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Author Topic:  On Buddy Cage
Jim Peters


From:
St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Post Posted 7 Dec 2005 9:31 am     Reply with quote

Still workin on Panama Red. Everytime I listen, I hear more stuff to play! To my mind, this song is the perfect blend of song and chops, chops that never get in the way, and are not distracting. I can almost hear Cage laughing as he's pickin! One of my faves. JP
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Mark van Allen


From:
Watkinsville, Ga. USA
Post Posted 7 Dec 2005 10:09 am     Reply with quote

Jim, I joined a band the same day I got my first steel... the first tune they learned was "Lyin" Eyes"- no hot licks, and I could actually hang. But the second tune was "Panama Red". Not a chance. I was tied up in knots for months...Cage is top of the heap in country-rock, for sure.

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Stop by the Steel Store at: www.markvanallen.com
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Jeff Lampert


From:
queens, new york city
Post Posted 7 Dec 2005 12:17 pm     Reply with quote

IMHO, Cage is the best of the country-rock pioneers. His single-note phrasing was extraordinarily creative and sophisticated. He actually had a bit of a "swing" feel in his playing, often starting runs on the half-beat. Very smart playing.

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[url=http://www.mightyfinemusic.com/jeff's_jazz.htm]Jeff's Jazz[/url]
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John Davis


From:
Cambridge, U.K.
Post Posted 7 Dec 2005 12:55 pm     Reply with quote

Would love to replace my "powerglide" LP I`ve worn it out!!!
Anyone know if its available on CD ????
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Tucker Jackson


From:
Portland, Oregon, USA
Post Posted 7 Dec 2005 1:14 pm     Reply with quote

Buddy Cage is a clean, fast picker. It's his blocking that really stands out,IMHO.

Question: the intro to Panama Red, is he pick-blocking or palm-blocking that?

I assume he's pick-blocking, but when I do it, the picks don't get back down onto the strings nearly so fast even though I'm playing it up to speed. I guess that's what makes him Buddy Cage, huh?

[This message was edited by Tucker Jackson on 07 December 2005 at 01:17 PM.]

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Jim Peters


From:
St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Post Posted 7 Dec 2005 2:03 pm     Reply with quote

TJ, I think he's palm blocking, 'cause my pick blocking doesn't quite get the sound. I get to "play" Panama Red with one of the groups I'm in.
I like the end of the solo when he just barely, almost isn't keeping up with the tempo, and then he's right back on it. JP
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Steve Hitsman


From:
Waterloo, IL
Post Posted 7 Dec 2005 2:58 pm     Reply with quote

Here ya go, John.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000002ADI/theofficsit0e-20/103-1435517-1764655
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John Lockney


From:
New Market, Maryland, USA
Post Posted 7 Dec 2005 4:44 pm     Reply with quote

Buddy Cage is on tour with NRPS, playing in Baltimore and D.C. next week with two more dates in NJ.
http://www.nrpsmusic.com/music/tour.html

I've got a ticket for Baltimore. If you see a guy up front hollering "PLAY STEEL GUITAR RAG!!" come over and say hello! ;-)

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Chris Forbes


From:
Beltsville, MD, USA
Post Posted 8 Dec 2005 3:26 am     Reply with quote

I'll be at the State Theatre in Virginia, but I won't be yelling for Steel Guitar Rag. I'll probably be too dumbfounded from looking at that monstrosity of a steel that's been built for him. Isn't that thing gonna have like 12 knee levers? I gotta go back and find that previous thread about it. Woo-doggy!!
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John Davis


From:
Cambridge, U.K.
Post Posted 8 Dec 2005 12:57 pm     Reply with quote

Hey Steve......Thanks for that!!!! I gotta new copy coming....cannot get enough of that Powerglide!!!
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Jim Peters


From:
St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Post Posted 8 Dec 2005 1:25 pm     Reply with quote

Hey Steve Hitsman, I'm playing Stagger inn this Fri. in Edwardsville, come on out, listen to me butcher a once proud instrument! JimP
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John Ciano


