Heartsfield "The Wonder of it All"

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (A Milestone! #100 in The Series…hold the applause please, thank you, thank you.) is Heartsfield, The Wonder Of It All.

Today we are going to celebrate the music of Heartsfield. Well anyone that knows me knew that a Heartsfield album was coming sooner or later. I decided awhile back to make it entry #100.

Heartsfield was one of, if not the main reason for my love of music and for me making a career in music for what were many years and coming from many different angles. The members remain some of my closest friends for well over 30 some years now. They’ve been a major influence to much of the music I did, and still listen too now.

Old Chicago Photo by Terry Witmer

I’m sure everyone expected me to feature the first album from 1973. Considered ‘the classic,’ and an important piece of music that helped continue the beginnings of the country-rock sound.

That would be too predictable. So I decided to feature the fourth album, ‘Collector’s Item,’ the 1977 release that via Columbia Records.

But, I then remembered that that album did not contain anything written by J.C. Hartsfield, so I looked elsewhere.

That’s brings us to The Wonder Of It All. Mercury Records, 1974

The Wonder Of It All is a great representation of the ‘Heartsfield sound.’ The title track that starts the disc is actually a full length version of a previous version that ended the first album. It’s a lovely ballad written and sang by J.C. It features a great instrumental middle section that actually led to a write up in the jazz magazine, ‘Down Beat.’

Song two is Perry Jordan’s ‘House of Living,’ a lively harmonious track that more times than not was a show opener.

‘Pass Me By’ is Phil Lucafo. Phil usually writes the rockers. He slowed it down here.

Old Setlist

‘Shine On’ was written by guitarist/vocalist Freddie Dobbs and drummer Artie Baldacci. I’ve heard many people refer to this as the best piece of music that Heartsfield every created. You could say that about a number of tracks. You wouldn’t be wrong if you said it about this one. Artie adds some sweet mellotron as well.

Side two opens with Freddie’s ‘Eight Hours Time.’ A great train song!!

‘I’ve Just Fallen’ was the only track in which Artie Baldacci sang lead.

If ‘Shine On’ isn’t the best track, then Perry’s ‘Racin’ the Sun’ just might be! What starts as a ballad turns into a wonderfully stretched out, two guitar playoff between ‘Freddie and Phil.’

We end our journey in Mississippi with J.C.’s ‘Lafayette County.’ A straight forward country fiddle tune that puts a bow on the package nicely!

Filling out the band was Greg ‘Ziggy’ Biela on bass / vocals.

Terrible cover, but a cool album!!! I spent hours playing this LP, 8-Track, Cassette, CD or Mp3 over the years. I ain’t stoppin’ now!!!

–Larry Carta

PHIL LUCAFO has a new album titled One Block East. Check it out here!  

Track Listing

  • The Wonder Of It All / J.C. Heartsfield / 4:13
  • House of Living / Perry Jordan / 4:29
  • Pass Me By / Phil Lucafo / 3:23
  • Shine On / Art Baldacci & Fred Dobbs / 3:38
  • Eight Hours Time / Fred Dobbs / 3:38
  • I’ve Just Fallen / Art Baldacci & Fred Dobbs / 3:27
  • Racin’ The Sun / Perry Jordan / 8:40
  • Lafayette County / J.C. Hartsfield / 2:38

Personnel

  • Art Baldacci – Drums, Percussion, Piano, Melloton, Osi
  • Greg “Ziggy” Biela – Bass
  • Freddie Dobbs – Guitar, Banjo, Harmonica
  • J.C. Hartsfield – Acoustic Guitar, Fiddle
  • Perry Jordan – Guitar, Lead Tambourine
  • Phil Lucafo – Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar

– – Everybody Sings—

Additional Musicians

  • Jack Kramer – Trumpet
  • Bill Dinwiddie – Trombone
  • Brandon Leavitt – Percussion

Links

Back to “Cool Album Of the Day” Home Page

Here’s some more cool country rock albums to check out

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Posted by Larry Carta

4 Comments

  1. […] were handled by ex-Heartsfield founding member Artie Baldacci. Artie also added synthesizer and other programming to the […]

  2. James Roberts (03 Dec 2011, 20:25)
    Reply

    I have been listening to this group for a VERY long time. They have always been great and I even sing one or two of their songs when I do a solo set. The last time I saw them live ( New Years Eve 1979 at the Thirsty Whale) is still one of my all time favorite memories I have of the band. They Rocked then as they still do today. Thanks for the music boys, then and now…
    Shaggy

  3. Bush (03 Dec 2011, 22:39)
    Reply

    great album….got it when it came out in 1974 and then helped set them up in Pueblo Colorado and spent the night partying with them….GOOD MUSIC AND GREAT PEOPLE.

  4. Eli (17 Jan 2012, 22:39)
    Reply

    Lived the dream..



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