Heather was a pretty amazing group. Check out the "Then & Now" pictures, over there to the left. (You can click on it, to see an enlarged version.) From the left: De Stewart, Jim Gaines, Jack Nimersheim, Ron Baumgartner, and Ron Sachs. Two photographs, five friends, separated by four decades...but still friends, after all these years.
The "core four" of our little band of merry musicians (Jimmy, Jack, Ron, and Ron) played together from 1971 to 1976. During that time, a number of other folks...including De, who can be heard on several of the songs in this collection...rotated in and out as the final member of what was, in essence, a five-member country-rock band.
The operative word in the previous paragraph is "together". For those five years...between practice, live gigs, touring and the recording studio...we were almost inseparable. We were also very fortunate in that Heather spent a lot of time in the aforementioned recording studio - often backing other artists but, occasionally, recording our own, original material.
I recently set about restoring some of these vintage Heather recordings. Working off old albums, singles, acetates and demo tapes, I was able to pull together a pretty representative sample of our musical efforts, through the years.
This Heather "Chronography" includes material from our first trek into the recording studio to cut a three-song demo tape (1973), through our 2013 "reunion" to record two new Heather songs ("Distant Light" and "You Can Fly"), thirty-five years after the original group disbanded.
Sandwiched in-between are both sides of our 1974 country single ("Monday Morning Truckstop" and "Country Rain, Kentucky Farm")...nine tracks from our 1975 LP ("Ride on the Music")...and a 1976 single ("Baby Blue"), which managed to chart top-10 in several Midwest radio markets.
Given the age and condition of the original recordings, some of these restorations are slightly less-than-perfect. The music, however, still holds up pretty darn well, even after all these years...well, decades.
So, sit back, slip on your headphones or earbuds, crank up the ol' volume control...and enjoy...
Ft. Mitchell, KY
Jim Gaines: guitar, pedal steel, vocals
Ron Sachs: guitar, harmonica, vocals
Ron Baumgartner: drums, vocals
Jack Nimersheim: guitar, bass, keyboards, vocals
And our fifth members, at various times, through the years:
Dale Miller: guitar, vocals
Timothy Hawkins: guitar, vocals
De Stewart: guitar, bass, vocals
John Vester: guitar, vocals ("Baby Blue")
I'd like to thank the various "sidemen" who also contributed musically to some of the songs in this collection. I'd like to but, unfortunately, most of their names have been lost to antiquity...meaning, my aging dentrites. (Hey! What do you expect? All these sessions occurred more than 35 years ago!!!) I do remember that Geoff Nimmo, a popular WEBN on-air personality at the time, played the flute part on "Sing You a Lullabye" and Pure Prairie League members John Call and George Ed Powell played pedal steel guitar and keyboards, respectively, on "Same Old Country Song" and "Monday Morning Truckstop"...um...I think. Like I said, it was 35 years ago.
Original recordings restored by Jack Nimersheim
All songs © Heather, except:
"Three O'Clock in the Afternoon" "And, Again",
"Same Old Country Song" © David Howe & Finch Carroll
"Country Rain, Kentucky Farm" © David Howe, Finch Carroll & Jack Nimersheim
"Crazy Gypsy" © Ron Sachs & Finch Carroll