Pedal steel player and guitarist Eric Heywood has been a musical ally of some of the most important artists of the alt-country camp. The Iowa native has served as a guitar tech and de facto member of Son Volt throughout the band's career, adding some stellar touches of pedal steel to that band's albums (and working as a carpenter when not involved in his Son Volt duties). Heywood has also toured extensively and recorded with Richard Buckner, helping to flesh out Buckner's stripped-down moody landscapes. Other gigs have included touring with Alejandro Escovedo and playing on albums by Peter Bruntnell and Freakwater. He also hit the road with the latter, playing lead guitar as well as pedal steel.