Bobbe's Tips plus Music

I've started a new blog to host Bobbe Seymour's newsletter "Bobbe's Tips" plus some instrumental steel guitar music. It's updated frequently and it works well with iPhone and other mobile devices. Check it out at PedalSteelMusic.com.

Hawaiian Steel Guitar Association 25th Annual Convention

The Hawaiian Steel Guitar Association will hold its 25th annual convention Thursday Oct 6 through Oct 8 at the Holiday Inn Banquet and Conference Center, 411 S. Larkin Ave., Joliet, Illinois.

This year’s guest from Honolulu is Greg Sardinha.  Greg will be featured daily and will also perform at the Luau show on Saturday night. He is one of the most highly regarded steel guitar players in Hawaii, recently awarded the Hawaii Music Award for Steel Guitar Album of the Year.

The 3-day convention fee is $45 or $15 daily, which includes entertainment, seminars, playing, and jam sessions. A memorable event for performers, collectors and lovers of Hawaiian steel guitars. Please register early! Details here.

For more information, contact Don Weber at 815-351-2140 or Wally Pfeifer at 815-351-2740.

Here's some authentic Hawaiian steel guitar playing:

Berklee Profs Report From ISGC

There's another good article about this year's International Steel Guitar Convention on the Berklee Blog.

Also, check out this report of an Al Perkins Recording Session.

Ron Kyne

There's a good article about Ron Kyne and his trip to the ISGC at Harold-Mail.com. I missed his set (it was before I arrived), but it's nice to see pedal steel getting exposure in the press.

ISGC St Louis Performers and Vendors

Here's the list of performers and vendors for the International Steel Guitar Convention.  The convention is being held at the Millenium Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri (USA).  I'm sorry to say that I'll miss the Talent Search event, as my plane doesn't arrive until 4 PM.  Other than that, I'm looking forward to a great show and a lot of meeting' & greetin' as I haven't been to the ISGC in several years.

Scotty’s 40th Annual ISGC

INTERNATIONAL STEEL GUITAR CONVENTION
September 1st, 2nd & 3rd, 2011

The Millennium Hotel
200 South 4th Street
St. Louis, Missouri 63102 USA
Phone: 314-241-9500
Ask for “Reservations” and tell them you are with the International Steel Guitar Convention to get the Convention Discount Room Rates:
Singles: $92.00 * Double: $97.00 * Triples: $102.00 * Quads: $112.00 * Suite $150.00
There were still rooms available as of August 10.

We dropped Sunday, however, we may restate it at a later date. Dropping Sunday did give each of you an extra day to return home but some of you did miss no show being on Sunday. The Talent Search, Hawaiian show, Jazz show and Gospel will remain on the schedule time permitting.

The 2011 Players:
Steel guitar players from all over the World gather in Saint Louis for some pickin’, fellowship, to renew old friendships and to make new friends. This will be our 40th successful Steel Guitar Convention in a row. For a “Back To The Basics” we plan to have a jam session on the main stage and, of course, we will have our usual array of outstanding Top Name Players, as well as some new names on the Show...

For advance tickets, contact:
THE INTERNATIONAL STEEL GUITAR CONVENTION
9535 Midland Blvd.
St Louis, Missouri 63114-3314 USA
Phone: 314-427-7794
Email: scotty@scottysmusic.com

Admission prices:
Thursday Night "Hall Of Fame" Fund Raising Show: $10.00
Friday: $35.00
Saturday: $35.00
2 day advance $60.00
Optional: Friday “Late Night Concert” in the Main Ballroom: $5.00

The latest information about the ISGC is always available online at SteelGuitarForum.com.

Duet for Theramin and Lap Steel

Sure to be a very artsy show, Scott Burland (theremin) and Frank Schultz (steel) will perform at Conundrum Music Hall in Columbia, SC. Also, filmmaker Robbie Land will be screening his abstract imagery alongside the duo's performance.

Saturday, August 13, 2011
9pm (doors at 8pm)
$6

www.conundrum.us/concerts/

Big Branson Steel Show This Weekend

Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Branson, MO. Details on the Steel Guitar Forum.

Friday - July 29
2:00 - 2:25 - Ronnie Fisk
2:35 - 3:00 - Larry Baker
3:10 - 3:35 - Wayne Morton
3:45 - 4:10 - Ron Plumlee
4:20 - 4:45 - Ron Frederiksen
4:55 - 5:20 - Bill Myrick
5:30 - 5:55 - Ray Qualls
6:05 - 6:30 - Bill Dobkins
6:40 - 7:05 - Dave Flanagan
7:15 - 7:40 - Jerry Foster
7:50 'til ? - Ron Symank

Saturday - July 30
10:00 - 10:25 - Eddie Lane
10:35 - 11:00 - Don Reed
11:10 - 11:35 - Curt Shoemaker
11:45 - 12:10 - Mike McGee
12:10 - 12:25 - Leona Williams
12:35 - 1:00 - Lefty Schrage
1:10 - 1:35 - Austin Stewart
Lunch Break 1:35 - 2:15
2:15 - 2:40 - David Wright
2:50 - 3:30 - Joe Wright
3:35 - 4:00 -"Wright Brothers"
4:10 - 4:35 - Kevin Clemens
4:45 - 5:10 - Mike Sweeney
5:20 - 5:45 - Buck Grantham
5:55 - 6:20 - Fred Justice

Sunday - July 31
10:00 - 10:45 - Church Service, Jerry & Venda Hanley
11:00 - 11:25 - Mike McGee
11:35 - 12:00 - Jerry Newberry
12:10 - 12:35 - Louie Hallford
12:45 - 1:10 - Buck Grantham
1:20 - 1:45 - Mike Sweeney
1:55 - 2:20 - Austin Stewart
2:20 - 2:35 - Leona Williams
Lunch Break 2:35 - 3:15
3:15 - 3:45 - Wright Brothers
3:55 - 4:20 - Fred Justice
4:30 - 4:55 - Marty Neer
5:05 - 5:30 - Jerry Roller and Carlene
5:40 - 6:05 - Dean Holman

Dave Easley

Found a good interview with jazz steel guitarist Dave Easley in the South Bend Tribune:

Click Here

Suspending Publication

This site hasn't attracted the viewership I had hoped for. It's hard to justify this much work for a handful of regular readers. I'm suspending the frequent "almost daily" publication now. May resume at a later date.

See the Event Announcements section of the Steel Guitar Forum for announcements of upcoming steel guitar events.

Oklahoma City Steel Jam Saturday

The Oklahoma City steel jam is a monthly event at the Oklahoma Country Western Museum Hall of Fame in Del City, OK. Leroy Wood, who organizes the jam, writes, "We have a full staff band with a pro front man, vocals, and MC. These guys know all the real country songs, and make any steel picker sound good." It's open to the public - everyone is invited to bring their steel guitar or just show up to listen.

Oklahoma City Area Steel Jam
Saturday July 16, 10 AM - 3 PM
Oklahoma Country Western Museum Hall of Fame
3925 Southeast 29th Street
Del City, OK (Google map)

Maybe someone could send me a picture or two for next month's announcement.

