brits, including bassist Klaus Voorman, and drummer Danny Lane.

The three youtube clips comprise a beguiling mini-documentary.

(L.A. Turnaround was reissued last year. Amazon)

Bert Jansch