Heather was, first and foremost, a live band. I couldn't even begin to calculate how many live gigs we played during our six years together, back in the '70s. It was a boatload, I do know that.
No decent live recordings of those early years exist...which some people might call a fortunate situation. *heh heh* Equally fortunate, however, is the fact that, in 1993, Heather reunited for a benefit concert, seventeen years after we had last performed together.
Following a couple of quick rehearsals to refresh our musical memories and recapture some of the magic that made this band so special, the guys all gathered in Vevay, Indiana, where I was living at the time, to help raise money for the historic Hoosier Theater. Family, friends, Vevay residents, and a bunch of Cincinnati "fans" from the '70s (honest) made the trek to the quaint river town to attend this reunion concert......which was held, coincidentally, on my birthday, August 15, 1993.
We packed the house, he said, humbly. And I got a chance to perform once again with "Unca Ron" (Ron Sachs), Ronnie B. (Ron Baumgartner), Gainer (Jim Gaines), my li'l buddy De (De Stewart), and "The Hawk" (Timothy Hawkins). To be honest, I'd forgotten how wonderful it was to share a stage with these five friends and amazing musicians! Unca Ron's wife, Jan Hunter, also joined us, adding some amazing harmonies to the band's signature sound. Playing together that day was like the proverbial experience of riding a bicycle; once the musical wheels started turning, we got on a roll and it all came together, just like in "the old days". This had to be one of the best birthdays I've ever celebrated!!
It was more luck than skill, that I managed to get a decent recording of this performance. Nothing high-tech, mind you; just a 2-track cassette recording -- a direct feed off the vocal mix and a single microphone, in the back of the theater.
No fancy digital effects, no studio overdubs, no "auto-tune" pitch correction, no multi-track remote recording truck...just Heather doing what it did best: Play tight music and sing sweet harmonies. What you hear is what it was! And that's exactly how it should have happened. Largely because of their audio purity, these songs capture perfectly the sound and energy that defined Heather, live!
Jim Gaines: pedal steel guitar, vocals
Ron Sachs: guitar, vocals
Timothy Hawkins: guitar, vocals
De Stewart: guitar, bass, woodwinds, vocals
Ron Baumgartner: drums, vocals
Jack Nimersheim: guitar, bass, vocals
Jan Hunter: vocals
Original live recordings restored by Jack Nimersheim
"Sweet Home Alabama" © Ed King, Ronnie VanZant & Gary Rossington
"Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere", "Ohio" © Neil Young;
"Your Mama Don't Dance", "Same Old Wine"
© Jim Messina & Kenny Loggins;
"Find the Cost of Freedom", "Bluebird",
"For What It's Worth" © Stephen Stills;
"Whupin' It" © Charles R. Gearheart;
"Lukenbach, Texas" © Waylon Jennings;
"Rainmaker" © Harry Nilsson & Bill Martin;
"Rhiannon" © Stevie Nicks
"Willin'" © Lowell George