Michigan Steel Show, July 17


The Michigan Steel Guitar Association will be hosting their annual Steel Guitar show on July 17th at the Harrison Moose Lodge in Harrison, Michigan. This show features half-hour sets by each of the region's best steel guitarists, backed by an excellent house band. It's all packed into one day, but if driving a distance you'll probably want to book a room as the show runs late into the evening. Here is the schedule of performers:

2:00 Jerry Hendrix ( Manistee, MI)
2:35 Mike Kyle (Flint, MI)
3:10 Barry Francek (Harrison, MI)
3:45 Wayne Hetzler (West Sunbury, PA)
4:20 Gene Calkins (Cedar Springs, MI)
4:55 Tim Rowley (Pinconning, MI)
5:30 Bob Wright (Kingsley, MI)
6:05 Del Shorts (Farwell, MI)
6:40 Danny Hullihen (Harrison, MI)
7:35 Herby Wallace (Sevierville, TN)
8:30 Mike Sigler (Rushville, OH)
9:25 Rusty Rhoads (Nashville, MI)
10:20 Super Jam

Harrison Moose Lodge (Google map)
5185 N. Clare Ave
Harrison, MI 48625

International Steel Guitar Convention Schedule


DeWitt "Scotty" Scott has announced the schedule for the 2011 International Steel Guitar Convention, to be held September 1-3 at the Millennium Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri. Here it is:
Thursday, September 1st, 2011
Talent Search 12:00 noon to 5:00pm.
Steel Guitar Hall Of Fame, Inc. Fund Raising Show 7:00pm - 10:00pm. Jimmy Queen and our staff band will host the event again this year.

Friday, September 2nd
Bill Stafford - Neil Flanz - Mike Idhe & Norm Zocher - Rusty Rhodes - Joan Cox - Zzne King - Mike Jones - Joe Wright - Kenny Kitching, Australia - OPENING CEREMONIES not completed as yet - Herby Wallace - Ron Elliott - Doug Jernigan - Russ Hicks - Siley Roberts - Al Bresco - Chuck lettes - Lynn Owsley Show with Billy Robinson, Donna Jackson and the Calhoun Twins.

The Late Friday Night Concert will be held in Main Ballroom rom 1:00am - 3:00am. Russ Hicks is furnishing the band and also a few top country artists will join in. Not selected at this time.

Saturday, September 3rd
Dell Mullen - Al Vescovo - Eddie Lange - Mitsuo & Steve Sanford - Austin Stewart - Tommy Dodd - Jim Cohen - Bobbe Seymour - Doug Jernigan, Larry Sasser & Jay Dee Maness - Mike Sweeney - Ron Elliott - BREAK Steel Jam with up to 6 players, not selected at this time (Jim Vest has a desire to join in) - Herby Wallace - Joe Wright - Dan Tyack - Terry Bethel and Mike Sigler. There are a few open slots and am waiting for confirmation from the players.

Doug Jernigan will do the teaching seminar on the E9th tuning on Friday. 10:00 - 4:00.

The Hawaiian Gathering will be on Friday starting at 10:00am. The Jazz Show will be on Saturday starting at 9:30am. The Gospel show will also be on Saturday starting at 3:00pm. All three events will be held in the Jefferson Rooms this year.
See ScottysMusic.com for pre-registration and hotel reservations. Late-breaking news and discussions can be found on The Steel Guitar Forum.

Leigh Ivin Touring Canada with The Re-mains

Australian pedal steel guitarist Leigh Ivin has rejoined The Re-mains for their Canadian tour, now in progress. Leigh was one of the original members of the band in 2002, but has been absent from some of their recent endeavors because of distances involved. The Re-mains are a popular country rock band in their native Australia, where they tour extensively and have played all of the big festivals, including Tamworth Country Music Festival, Splendour in the Grass, The East Coast Blues and Roots Music Festival, and the St. Kilda Festival.

The band's personnel varies from time to time based on the availability of musicians. The line-up for this 6-week tour includes leader/songwriter Mick Daley, Tom Jones on bass, Allan Fisk on drums and Leigh Ivin on pedal steel. The remaining dates for the tour are:

July 9: Trash Twang & Thunder Festival, Calgary, AB
July 12 & 13: Wild Bill’s, Banff, AB
July 14-17: NESS CREEK MUSIC FESTIVAL, Big River, SK
July 19: Java Express, Moose Jaw, SK
July 20: The Cavern Club, Winnipeg, MB
July 21: McNally’s Tavern, Regina, SK
July 22 & 23: Lydia’s, Saskatoon, SK
July 25: Black Dog Freehouse, Edmonton, AB
July 27 & 28: Rolla Pub, Rolla, BC
July 29: ARTSWELLS FESTIVAL, Wells, BC
July 30: The Legion, Jasper, AB
July 31: The Legion, supporting Fred Eaglesmith
August 2: Tito’s, Grande Prairie, AB
August 3: Java Domain, Peace River, AB
August 4: Wunderbar, Edmonton, AB
August 5: Tracks Pub, Olds, AB
August 6-7: MOUNTAIN VIEW MUSIC FEST, Carstairs, AB
August 9: The Ironwood Stage & Grill, Calgary, AB
August 10 & 11: The Drake, Canmore, AB
August 12: The Palomino Smokehouse, Calgary, AB
August 13: The Ship & Anchor Pub, Calgary, AB (2pm show)
August 13: The Hideout, Red Deer, AB with Romi Mayes

Remembering Jack Kondora


There will be a steel guitar show to honor the life of Jack Kondora this Saturday at the Moose Lodge near his hometown of Harrison, Arkansas. Jack passed away on May 24, 2011. He was a superb steel guitarist and an active member of the Ozark Steel Guitar Association. It's said that "No man loved the steel more", and he is surely missed by his many friends and fans.

The event will begin at 10:00 AM on Satuday, July 9, at the Harrison Moose Lodge (Google Map). A list of performers has not been published, but there will certainly be some great steel playing in Jack's honor. See the Steel Guitar Forum announcement for up-to-date information.

Steel on the Internet

Just a couple of items from Steel Guitar Forum Central today:

SteelGuitarForum.com had a bandwidth upgrade last weekend. It's measuring about 3x faster on the outgoing traffic, and reports from users have been very positive. Also, a faster Google-based search page has been added to the system.

Bobbe's Tips, the email newsletter from Bobbe Seymour of Steel Guitar Nashville, has never been archived online. I've taken on that task - you can now read back issues of Bobbe's Tips at http://b0b.com/bobbeSeymour.

Thanks for following SteelGuitarNews.com.

Lucky Oceans on John Bennett's New CD


John Bennett and Lucky Oceans

Many American steel guitarists of a certain age remember Lucky Oceans as Asleep At The Wheel's first steel guitarist. These days, his name is too often preceded with "What ever happened to..." here in the states. Not so in Western Australia. Lucky moved there 3 decades ago to become a popular and celebrated musicologist, hosting The Daily Planet on Australia's ABC Radio National. And of course he's also WA's foremost steel guitarist.

The big musical news from Western Australia this week is that indigenous singer/songwriter John Bennett has just released his first CD, and Lucky Oceans is playing steel all over it. Lucky laid down his parts in the studio before meeting John, as they live at opposite ends of the huge province. They are getting together this week, though. John and Lucky will be performing in concert at ABC Perth's Studio 620 on Monday, July 4th. Then Lucky will be featuring John Bennett on his radio show Tuesday afternoon.

Cowboy Country Revisited


Scott Gerber, Bobby Lee and Cousin Elmo

There's not much news for this holiday weekend, so I'll engage in some shameless self-promotion. In the 1980's Scott Gerber, Gordy Lynch, Tom Bischoff and I formed a band named Cowboy Country. We played honky tonks and social events in Sonoma County, California. The band broke up after about 5 years.

