Texas-based Terry Allen's country music vision is truly like no one else's, and emphatically in opposition to anything that has passed for country music in Nashville since the '70s. Thankfully, Sugar Hill has shown a commitment to issuing classic and not quite classic Allen albums from yesteryear, making lovely oddities like 1985's Pedal Steal available once again. Pedal Steal isn't a country music album with three- and four-minute songs about loving, cheatin', and Jesus. Instead, Allen has pieced together something like a radio play with dialog, background noises, and snippets of songs that tell the impressionistic tale of one steel guitar player who played rock & roll in the '60s and '70s. Initially, Pedal Steal -- believe it or not -- was written for the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company in San Francisco, and the production won a prestigious contemporary dance award. It's easy to see the genius that lay behind this project, though difficult to know exactly who'd sit around and listen to an album like Pedal Steal. For true believers, though, Pedal Steal is one helluva long story-song, flavored by Allen's idiosyncratic (and odd) vision, and that is more than enough reason to tune in.
AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.