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Old 10-18-2012, 03:13 PM   #41
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When I was in college, occasionally several friends and I would head to a local mom 'n pop Italian restaurant that had delicious pasta and thin crust pizza. It was a pretty big, old-style place with plenty of room for things like parties and receptions. Off to one side, there was a raised stage that was only big enough to hold one of those old Hammond organs... which no one ever seemed to play.

One night though, someone was playing - he was an older blind gentleman who obviously knew his stuff. He played the right selections and at the right volume to add atmosphere to dinner. We kept commenting on how nice it was, and after dinner (with enough wine in me), I went up to him, put some cash in his tip jar and asked if he took requests. While still playing, he said, "sure, if I know 'em". I asked, "Do you know 'Moonglow'?". He turned towards me, got this big smile on his face and said, "I love Moonglow!". So I returned to our table and we enjoyed spumoni and this tune.

I'd never heard of this guy before, but his name is John Lang and he's playing a non-pedal steel that (to me, anyway) adds a kind of Hawaiian tinge to it. Someone sent me the link and I like it. This song is easier to play with pedals, but if you watch his left hand, you'll see him twist the bar to get the closing changes at the end of each verse.

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Old 10-25-2012, 09:29 AM   #42
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Here's one of those "git along, lil' dogie" numbers. It's "Midnight In Old Amarillo", performed by Marcel Parijs in Ireland, and originally from Billy Bowman of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. I think it's got a nice strut to it to take you into the weekend:

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Old 11-02-2012, 08:28 AM   #43
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I had a different tune I wanted to post, but I have learned to "preview" before submitting and (arggh) it didn't allow embedding.

Instead, I thought of this one by the Beatles which, while not pedal steel, has John Lennon on the lap steel - he's not very good but who cares? It's Lennon!!

Love the comments made by George Harrison: "Go, Johnny, go!", "Elmore James got nothin' on this failure!"


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Old 11-10-2012, 05:44 PM   #44
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This is a clip recorded in the mid-80's at the British Steel Guitar Festival. The person doing the introduction is DeWitt Scott of St. Louis, who started what became the International Steel Guitar Convention back when I was in grade school.

It's Buddy Emmons (making his 4th appearance in this thread) on an MCI and offering up some 12-bar blues along with some bar gymnastics


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Old 11-30-2012, 07:07 PM   #45
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With Thanksgiving over, and November on the way out, I think it's finally legal to post seasonal songs. So here's "Winter Wonderland" by Kjell Heide from Norway on a Franklin. The backing track is from a CD called Christmas Sounds of the Steel Guitar, which is one of my top 10 choices if you like steel. You can keep an eye out for it at used CD stores (I say that because the usual places are asking ridiculous prices for it). It's not flashy, but I think very nice


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Old 01-01-2013, 08:06 PM   #46
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Happy New Year, E-R'ers!

Got one here from one of the legends of the steel guitar: Jimmy Day. This guy was a "steel man's steel man", if you know what I mean. He played on many classic recordings, mostly country (and I'm not a country guy), but not here.

Every time I saw him, he always sounded a little drunk to me, but I guess that's part of what gave him his style. In my mind, he was sort of like the Samuel L. Jackson of steel - you don't mess around with Jim!

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Old 01-16-2013, 02:47 PM   #47
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This is a Willie Nelson song done by Ray Price's band a while ago on Austin City Limits. There's lots of stuff I like about this, one needs a little explaining.

When you shop for a steel guitar, you'll see them described like "Franklin D-10, 8x4". What that means is that it's a guitar made by the Franklin company, with two necks (D), ten strings per neck, 8 floor pedals and 4 knee levers. That's pretty much the standard steel setup. The two necks are tuned differently, with the upper one meant more for traditional country music, and the lower more for jazz.

The pedals are split between the two necks, usually with three devoted to the country neck, and the other five for jazz. One of the jazz pedals lowers the bottom string a minor third (for you musicians), and it's great. This performance uses it perfectly.