In February 2010, three of us from the original band got together for a living room jam session at my home in Cloverdale. We hadn't played together in over 20 years, but it was like falling off a log. I recorded the event and assembled the best tracks onto a personal CD. I've uploaded the songs from that CD to my music pages at  b0bLee.BandCamp.com  for your listening pleasure.

Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival at Waikiki Beach


Waikiki Beach Walk and Outrigger are celebrating the heritage of the Hawaiian steel guitar with a series of Sunday evening performances throughout the month of July. The first and longest show (5 PM - 8 PM) is called Stars of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar. It includes Alan Akaka & the Islanders with Na Keiki a Ke Kula Mele, Bobby Ingano, Casey Olsen & the Hiram Olsen Trio, Greg Sardinha, and special guest Kiyoshi “Lion” Kobayashi from Japan. The full monthly schedule follows:

  • July 3 - Stars of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar (5 - 8 PM)
  • July 10- Henry Kaleialoha Allen (5 - 6 PM)
  • July 17- Eddie Palama (5 - 6 PM)
  • July 24- Greg Sardinha (5 - 6 PM)
  • July 31- Na Keiki Kika Kila – The combined schools of steel guitar masters Alan Akaka and Greg Sardinha. (5 - 6 PM)

Doug Jernigan in the News


Doug Jernigan has been coming on string these last few months. His classic style on the new Jake Hooker CD is earning rave reviews from traditional pedal steel fans. Doug played his 1972 Emmons fatback through a Fender Twin Reverb to get a real vintage sound for the project. The album, titled One Man World, was produced by Jim Loessberg and Jake Hooker at Hilltop Studios in Madison, Tennessee. You can order the CD direct from the label at StartexRecords.com.

Greg Leisz on Michael Grimm's CD


(Note: the photogenic Earnest Bovine sat in for Greg on the video)

We get used to seeing Greg Leisz' name on a lot of records these days, so it's no real surprise that producer Don Was tapped him for "America’s Got Talent" winner Michael Grimm’s new album. Taste and tone are the essential ingredients for modern pedal steel tracks, and Greg's sound has plenty of both. While there's not a lot of pedal steel and dobro on Grimm's CD, what's there is just perfect. The hit single Fallin' is a good example:



This is a great vocal album (and it's "news"), but I'm actually more of an instrumental music fan. Greg has recorded a lot of wonderful instrumental music with guitarist Bill Frisell, who gives him considerably more musical freedom. That's what I recommend to steel fans who want to hear more of Greg Leisz:



Feeling better now?

Eric Heywood featured on Jeffrey Foucault CD


I especially love the sound of the pedal steel when it's surrounded by acoustic instruments. So does singer/songwriter Jeffrey Foucault, apparently. His latest CD, Horse Latitudes, is almost a duet with steel guitarist Eric Heywood. Listen to Eric's solo and outro on the title track:

Jeffrey Foucault - Horse Latitudes

Do you hear the Neil Young / Ben Keith influence there? They call this style of music Americana - a blend of folk, rock and country that has been attracting more and more good musicians in recent years. There's a good interview with Eric in No Depression magazine, reprinted on EricHeywood.com, where he talks about his connection to various Americana acts.

Back to point, Jeffrey Foucault's Horse Latitudes is available now on the Signature Sounds record label, available wherever vocal music is sold. Now if we could just get Eric Heywood to do an instrumental album. <wink>

There's An App For That

I suppose it had to happen sooner or later. There's an iPhone/iPad app that simulates pedal steel. See the demo:



I showed it to Mrs. Lee and the first thing she said was,
"Does it do bar slants?"
"I don't think so."
"What good is it then?"

Gotta love that woman! In all seriousness, I believe that this educational toy can help people understand how the instrument works and what it's capable of. It emulates 10-string E9th and C6th copedents, and also does 6-string dobro in 4 different tunings. The developer (Mad Calf Apps) has obviously put a lot of work into it. It's only $1.99. Here's the link:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pedal-steel/id441742219?mt=8

More Steel Guitar Events This Weekend

Summer is here, and it seems that steel guitar events are happening faster than I can blog about them. Here are three that got caught on my radar. If you are part of an event that you'd like to see mentioned on Steel Guitar News, please email me at quasar@b0b.com.


The Indy Steel Guitar Club's annual concert will feature Doug Jernigan, DeWitt "Scotty" Scott, L.T. Zinn and many others. This small regional show attracts stellar performers and gets rave reviews from those who have attended in past years.

Indy Steel Club Concert
Sunday, June 26, 11:30 AM - ?
Greenwood American Legion
334 US Highway 31 S
Greenwood, Indiana (Google map)


Contact Sharon Denney at 317-535-9772 for more information.


The 8th Annual Canadian Steel Guitar Show will be presented in Alberta, Canada. This show has a fantastic lineup of players scheduled, including Smokey Fennell (Edmonton, AB), Doug Aman (Calgary, AB), Rob Anderson (Edmonton, AB), Bob Blair (Edmonton, AB), Al Brisco (Toronto, ON), Jeff & Gerry Bradshaw (Leslieville, AB), Jim Loessberg (Round Rock, TX), and the legendary Kayton Roberts (Nashville TN). Talk about a "cavalcade of stars"!

The show starts at 3 PM on Sunday, and is preceded Saturday night by a Classic Country Dance/Jam by the show's organizers in the same room.

Canadian Steel Guitar Show
Sunday, June 26, 3:00 - 9:00 PM
Kurt Browning Arena
5103 48 Avenue
Caroline, Alberta (Google map)
Admission: $25.00

Call 403-846-0049 for tickets or more information.


The Ohio Steel Guitar Association hosts a jam every month or two. It's a smoke and alcohol free event that's suitable for the whole family. Bring your own steel to join in or just sit and listen.

Ohio SGA June Jam
Sat June 25, 12 Noon to 6 PM
Lighthouse Ministries, rear annex
2295 South High Street
Columbus, Ohio (Google map)

For more information call Gary Preston at 614-774-3109.

Australian Steel Guitar Festival

The Brisbane Steel Guitar Club will host their big annual show this weekend, June 25 & 26. The event consists of a day of steel guitars in concert, followed by a day of learning, jamming and socializing. Saturday's concert starts at 2 PM and features many of the region's top players:
  • Kenny Kitching & Emma Hannah
  • Ivan Posa
  • Jim Priebe
  • Ken Myers
  • Noel Anstead
  • Nick O'Neil
  • Allen Hutchison
  • Paddy Long and Brian Ringrose
  • Pat and Rob with Murray Ardern
  • Ian Kerr
  • Allister McPherson
  • Tony Wagner
  • Bob Alloway
The festivities on Saturday will also include the Australian Steel Guitar Hall of Fame awards. Last year's recipients were Noel Anstead and Michel Rose.

Johan Lindström with Tonbruket


Some very good music is coming out of Sweden these days, in the form of an instrumental quartet named Tonbruket. The brainchild of jazz bassist Dan Berglund, this band runs the musical gamut from rock fusion to dreamy jazz soundscapes. Pedal steel fans will be interested in multi-instrumentalist Johan Lindström's role in the band. His steel guitar is featured prominently on their new album Dig It to the End.

Tonbruket's unclassifiable nature has been wowing critics since their inception in 2009. Ron Netsky, a reviewer at the 2011 Rochester International Jazz Festival, wrote yesterday in the Rochester City Newspaper:

Pedal Steel on Oxford Music Blog

First, name the player:


It's Gene Fields, of course. While working for Leo Fender, Gene invented the "scissors" changer finger that is the basis of modern all-pull pedal steel design. Gene went on to start GFI, a company that still makes top notch pedal steels today. He's a pioneer and a legend in the steel guitar industry.