From:
Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA
Post Posted 8 Dec 2005 3:12 pm     Reply with quote

Dittos on Powerglide. I enjoy that album as much at 51 as I did at 21. Great songs and Cage's playing is wonderful with his creativity even surpassing his considerable technical ability. This is not the typical steel guitar situation where the steel player gets to fill a chorus or two and a solo now and than. Its steel up front and in your face with with taste and excitement! I went to NRPS show back in Oct. and they played just about that whole album. No small point, Buddy is about a nice a guy as you can imagine.
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JB Arnold


From:
Longmont,Co,USA
Post Posted 10 Dec 2005 8:02 am     Reply with quote

All True!

Buddy palm blocks, he's just real good at it.


Buddy has an interesting story about recording Panama Red. Seems like in many cases the band, including steel, would record all the base tracks together, but in some cases they'd just do rhythym tracks and add Cage later, as an overdub. They did a lot of that on Panama Red as they had a new producer. So anyway, Cage went in to do his cut on Panama, and they set his steel up in the control room, with on line going direct, another to his normal rig mic'd up in the studio. To complicate matters, Garcia was there partying with a bunch of Hell's Angels and the rest of the band, and it was pretty rowdy. Cage ran thorugh it once in the middle of all this brouhaha, and then tried to listen back but couldn't hear over all the noise so he turned around and screamed at a bunch of drunk Hell's Angels to "Shut the ^&%$#^% up, I'm tryin' to listen here!"

It worked. He did a couple more takes in relative peace before the rowdiness picked up again, but in the end they used the one when the party was really raging all around him.

Dude nailed it on the first take. They let some of the party bleed into the tracks at the end of the song-you can hear it in the fade.

Cage is a great technical player-he really like to rock, but can do the old shuffle with the best of 'em when the need arises. He says that he feels he's really just now getting back to where he was before the booze really started to affect him. He got on the wagon in 1988, and he's really back with a vengeance now. Just FYI, here's the current tour dates

December:

7 - Wilburt's - Cleveland, OH
8 – 123 Pleasant St. - Morgantown, W.VA
9 – The Pub - Harrisonburg, VA
10 – Station II - Virginia Beach, VA
11 – rehearsal/recording - Wash., DC
12 – Cary St. Café – Richmond, VA
13 – off
14 – 8x10 Club – Baltimore, MD
15 – State Theater - Falls Church, VA
16 - Mexicali Blues Café – Teaneck, NJ
17 – " " "


2006

Jan

Jam Cruise 7 thru 13
www.sirius.com www.jamcruise4.com www.bluemountainartists.com www.nrps.net

Imminent New Riders Tour – January/06
Commencing at the Culture Room – 1.13.06 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL


By the way, the latest Kufala recording available at the NRPS website is perhaps the best of the bunch so far, at least for steelers-the remix was done by a steel phreak, and Cage is WAY up in the mix, and off to one side-perfect for copping licks.

If you can catch the new incarnation of the band-Nelson and Cage with some help from some friends-you'll be impressed. It's a great show, and like everyone says, this is the only band besides RR where the steel is a lead instrument in the band-it's a pure steel act, and Cage is just a monster. It's just too bad that Dawson isn't well enough to be out with them...

Most people forget that Cage started out with a much more traditional gig-he played on the 1st 5 Anne Murray albums before going on to join Ronnie Hawkins and then Ian and Sylvia's Great Speckeled Bird before getting tapped by Garcia to take his chair in the NRPS. That happened right after they met on the Festival Express. I still believe that spending a week on that train set up next to Cage is what convinced Garcia that the NRPS needed a real steeler.

How Cage got out of his contract with Ian is another amusing, less family oriented story....

JB


------------------
Fulawka D-10 9&5
Fessenden D-10 8&8
"All in all, looking back, I'd have to say the best advice anyone ever gave me was 'Hands Up, Don't Move!"
www.johnbarnold.com/pedalsteel
www.buddycage.net

http://www.nrpsmusic.com/index.html

[This message was edited by JB Arnold on 10 December 2005 at 08:05 AM.]