The other thing I like about this is towards the end, where there's a steel solo and the player (who should be quite familiar by now) looks over at Ray Price with a great smile that seems to say, "how 'bout THEM apples?".

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Old 02-01-2013, 11:40 AM   #48
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There are at least three things I like about this one:

  1. The lyrics are great, very poetic
  2. Stephen Bishop's singing is amazing
  3. The steel player (you knew that was coming) seems able to evoke a cool ocean breeze blowing through

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Old 02-01-2013, 10:51 PM   #49
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That is a classic song.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:42 AM   #50
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That is a classic song.
Ain't it the truth, Dorothy? I'm glad you like it and I agree with your assessment!
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Old 02-02-2013, 11:50 AM   #51
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So far no one has mentioned Ralph Mooney, who IMO, was the greatest. Ralph was one of the pioneers of the "Bakersfield Sound" and played steel on many of the early recordings of Wynn Stewart, Buck Owens, and Merle Haggard in the late 50's and early 60's.

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Old 02-02-2013, 12:08 PM   #52
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So far no one has mentioned Ralph Mooney, who IMO, was the greatest. Ralph was one of the pioneers of the "Bakersfield Sound" and played steel on many of the early recordings of Wynn Stewart, Buck Owens, and Merle Haggard in the late 50's and early 60's.
That is great. He is in the Steel Guitar Hall Of Fame, and with good reason.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:33 PM   #53
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One more from Emmylou Harris and the Hot Band, but this time with Albert Lee on lead, not James Burton. It's the Gram Parsons tune "Ooh, Las Vegas", on Elite Hotel. They're really pushing the beat here, but these guys don't break a sweat.

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Old 02-27-2013, 06:44 AM   #54
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I just listened to the new (next week) Son Volt album "Honky Tonk" on the way to work...lots and lots of pedal steel on it. Fantastic album.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:28 AM   #55
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I just listened to the new (next week) Son Volt album "Honky Tonk" on the way to work...lots and lots of pedal steel on it. Fantastic album.
Hmm! Gonna have to check that out, thanks! I've been posting stuff I love, but pretty darn old
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:02 AM   #56
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Normally, I try to post only live performances, but these guys are just on another planet than the rest of us.

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Old 03-22-2013, 07:08 AM   #57
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Another studio track. While not live, the song itself is so sweet and soothing, it doesn't matter. This is "Goodbye Don't Mean I'm Gone" from the Carole King album Rhymes and Reasons. The steel player? That's Red Rhodes.

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Old 03-25-2013, 10:01 AM   #58
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We got us a serious snow day here, good mainly for channel flipping. I never noticed this before, but the opening theme for Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies begins with - you guessed it - a steel guitar! Great choice to pair with Bugs, Daffy, Tweety, Foghorn, and the rest of the crowd!

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Old 04-04-2013, 10:07 AM   #59
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Looking back through this thread, I see that an earlier clip I posted featuring Paul Franklin and Mark Knopfler was removed from YouTube (too bad, it was a great video, but hey copyrights are there for a reason...).

So here's a different one featuring Franklin, completely single-note, called "Coal Train Boogie". It's interesting not only for the music, but it has some angles that show you what it looks like from the steel player's perspective. It's funny how many people looking from the audience say, "What the hell is that?!? An organ "

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Old 04-26-2013, 06:00 AM   #60
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I've been keeping my eyes open for a good YouTube video by this player but most, while fine, don't really show how good he is.

I have a few recordings of him I made at the StL steel convention but still am stuck on how to post pure audio here.

But I watched this after I started the coffee brewing this morning and think it's very good. This an interview with Doug Jernigan, a well-known player from Tennessee, who is one of the cleanest and tasteful guys out there.

There are a few snippets of music in here, the ones I really like are played during the interview itself: the first is called "Hal's That" and should make it clear why you practice scales, and the video closes with a classic called "Cherokee".

So here's Doug Jernigan:


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