I mention it because the photo was uncredited on the Oxford Music Blog's recent page about pedal steel. That's the only flaw in an otherwise very good article about their five favorite steel guitarists. It's a good read, if a bit controversial from our perspective. They include a video clip for each featured player to keep you entertained for a while.

Here's the link:
www.oxfordmusicblog.co.uk/2011/06/top-five-pedal-steel.

Happy Father's Day to all you Dads out there.

Dave Giegerich Tribute Concert


The following is from a post by Ted Smouse on the Steel Guitar Forum. Please visit www.DaveGiegerich.com for more information and a downloadable poster of the event.

There will be a tribute concert for the late Dave Giegerich this Sunday evening June 19th at the Birchmere in Alexandria, Virgina. Dave was the band leader and Big Kahuna of The Hula Monsters, master of the Dobro resophonic guitar and non-pedal and pedal steel guitar. Also, one heck of a human being. Dave was also a member of East of Monroe and Out Behind The Barn.

This show will feature many of the artists Dave performed with over the years, stellar talent all, and is a fundraiser for the college fund for his two surviving sons, Carter and Axel. Sadly, Dave passed away December 29, 2010, of aplastic anemia at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

THE BIRCHMERE MUSIC HALL
3701 Mt. Vernon Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22305

www.birchmere.com
(703) 549-7500
Sunday, June 19, 2011
7:30 pm EDT

Live Concert CD- The Birchmere will be making and selling a board "tape" of the show in double CD format. The Birchmere tells us that these do very well and it's another way to make more $ for Dave’s family. We will also have Dave’s brand new CD "It’s About Time" (appropriately named) for sale.

Steel Jams This Weekend

There are two steel guitar jams happening this weekend, one near Oklahoma City on Saturday and the other in Branson, Missouri on Sunday.

The Oklahoma steel jam is at the Oklahoma Country Western Museum Hall of Fame in Del City, and it runs from 10 AM to 3 PM. Leroy Wood writes, "We have a full staff band with a pro front man, vocals, and MC. These guys know all the real country songs, and make any steel picker sound good." It's open to the public - everyone is invited to bring their steel guitar or just show up to listen.

Oklahoma City Area Steel Jam
Saturday June 18, 10 AM - 3 PM
Oklahoma Country Western Museum Hall of Fame
3925 Southeast 29th Street
Del City, OK (Google map)

The Branson jam is sponsored by the Ozark Steel Guitar Association. To get the flavor of the event, check out the photos of a previous jam on SteelGuitarForum.com. The OzSGA invites you to bring your own steel guitar to join in the fun. The event runs from 1 to 5 PM and it's free.

OzSGA bi-monthly jam
Sunday June 19, 1-5 PM
Branson Community Center
201 Compton Drive
Branson, MO (Google map)

Ben Keith's Legacy with Neil Young


Neil Young has just released music from his archives of the 1984-85 tours of the International Harvesters, to great reviews. Neil and steel guitarist Ben Keith (who died last year) waded through their recordings of 85 concerts to cherry-pick a dozen songs for this album. Their selections include 5 five previously unreleased songs.

The album, called A Treasure, features Ben on pedal steel, Rufus Thibodeaux on fiddle, Spooner Oldham and Hargus "Pig" Robbins on piano, Tim Drummond and Joe Allen on bass, Anthony Crawford on mandolin & guitars and Karl Himmel on drums, among many others. Seems that the Nashville cats were happy to play with Neil, while the country music establishment flatly refused to market his music to country audiences.

Jim Cohen and Beats Walkin'


Many of us know Jim Cohen from steel guitar shows, where his sets of pop and jazz standards are always a big hit, or from his witty come-backs on the Steel Guitar Forum. Another side of his artistry is on display when he plays near his hometown of Philadephia, PA. Since 1994 he has been playing western swing dance gigs there with his band, Beats Walkin'. They have two CDs to their credit and a loyal following.

This week Jim and the band will play a Wednesday evening show at White Clay Creek State Park in Newark, Delaware. This summer concert series is great for the whole family, and it's "almost free" (there's a small fee per car to get into the park).

John Neff and Drive-By Truckers


Pedal steel guitarist John Neff is on the road again with Drive-By Truckers. John played steel on the band's early albums, and officially became a member in 2007. His unique approach to the instrument is an integral part of the Drive-By Truckers sound, often inspiring younger musicians to take up the instrument.

The band's schedule this season is hectic, playing a different venue almost every night. If you're a fan in Ontario or New York, you can catch them at one of these shows next week:

Sun Jun 12, Buffalo NY, Town Ballroom
Tue Jun 14, London Ontario, London Music Hall
Wed Jun 15, Toronto Ontario, Phoenix Theatre
Thu Jun 16, Waterloo Ontario, Starlight Club
Fri Jun 17, Ayton Ontario, Saugeen Summer Nights Festival
Sat Jun 18, Ottawa Ontario, Salon's Landsdowne Park
Sun Jun 19, Croton-on-Hudson NY, Clearwater Festival

Jim Loessberg, Bill Stafford at Georgia Peach Jam

The Georgia Steel Guitar Association (GaSGA) will be hosting Peach Jam XV in Atlanta this Sunday, June 12. This is actually more of a show than a jam - a dozen excellent steel guitarists will each play a half hour set with the GaSGA house band. Jim Loessberg and Bill Stafford are the featured guest artists.


Jim Loessberg is known for his jazz courses and, more recently, as Ray Price's steel guitarist. He's a walking encyclopedia of all things steel, as comfortable with bebop standards as he is with the signature steel licks of classic country records. Jim's home is near Austin, Texas.


Bill Stafford is from Gulfport, Mississippi. Known as Mr. Smooth by his fans, Bill specializes in sentimental standards on his 14-string universal tuning. It's a rich, beautiful style that you don't hear very often these days.

Gordon Titcomb in Chicago


Pedal steel guitarist Gordon Titcomb will be performing with folksinger Arlo Guthrie and others at Chicago Symphony Hall on Saturday. June 11. The show is called United Sounds of America: Route 66. It starts at 8 PM.

Gordon Titcomb is a consummate studio and concert musician who has backed many of America's top folk and country artists on pedal steel, banjo, mandolin and dobro. Here's a clip of Arlo Guthrie (guitar), Abe Guthrie (keyboard) and Gordon Titcomb (pedal steel) playing a beautiful Hawaiian instrumental, Haleiwa Farewell.

Susan Alcorn in Baltimore


Few pedal steel guitarists are as inventive or as controversial as Susan Alcorn. While she is clearly a virtuoso player, she just doesn't play by the rules. Her performances and compositions stretch the boundaries of music, from predefined ideas to the sounds of the moment. She surrounds herself with like-minded avant garde and free jazz musicians who play a variety of instruments. These folks play for today like there's no tomorrow.

This Sunday evening, Susan will perform at The Windup Space in Baltimore, Maryland, with trumpeter Dave Ballou and trombonist Christofer Varner. The venue has a reputation for jazz and experimental music, so you can expect the audience to be tuned into whatever Susan and company are cooking up. They are sharing the bill with the luminary jazz duo of Evan Parker and Matthew Shipp, whom many will see as the main attraction.

Louisville Metro Steel Guitar Club


Wimpy O’Steen, Boogie and Audie McQueary

The Louisville Metro Steel Guitar Club of Kentucky will have their monthly meeting next Sunday, June 12th, to accommodate Father's Day which falls on June 19th. This month's meeting will feature the pedal steel talents of Wimpy O’Steen and Audie McQueary, pictured above in a Photoshop composite.

