This Week in Posivibes: A Tribute to Pedal Steel


Aquarium Drunkard has shared a two-part tribute to pedal steel, centering around one of the key crafters of the sound: Orville “Red” Rhodes. The two-part compilation is titled All Paths Lead to Red: A Pedal Steel Mixtape, and features songs from Buffy Saint-Marie, Berte Jansch, Carole King, Nancy Sinatra, The Byrds, The Beach Boys, The Everly Brothers, and plenty others, all featuring Red’s heavy influence. The tributes also include some tracks from Red himself.

Of the figure, Aquarium Drunkard’s M. Dawson says:

Pedal steel ace Orville “Red” Rhodes (1930-1995) was one of LA’s most in-demand session players during the late 1960s and early 1970s, lending his laid-back licks to hits by James Taylor, Linda Rondstadt, and The Carpenters. But Red was more than just a sideman. He was a band leader, fronting the house band at North Hollywood’s legendary Palomino Club between 1966 and 1969. He was an inventor, building custom amps and “Velvet Hammer” pickups out of his Royal Repair Shop on the corner of Cahuenga and Hollywood. And he was a good time…”

Listen to the tribute’s first volume here and the second volume here.

Liz Wood is a freelance editor, fiction writer, and current student in the NYU MFA program. More from this author →