Pendleton Highway includes four members who live in Springfield: Jimmy Smith, his wife, Kim, and daughter, Becca Horsley; Rich Lee; as well as Joe Ficek from Eugene and Huck L Berry from Mount Pisgah. Photo provided
SPRINGFIELD – Pendleton Highway is a country band … and they’re so much more.
”Half of what we do is an offspring of the blues,” guitar player Huck L Berry said during a set break Friday night, Jan. 3, the first of a two-night run at the Mohawk Tavern.
Originally called the Jimmy Bobby Band, Pendleton Highway has six original songs – including ”Cry a Little Bit,” which they’ve spent the last three years recording at Gung Ho Studios with the legendary Billy Burnette, who has worked with the likes of Fleetwood Mac, John Fogerty and countless other giants within the music industry. Check it out on YouTube; it’s definitely a catchy tune.
On this particular Friday night, they made the dance floor the place to be with smoking versions of ”Sweet Home Chicago,” ”Friends in Low Places,” ”Pride and Joy” and ”Mustang Sally.”
”There’s that conundrum, you want to be an artist and it’s not as fulfilling when you can only play covers,” Berry said. ”That’s why when we play at the (Emerald Valley) Opry, we only play originals.”
Four of the Pendleton Highway band members are Springfield residents, including three in the same family. Band leader Jimmy Smith and his wife, Kim, along with their daughter Becca Horsley, handle most of the vocals. Bass player Rich Lee also lives in Springfield while drummer Joe Ficek is a Eugene resident. Berry lives on Mount Pisgah.
Berry, who works in the mental-illness field, says he’s bothered to see so many creative people pushed away from their passions.
”Seeing all the creativity in mental health, I did my thesis on how we take away people’s hearts, by saying, ‘Here, take this pill, but we’re here for you.’”