Deepen Mallick's New Album of Tagore Songs


Indian steel guitarist Deepen Mallick has teamed with guitarist Tutul Ganguly to produce a new instrumental album. The album celebrates the 150th birthday of Bengali poet and musician Rabindranath Tagore, whose songs combined Indian classical and traditional folk music to bring a new dimension to Bengali music. The form, known as Rabindrasangeet, has become a distinctive school of music and cultural touchstone in West Bengal and Bangladesh.

Bob Miano to play Landslide Saloon


Pedal steel guitarist Bob Miano will be tearing up some classic country in New Jersey this weekend. He's playing Friday and Saturday night with a band called Tied to the Trax at the Landslide Saloon in Asbury. I've heard that country music is rare in NJ. Here's a chance for local steel fans to hear a great player with an authentic honky tonk band.

Landslide Saloon
Fri June 3 & Sat June 4. 9:30p - 1:30a
1090 State Route 173
Asbury, New Jersey (Google map)

West Texas Steel Guitar Jam, Sunday June 5


The West Texas Steel Guitar Association gets together to jam every few months. Their next jam is this Sunday, June 5, at the Old Senior Citizens Building in Merkel, Texas. Larry Toliver is the host, and the music starts at about 1:30 PM. Some of the best steel pickers in Texas are likely to show up.

The WTSGA jams are family friendly and there is no charge to play or attend. They do have a donation bucket if you'd like to help with the expenses to keep things going. There will be soft drinks, snacks, and maybe even a birthday cake. Bring your steel and amp, or just your ears if you're shy about playing in public. If you have music gear to sell or trade, you're welcome to bring that too. I've heard that there are upwards of 100 people are showing up for these friendly jams.

Sunday, June 5, 1:30 PM
West Texas SGA Jam Session
Senior Center, 121 Edwards St.
"Downtown" Merkel, Texas (Google map)

Marshfield Missouri 6th Annual Steel Guitar Show


Terry Wood's announcement on the Steel Guitar Forum says it all:

The Marshfield 6th Annual Steel Guitar Show show will be held on Saturday June 4th, 2011.

The Steel Guitars and Country Music Show will be held once again at the Historic Marshfield Jubilee Theater. We will start playing at 10:00 A.M. and the day's events will last til around 7:30 p.m.

We are really booked up this year and if your name is not on here then you will be scheduled for 2012. Since we are only a one day show it's the best we can do to schedule players and singers.

This years players and guests:

Rusty Young and John David Call


Steel guitarist Rusty Young is the band leader of Poco, an iconic country rock group that was formed in 1968. His stage presence, dynamic personality and obvious chops inspired many budding steel players of his generation. All of Poco's other original members have moved on, but Rusty Young continues to excite audiences to this day.

Steel guitarist John David Call was more understated in Pure Prairie League, another country rock band from that era. Similarly, his playing inspired many players, but he dropped from sight when he left the band in 1977. In June of last year, PPL fans were delighted to learn that John David Call has rejoined the band. Pure Prairie League maintains a sparse touring schedule of 2 or 3 gigs per month.

Tim Marcus and Or, The Whale


A young San Francisco-based band called Or, The Whale relies heavily on the talents of pedal steel guitarist Tim Marcus. Their high energy sound is big on rock rhythms and vocal harmonies, with Tim's psychedelic steel lines floating on top like icing on a cake. Or, The Whale classifies themselves as Americana, but I hear a lot of early Haight Ashbury in their sound. An unlikely place for pedal steel? Not as strange as you might think.

Eric Heywood touring with Ray LaMontagne


Eric Heywood is playing his 11-string Williams pedal steel with Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah Dogs this year. There's a great video at www.RayLaMontagne.com, recorded two weeks ago at Live on Letterman. Check out the 2nd and 3rd songs for some really smooth steel guitar. Lead guitarist Kevin Barry also plays some very tasty lap steel.

The band is running a very busy North American tour schedule. Tonight they're at Midway Lawn in Burlington, Vermont, and they only have a few days off over the next four weeks. The complete list of dates and ticket availability can be found at www.RayLaMontagne.com/us/events.

Steel Jams This Weekend

In addition to the the big OSGA Jamboree in Tulsa, there are at least two smaller steel guitar events happening in the US this weekend.

The first jam is near Weber City, VA, just over the Tennessee state line. This will be on Saturday. It's hosted by Tony Dingus. Herby Wallace plans to attend and set up a table of his products for steel players. The building, named "Pickin at the Spot", has a web site www.PickinSpot.com. It's about a mile east of Weber City on Highway 58, also known as Bristol Highway. Tony's directions can be found on the Steel Guitar Forum.

Weber City Steel Jam
Sat, May 28, 10 AM to 6 PM
Pickin at the Spot
1490 Bristol Highway
Gate City, Virginia

The second jam is in San Antonio, TX, on Sunday afternoon. It's hosted by Joe Rouse at the Helotes VFW Post. Here's a link to Joe's Steel Guitar Forum announcement: bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=205557. I think this is the first steel jam at this venue. Details:

San Antonio Steel Jam
Sun, May 29, 2 PM to 5 PM
Helotes VFW Post 7108 (Google map)
8759 FM 1560 N
San Antonio, TX

Lloyd Green at Country Music Hall of Fame


Last month on this page I reported on Lloyd Green's involvement in the new recording of "Songs of Fox Hollow". I'm pleased to follow up with this report of the CD's imminent release and concert. On Wednesday evening at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Lloyd will take the stage to back vocalists Bobby Bare, Patty Griffin, Buddy Miller, Tommy Cash, Jim Lauderdale, Peter Cooper, Eric Brace & Last Train Home, Gary Bennett, Jon Byrd, Mark & Mike, The Wrights, Fayssoux Starling McLean. Songwriter Tom T. Hall will also perform.

Of special interest to guitarists, Duane Eddy will be performing his trademark style with Buddy Miller on the hit song "Sneaky Snake". In addition to Lloyd Green on pedal steel, the band will include Jen Gunderman on keyboards, Mike Bub on bass and Mark Horn on drums. These are the same musicians who played the sessions.

The May 25th concert starts at 7 PM, and video will be streamed live on the Internet at the CountryMusicHallOfFame.org web site for those who can't attend in person. There's also a very long article about the project at that site. I've heard the CD and in addition to the excellent steel playing it's one of the best recordings I've heard in recent years. This promises to be the landmark concert of the year for lovers of real country music.

The CD, which was produce by Peter Cooper and Eric Brace, is now available for purchase at RedBeetRecords.com.

Oklahoma Steel Guitar Association Jamboree


The Oklahoma Steel Guitar Association will be presenting their big 17th Annual Memorial Day Weekend Jamboree in Tulsa this Friday and Saturday. Over 30 well-known steel guitarists are scheduled to perform 25-minute sets with a top notch backup band.

Fri, May 27, starting at 11:00 AM
Sat, May 28, starting at 9:00 AM
American Legion Post 308 Hall
11328 East Admiral Blvd.
Tulsa, Oklahoma (Google map)

Hotel accommodations are available at a discount rate to show attendees at Econo Lodge, 11620 East Skelly Drive, Tulsa (about a mile from the show). Phone 918-437-9200 for reservations and mention the OSGA Jamboree to get the special rates: single $39, double $49.

For the schedule of players and more, visit the OSGA web site at www.TheOSGA.org.

Joaquin Murphey - Hawaii Forever

No news today, so I'll finish the week with a plug.


