Multi-instrumentalist Herb Pedersen plays songs and shares stories from his life and career as part of the Museum's “Nashville Cats” series, which spotlights musicians who have made significant contributions to country music. This program was recorded on February 4, 2023, and is presented in support of the exhibition “Western Edge: The Roots and Reverberations of Los Angeles Country-Rock,” presented by City National Bank.
In this ninety-minute program, Herb Pedersen talks about his sixty-year music career as a recording artist, an in-demand banjo player, and as one of the most requested harmony singers in American roots music. He recalls growing up in Berkeley, California, becoming interested in bluegrass while in his teens, and how his talents led to being a member of the Dillards and the Desert Rose Band—as well as filling in briefly for Earl Scruggs on the road with the famous bluegrass band Flatt & Scruggs. He also explains how Linda Ronstadt helped launch his recording session career by hiring him to play banjo and sing harmonies on her albums, steering him to become one of the most recorded harmony vocalists of the 1970s through the 2010s.
Pedersen also discusses his long-running creative collaboration with Chris Hillman and his work with artists such as the Flying Burrito Brothers, Dan Fogelberg, Emmylou Harris, New Kentucky Colonels, Gram Parsons, Tom Petty, and Dwight Yoakam. Accompanied by Jim Buchanan on fiddle, Mark Fain on upright bass, and Rob Ickes on resonator guitar, Pedersen concludes the program with performances of “Wait a Minute,” “A Heart Always True,” and “Making Plans,” featuring Cheryl and Sharon White.
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