Loafers’ Glory featuring country rock/bluegrass legends Herb Pedersen and Bill Bryson plus veteran multi-instrumentalists Tom Sauber and Patrick Sauber are special guests Saturday night on “House Blend” on SCVTV, hosted by Stephen K. Peeples.
The all-acoustic quartet performs four songs during the half-hour show — a band arrangement of the traditional bluegrass chestnut “Fair and Tender Ladies” plus three tunes from “Loafers’ Glory,” their debut album, out Thursday on noted roots-Americana label Arhoolie Records: “Crow Little Rooster” (traditional, arranged by Tom Sauber), “Let Me Fall” (traditional, arranged by the group) and “Ridin’ the L&N” (a Bryson original.)
Between tunes, Peeples talked with Pedersen (guitar, vocals), Bryson (upright bass, vocals), Tom Sauber (fiddle, “clawhammer” banjo, vocals) and his son Patrick (banjo, mandolin, vocals) about their respective careers, their mutual affinity for bluegrass and old-time acoustic music, and how they joined forces in early 2010 for live gigs and eventually the studio sessions that resulted in the “Loafers’ Glory” album.
These guys are highly skilled players who put songs and musicianship first. The only flash in their show is the blur of facile fingers on frets.
Pedersen has been involved with bands and artists like The Dillards, The Country Gazzette, Old & In The Grey, Here Today, Vern & Ray, and Earl Scruggs’ Foggy Mountain Boys (he was Scruggs’ hand-picked substitute in the late ’60s while the bandleader/banjo legend recovered from surgery; read or watch Peeples’ separate interview with Pedersen about that experience).
Tom and Patrick Sauber, Bill Bryson and Herb Pedersen talk with “House Blend” host Stephen K. Peeples. Photo: Peter B. Sherman/Getty Images.
In 1985, Bryson, also a veteran of more than 40 years on the road and in the studio, co-founded the Desert Rose Band with Pedersen and folk-rock/country-rock pioneer Chris Hillman of The Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers renown. Desert Rose recorded six albums (all on Curb), the last the aptly titled “Life Goes On” in 1993. Since then Pedersen and Hillman have worked often as a duo.
Tom Sauber is an accomplished fiddle and banjo player who’s played on the old-time music circuit for longer than he’ll admit (at least a few decades), touring and recording with people like Alice Gerrard, Mike Seeger, Dirk Powell and Mark Graham. Sauber’s also contributed to film soundtracks, and teaches a variety of acoustic instruments.
Sauber’s grown-up son Patrick is a multi-instrumentalist with impressive chops on many things with strings, and works occasionally with Laurie Lewis and the group The Bladerunners, as well as Loafers’ Glory.
The Southern California-based quartet produced the “Loafers’ Glory” tracks at The Rainbow Garage over the hill in Sherman Oaks; Rick Cunha engineered the sessions and mixed. Frank Rosato mastered at Woodcliff Studio, also in Sherman Oaks. Hillman contributed a testimonial to the album’s liner notes. Find out more about the band and the album on the Arhoolie website.
Saturday night’s broadcast marks Pedersen’s second “House Blend” appearance on SCVTV. In May 2011 Pedersen and Chris Hillman were special guests and performed four songs from their acclaimed “Live at Edwards Barn” CD. That “House Blend” episode was one of three finalists for a 2011 WAVE award from the Alliance for Community Media. Read more here.
“House Blend” is co-produced at the SCVTV Media Center in Newhall, Calif., by Peeples and SCVTV’s Megan Mann-Perez, who also directs with SCVTV’s Austin Dave. Veteran concert/film/TV sound designer and SCVTV VP/engineer Michael R. Mazzetti produces the sound. SCVTV CEO Leon Worden is the executive producer.
“House Blend” premiered on SCVTV in September 2010 and airs Saturdays and Thursdays at 10 p.m. Pacific Time. The program is seen on Time Warner Cable Channel 20 in the Santa Clarita Valley, and AT&T U-Verse Channel 99 throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties.
It also streams live at the same times everywhere via the Web at www.scvtv.com.
All “House Blend” shows — more than 30 original editions with music and interviews plus a dozen all-music best-of compilations — are also archived and available on demand at www.scvtv.com/html/houseblend-current.html and www.scvhouseblend.com.
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