This obscure cassette by Joaquin Murphy is so rare that I haven't been able to find out anything about it. All I know is that it was made in Los Angeles in 1972. These instrumentals have original Hawaiian-sounding names, but some of them sound vaguely familiar. The steel playing is just awesome, as you would expect from Murph.

You can listen to the songs online at b0blee.bandcamp.com/album/hawaii-forever, or get a CD copy from my Kunaki page kunaki.com/MSales.asp?PublisherId=127339. There are a few other CDs on that page that you might also enjoy.

On a personal note, I've been pleased to see that daily readership of this blog has recently reached triple digits. Thanks, everyone. Tell your friends, and I'll keep on writing.

The Campbell Brothers


The Campbell Brothers are playing in Califon, New Jersey, this Saturday as part of a blues festival to benefit the Lebanon Township Education Foundation. The Bourbon Street Blues Fest starts at 11:30 AM, and the Campbell Brothers are scheduled as the second act at 12:10 PM.

This all-day event with lots of bands only costs $25 for adults, $5 for school-aged kids, and it's all for a good cause. For more info, visit www.BourbonStreetBluesFest.com.

The Campbell Brothers web site address is www.campbellbrothers.com.

O.S.G.A. Steel Jam in Columbus, Ohio

Today's post is verbatim from Gary Preston on the Steel Guitar Forum:
Time for another jam for the O.S.G.A. Ohio. We had a great jam the last time so make plans on coming for this one! We had lots of steel players along with other musicians at the last jam. Good food and fellowship, that is what it's all about! We have a smoke and alcohol free venue so you can bring the whole family. We will be playing all styles of music from Gospel, Country and Jazz. Singers are welcome. Plan on coming to enjoy the day with us.
Sat May 21, 12 Noon to 6 PM
Ohio Steel Guitar Association Jam
Lighthouse Ministries, rear annex
2295 South High Street
Columbus, Ohio (Google map)

Future O.S.G.A. jams planned for 2011:

June 25
August 27
October 22
December 3

For more information call Gary Preston at 614-774-3109.

Barry Sless Touring Hawaii with Moonalice


Virtuoso pedal steel isn't featured in many rock bands, but then there aren't many steel players like Barry Sless. None actually. Moonalice is the perfect vehicle for this monster player. Their organic arrangements leave plenty of space for extended steel rides, to the delight of jam-band fans everywhere.

Moonalice is in Hawaii for 4 shows this week. The venues are:

May 19: Charley's, Paia, Maui
May 20: Stella Blues, Kihei, Maui
May 21: Akebono Theatre, Pahoa, Big Island
May 22: Pirate's Cove, Ocean View, Big Island

To learn more about the band, visit www.moonalice.com.

Chris Combs' "Race Riot Suite" will Premier in Tulsa


Progressive lap steel guitarist Chris Combs will be premiering his new composition "Race Riot Suite" with the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey and additional musicians in Tulsa, Oklahoma on May 20.

"Race Riot Suite" commemorates the lives lost and resilient spirit of Tulsa's black community following the 1921 Tulsa race riot that flattened Tulsa's Greenwood district. 39 people died in the riot, which included a aerial assault by World War I era biplanes.

Manasota Steel Guitar Club of Florida


The Manasota Steel Guitar Club meets on the 3rd Tuesday of every month (except December) in Bradenton, Florida. That's tomorrow!

Players are invited to bring their own steel guitar and play a few tunes with the club's back-up band or your own band. The event is free, and there are no dues associated with the club. It's a great opportunity to get together with some other steel players to socialize and share musical ideas.

Joe Wright's Skype Lesson Offer


Joe Wright is universally recognized as one of the hottest pedal steel players in the world. He has headliner status when he performs at steel guitar shows, his blazingly fast right hand technique is legendary, and he has published many courses and video tutorials to help advance the art of playing pedal steel.

For a couple of years now, Joe has been giving one-on-one video lessons via the Skype internet service. You can read about how these lessons work at skype.pedalsteel.com. To help you get started, Joe is offering an introductory lesson in exchange for a $10.00 donation to the Steel Guitar Forum. To take him up on the offer, click the PayPal Donate button below. I'll forward your email address to Joe, and he'll contact you to schedule the lesson.


Your $10.00 donation will help pay the monthly internet bill at SteelGuitarForum.com, and you'll get a session with the steel guitar world's most famous personal trainer. Act now - this offer won't last forever.

Tonight in Berkeley, California


I know it's short notice, but if you're in the SF Bay area you probably want to know about this. It's a three band show with three hot local steel players at The Starry Plough in Berkeley. The cover is $8.

Lady A & Her Heel Draggers (Mikiya Matsuda)
The West Coast Ramblers (Lee Jeffriess)
The Seducers (Joe Goldmark)

Thursday, May 12 · 8:30 - 11:30 PM
The Starry Plough Pub (Google map)
3101 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA

Heartland Steel Guitar Association Jam

The Heartland SGA hosts a jam for steel guitarists in North Kansas City, MO, on the 3rd Sunday of odd-numbered months. The next one will take place this Sunday, May 15.

All levels of pedal steel, lap steel and dobro players are welcome (other instruments are by invitation only). You can bring headphones if you want to play along without being heard.

Beyond the music, events like this are a great opportunity to socialize with other steel players, talk shop and check out each others gear. The variety of instruments and playing styles is always interesting, and the atmosphere is friendly and supportive.

Heartland SGA Jam
Sunday May 15, 1:30-5:30 PM
Northtown Opry Hall (Google map)
1419 Swift Avenue
North Kansas City, Missouri

For more info, visit the HeartlandSteelers.org web site.

Darryl Logue Interview in Kansas City Star

Just a short note today to call your attention to an article about pedal steel in the Kansas City Star. A five-band concert last weekend had five steel players, and a reviewer interviewed one of them, Darryl Logue of Rex Hobart & the Honky Tonk Standards. Here's the link:

Steel Guitar Tribute at the Brick

It's hard to spot events like this in advance. If you know of a steel-heavy concert coming up in your town, please email me at quasar@b0b.com or post it in the Event Announcements section of The Steel Guitar Forum.

Southern Steel Guitar Convention, Saluda SC

Saturday Night Jam

The Southern Steel Guitar Convention will be held on Sunday, May 15, in Saluda, South Carolina. This event happens 4 times a year, giving players in the region a chance to gather in fellowship and hear some great steel playing. Admission is $15, and all profits from the show are donated to Shriners Hospitals for Children via the Saluda Shrine Club.

On Vacation


QUACK!

I'm taking a long weekend off. Be back next week.

Best wishes to Bryce and Lori.

  -b0b-

Ben Kitterman backs Aaron Lewis

Aaron Lewis, lead vocalist of the popular rock band Staind, has been branching out as a solo country artist. A big part of his live acoustic sound is the artistry of Ben Kitterman on dobro and pedal steel. You can read a review of their show in last Sundays's Kansas City Star.

Here's a video of Aaron and Ben playing on Jimmy Kimmel Live:


Their tour schedule is on the Staind.com web page. Ben is playing on all of the dates listed as "Aaron Lewis Solo Acoustic".

Lew Childre Memorial Steel Guitar Show, Opp, Alabama


The annual Lew Childre Memorial Steel Guitar Show will take place this Saturday in Opp, Alabama. Born in 1901, Lew Childre was a popular entertainer from Opp in the 1930s through the 1950s. He was one of the last generation of entertainers that trained on the stages of old-time medicine and vaudeville shows, playing Hawaiian guitar as part of shows that included singing, dancing, comedy, music and even poetry. He played duets with Stringbean at the Grand Ole Opry and was a member of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. Lew Childre passed away in 1961.

Gerry Hogan touring UK with Albert Lee


Albert Lee and Hogan's Heroes are touring England this month. Gerry Hogan is one of Europe's top steel players, and Albert Lee's guitar chops are legendary as well. The two have been playing together for over 20 years. They put on a high energy country rock show, sure to excite a crowd in venues large and small.

Joe Savage backs Craig Finn on Wits radio show

I try to catch events like this before they happen, but sometimes they just aren't on my radar screen. Like this one.

Earlier this month, singer/songwriter Craig Finn of The Hold Steady performed a few new tunes on Wits, a live Minnesota Public Radio show. Of note to steel fans was tone monster Joe Savage on his pedal steel. I always tend to think of Joe as an aggressive, in your face, take no prisoners kind of player, but this show was different. Craig Finn's songs are quiet, personal and reflective, and Joe's playing matched the mood perfectly. I asked Joe about it, and this is what he wrote:

Lloyd Green on new Tom T. Hall project


Friends of Tom T. Hall have re-recorded his children's album, "Songs of Fox Hollow". The sessions at Hall's Fox Hollow recording studio included the legendary Lloyd Green on steel guitar. From what I can hear on the YouTube promo clip (below), Lloyd is in top form. Here's what Lloyd had to say about the sessions:
We recorded the Tom T. Hall project last summer at his recording studio on his elegant estate Fox Hollow with 12 different singers, one for each of the songs from his 1960s children's album.

Steel Jam in Codorus, PA

I don't know much about this steel show and jam, other than what Mike Sweeney posted on the Steel Guitar Forum:
"There will be a steel guitar show and jam in Codorus, PA, on Saturday, April 30, 2011, at the Jefferson Firehall. The show will start at 12 Noon and run till 9 PM. I will be playing as well as several local favorites. Tickets are $15.00 per person. The contact number is 717-792-5060.

"This show is in it's third year and is growing every year. The proceeds are donated to a different charity each year. This year all proceeds will go the The American Cancer Society. I'm looking forward to being a small part of this show that is benefiting such a worthy cause. I hope to see many of you there."

Saturday April 30, Noon to 9:00 PM
Jefferson Fire Hall (Google map)
31 Berlin Street
Township of Codorus, PA

Central Iowa Steel Guitar Show

It's not as big as the Siloam Springs show happening this weekend, but I'm sure it's just as friendly. The Central Iowa Steel Guitar Show & Dance features nine steel guitar players, each doing a nice long set to fill a Sunday afternoon. A good time for all, with lots of traditional country music and pedal steel. Last year was the first for this show, which is now becoming an annual event.

Sunday May 1, starting at 11 AM
Knights of Columbus Hall (Google map)
201 west High Street
Marshalltown, Iowa

Schedule of performers:

Dave Giegerich Tribute Show

Aloha Dave! - A tribute show honoring steel guitarist Dave Giegerich will be held in Baltimore this Friday evening. Dave passed away last December. Performers include The Hula Monsters, Smooth Kentucky, Dede Wyland, Randy Barrett and Mama Tried, Tracey Eldridge and the Flying Aces, Stoney Point, Arty Hill, and Karen Collins. The audience is invited to wear Hawaiian shirts in honor of Dave.

April 29, 7:30 p.m.
Creative Alliance at the Patterson
3134 Eastern Ave.
Baltimore, Maryland (Google map)
Phone 410-276-1651
www.creativealliance.org
Price: $20

Here's a wonderful video of Dave playing the 7-string reso:

Paul Franklin touring with Vince Gill

Seems like it's been a long time since anyone outside of Nashville has seen Paul Franklin perform. Well, this year Paul is touring with Vince Gill! Vince loves great steel guitar, having employed such heavyweights as John Hughey and JayDee Maness in the past. You can see his tour schedule at VinceGill.com. Paul says he will be playing all of the dates.

The upcoming shows in May are:

May 5 - Macon, GA - Macon City Auditorium
May 6 - Hiawassee, GA - Anderson Music Hall
May 7 - Pinehurst, NC - The Village Arboretum

Siloam Springs Steel Guitar Show (Arkansas)

The Siloam Springs Steel Guitar Club will have their big annual show this coming weekend. This is the 17th year for the event, which attracts many players from Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and beyond. Here are the details:

April 30 and May 1, 2011
Southside Elementary School Cafeteria (Google Map)
200 West Tulsa
Siloam Springs, Arkansas

Schedule of performers:

Henry Kaleialoha Allen Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival


Next weekend, the Kaanapali Beach Hotel on Maui will present the 3rd annual Henry Kaleialoha Allen Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival. This festival features free concerts, presentations and hands-on workshops to celebrate the tradition of Hawaiian steel guitar music.

Henry Kaleialoha Allen was one of the original steel guitarists for a Hawaii radio show, “Hawaii Calls,” and has been playing music for over 60 years. He actively promotes the Hawaiian steel guitar on the islands. You may be familiar with his excellent instruction book, "How to Play the Hawaiian Steel Guitar".

The Kindness Killers


It's always nice to see lap steel players singing out front, so I was delighted to come across a review of The Kindness Killers in the Brunswick News. Lap guitarist Nick Ferrio shares the vocal spotlight with bandmate Julia Fenn in this folk quartet. Nick plays a 6 string National in an authentic Appalachian style. There are virtually no Hawaiian, swing or blues influences in his playing - it's such pure folk/country that you can barely call tell it's electric. Delightful! You can hear and download their EP at theKindnessKillers.Bandcamp.com

The Kindness Killers are from Peterborough, Ontario, and they run a busy tour schedule all over eastern Canada. This weekend they're at the Lawnya Vawnya Festival in St. John's, Newfoundland. For more information, visit their web site KindnessKillers.com.

Quasar Steel Guitar

It's sort of a slow news day, so I'll plug my old CD:


The CD that launched my Pedal Steel Pages web site was recorded in 1995 at Hoffmann Studio in Occidental, California. It includes 5 original songs* and 5 standards. A 12 string Sierra Crown series pedal steel was used (extended E9th), except for the Hawaiian song "Sand" which was played on a Fender Stringmaster. The musicians are all friends of mine from here in northern California.
  1. Sagebrush Shuffle*
  2. Steel Guitar Rag
  3. Round The Horn*
  4. Southern Sunday
  5. St. James Infirmary
  6. Alva's Occidental Melody*
  7. Steelin' the Blues
  8. I Walk Downtown*
  9. Theme Time*
  10. Sand
You can listen to the original songs at BandCamp.com, or buy the CD at The SGF Store.

Thanks for reading my ad.

Zoe Muth "Starlight Hotel" CD Features Dave Harmonson

Country singer songwriter Zoe Muth has released a new CD called "Starlight Hotel" with her Lost High Rollers band. Pedal steel guitarist Dave Harmonson really shines on this project. Dave's a really good steel player and Zoe's traditional-sounding country music is perfect for his E9th backup style. You can hear samples from the CD at ZoeMuth.com.

Zoe and the band are promoting the disc this week with a radio show and a CD release concert. The radio show is on KEXP 90.3 in Seattle, Thursday evening April 21 at 7:00 PM PDT. It's the Swinging Doors show with Don Slack. This live show will be streamed on the net at www.kexp.org and then archived.

The CD release show is actually two concerts on Saturday evening April 23 at The Columbia City Theater in Seattle. Showtimes are 6:30 and 10:00 PM. Even if you can't make these shows, you can pick up the CD at CDBaby or Amazon, or download it from iTunes. Good country music with smooth and pretty steel guitar by Dave Harmonson - that's what we like to hear!

You can also hear Dave playing his instrumental "The 4 M Swing" on our own Steel Guitar Forum Members Showcase CD, available from The SGF Store at SteelGuitarShopper.com or from Kunaki.com.

DoDaJam Festival in Georgia (USA)

Jam band festivals don't feature much steel guitar, but the crowd at next weekend's DoDaJam will be treated to two unique and talented pedal steel players. First there's Roosevelt Collier of The Lee Boys, an uplifting group in the Sacred Steel tradition. The Lee Boys will be on the Do Da Stage at 1:30 Friday afternoon, April 22 (if I'm reading the schedule correctly).

The New Riders of the Purple Sage need no introduction to "boomer" steel guitar fans. Jerry Garcia, the band's original steeler, yielded the steel chair to Buddy Cage in 1971 and rock history was made. While most of the original original members have passed on, Buddy Cage and David Nelson re-formed the band a few years ago and continue to rock audiences on tour. They'll be on the Do Da Jam Stage this Saturday night, April 23 at 11:00 PM.

The DoDaJam Festival is at the Etawah River Campground in Dahlonega, Georgia (USA). Visit DoDaJam.com for more information.

Spotlight on Big B

I had the pleasure of subbing for David Phillips last weekend with Big B and his Snake Oil Saviors. What a great band! Bandleader Ben “Big B” Buettner fronts the band on guitar and vocals, and Jennifer Jolly's rolling boogie-woogie piano style is something that you don't hear enough of these days.

David plays a 10-string lap steel with this band to maintain the vintage flavor of the music. You can hear David's hot licks on their CD. I don't have that much confidence in my non-pedal chops, so I used my 8-string Desert Rose pedal steel. The gig was at a dance school (Monroe Hall in Santa Rosa), and the crowd had just finished a jitterbug lesson. What a perfect setup for this music!

Big B plays in the San Francisco Bay area - they don't often get this far north. A big thanks to David Phillips for plugging me into this gig. It was a pleasurable and unique experience.

Junior Brown at The Iridium, NYC

Guit-steel wizard Junior Brown will be playing with the Les Paul Trio at The Iridium on Monday. This should be a real treat! Junior plays a double-neck instrument of his own design - half guitar, half 8-string steel. He switches necks effortlessly in mid-tune, often while singing.

The Iridium stage is known best as the home of Les Paul. Often called "The Father of the Electric Guitar", Paul performed at The Iridium weekly for more than a decade until his passing in 2009. Today, the Les Paul Trio continues in his honor, showcasing the diversity of the electric guitar every Monday night.

April 18, 2011
Iridium Jazz Club
1650 Broadway
New York, 10020
(212)582-2121

Learn more about Junior Brown at his web site, JuniorBrown.com.

Quad City Steel Guitar Show in Iowa - Today

I apologize for the lateness of this notice - it's happening today! This is the 19th annual Quad City Steel Guitar Show in Davenport, Iowa. This year's featured artist is Steel Guitar Hall Of Fame member Ron Elliott from Madison, Tennessee. But that's not all - 16 of the best steel guitarists in the region will be playing in concert (see schedule below).

Saturday, April 16th, 2011, 10:00am - 11:30pm
Clarion Hotel Conference Center (Google map)
5202 Brady Street
Davenport, Iowa
Admission: $15 at the door

Robert Randolph in Australia

Pedal steel superstar Robert Randolph and the Family Band are touring Australia. The schedule on their web site is a bit confused, but it's clear that they're playing Sunday, April 17 at the West Coast Blues 'n' Roots Festival in Fremantle. From what I can tell, that's a very big deal (Bob Dylan is the headliner). Here's the link:

http://westcoastbluesnroots.com.au/

Robert's getting a bit of good press in advance of this tour. Check out the Entertainment section of The West Australian.

Mike Perlowin's L.A. Steel Jam

From time to time Mike Perlowin hosts a steel guitar jam in the Los Angeles area. These are circle jams where people play in turn to Band-In-A-Box tracks. The 2-day event is scheduled for this Saturday and Sunday at the Sam Ash store in Cerritos.

Apr 16 & 17
Sam Ash Music Store (Google map)
12651 Artesia Boulevard
Cerritos, CA
562-468-1107

Sonny Rhodes in Edmonton

I just learned that Texas bluesman Sonny Rhodes is playing all week at Blues On Whyte in Edmonton, Alberta. Sonny sings and plays lap steel in the authentic blues style, and he's one of the best you'll hear anywhere. Sorry for the late notice, but I hear the weekends are really jumpin' at this place so you still have time to catch his show.

April 11-16, 2011
Blues on Whyte (Google map)
10329 Whyte Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T6E 1Z9
Canada
Phone: (780) 439 5058

Southern Illinois Steel Guitar Show

The annual Southern Illinois Steel Guitar Show will take place this Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. Organized by Bobby D. Reed, this show features many of the best steel players in midwest. Guest singers Leona Williams, Dottie Jack and Ron Williams will also perform.

Holiday Inn
222 Potomac Blvd
Mt Vernon, IL
I-57 Exit #95 (Google map)
(618) 244-7100

The performance schedule was announced last week on The Steel Guitar Forum:

Florida Steel Guitar Club

The Florida Steel Guitar Club's monthly jam will be held this Wednesday, April 13, from 5:30 to 8:30. This free event is held at Catfish Johnny's Restaurant in Lake Panasoffkee. Click here for the Google map.

Catfish Johnny's Restaurant
2396 N. County Route 470
Lake Panasoffkee, Fl
352-793-2083

The Florida Steel Guitar Club is an informal organization run by Jack Stoner and Don Sulesky. For more information, check their web site at FloridaSteelGuitarClub.com.

Jack Stoner will bring the new 4-ohm Eminence PS15 speaker to this month's meeting for members to try out.

David Lindley and Harry Manx in BC

Rock lap steel legend David Lindley will team up with Harry Manx this Tuesday at the University of Victoria (Victoria, BC), and Wednesday at the Vogue Theater (Vancouver, BC). These are the final shows of their 5-city Canadian tour. Both shows start at 8:00 PM. You can order tickets at Manx's web site HarryManx.com.

There's a good article about their music, including interview quotes from Manx, at the Vancouver web site Straight.com.

Middletown Ohio Pedal Steel Show

This Sunday, April 10, there will be a steel guitar show in Middleton, Ohio.

Middletown Fraternal Order of Orioles
3010 South Main Street
Middletown OH 45044
(513) 424-6879

Middletown Orioles Pedal Steel Show, April 10, 2011
Doors open at 1 PM, music starts at 2 PM.
$5 admission, bar and kitchen will be open for business

Schedule of performers:

The Clarks Tonight in Erie PA

Apparently Gary W. Jacob has been playing pedal steel with The Clarks for "a couple of years", but this is the first time it hit my radar. They'll be at Sherlock's in Erie, PA tonight. Read the article about them at GoErie.com:

Clarks, with steel additions, return to Erie

Pedal steel always sounds good in roots rock music.

Ralph Mooney 1928-2011

Ralph Mooney, one of the most influential pedal steel guitarists ever, passed away on March 20, 2011. Musicologist Rich Keinzel remembers Moon in this article from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette:

Ralph Mooney, Pedal Steel Master: 1928-2011

The New York Times also ran an obituary:

Ralph Mooney, Master of the Steel Guitar, Dies at 82

Rest in peace, Ralph.