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tom anderson


From:
leawood, ks., usa
Post Posted 11 Dec 2005 7:49 pm     Reply with quote

I saw the NRPS in Kansas City at Memorial Hall in 1973 or so & Loggins & Messina (a new band) opened for them. Unfortuately on that night on that stage, L&M blew them away. However the Kansas City Star acknowledged in their review the next day that Buddy Cage was a monster on steel guitar & really carried the band that night. I got "Home on the Road" later & loved how well Buddy was showcased on that album. However within an album or two after that his playing was nowhere near where it was from Powerglide on & I always thought the drugs probably got to his playing. JB's comments above reinforce the slide you can hear on the New Rider's albums. I'm glad he is playing with them again & I would love to see him play in Kansas City.
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JB Arnold


From:
Longmont,Co,USA
Post Posted 12 Dec 2005 6:19 am     Reply with quote

Well, to be fair the whole band started to slide after that-for that very reason. Dawson kind of quit writing, and the albums after Brujo weren't what they once were. It wasn't just Cage, but yeah he did carry the band live for a long time. It started when Torbert left.

In their heyday, they had Commander Cody and the LPA going on before them every night and always were up to the challenge. Cage says that what why they became such a good live band-they had to. There opening act was one of the best in the business.

JB

------------------
Fulawka D-10 9&5
Fessenden D-10 8&8
"All in all, looking back, I'd have to say the best advice anyone ever gave me was 'Hands Up, Don't Move!"
www.johnbarnold.com/pedalsteel
www.buddycage.net

http://www.nrpsmusic.com/index.html

[This message was edited by JB Arnold on 12 December 2005 at 06:21 AM.]

[This message was edited by JB Arnold on 12 December 2005 at 06:22 AM.]

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Jim Peters


From:
St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Post Posted 12 Dec 2005 3:11 pm     Reply with quote

I've listened to the live tapes with Buddy. To me it sounds like a sloppy mediocre band trying to hang with a great player. Maybe it was the drugs. JP
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David Wren


From:
Placerville, California, USA
Post Posted 12 Dec 2005 4:31 pm     Reply with quote

A good friend of mine (excellent drummer)played for years with Buddy Cage in a Reno, NV club band called "Custer's Last Band". He has nothing but praise for this great picker. In particualr he said they did a real killer version of Steel Guitar Rag. He mentioned Buddy told him of being a "child star" on the steel guitar, at a very early age. I'd love to hear him live.

------------------
Dave Wren
'95Carter S12-E9/B6,7X7; Session500; Hilton Pedal
www.ameechapman.com

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JB Arnold


From:
Longmont,Co,USA
Post Posted 12 Dec 2005 10:33 pm     Reply with quote

Jim

Most bands sound like that off the monitor mix tapes, which is generally what those are. Really-I have board tapes of one of the shows at the Academy in New York, and then tapes of the same show recorded by a guy with a DAT machine and stereo mics at each end of the balcony, and the DAT tape sound awesome, and you can't believe the board tapes are of the same show, but they are. To get a real feel for the band live, ya gotta have "Home, Home, on the Road". But it's still clear who the lead instrumentalist is. Nelson is close though. They were a pretty awesome band.

Buddy WAS kind of a child star in Canada-he was only 22 when he was on the train, and had been with Ian and Sylvia for a while before that-and had already done a stint with Ronnie Hawkins, and 5 albums with Anne Murray before that! He was playing professionally when he was 16, maybe younger.

JB

------------------
Fulawka D-10 9&5
Fessenden D-10 8&8
"All in all, looking back, I'd have to say the best advice anyone ever gave me was 'Hands Up, Don't Move!"
www.johnbarnold.com/pedalsteel
www.buddycage.net

http://www.nrpsmusic.com/index.html

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Andy Greatrix


From:
Edmonton Alberta
Post Posted 13 Dec 2005 6:12 am     Reply with quote

Before Ronnie Hawkins, Buddy played for Mickey McGivern in a band called Mickey and the Mustangs, a very Johnny Paycheck influenced band.
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Mark Lind-Hanson


From:
Menlo Park, California, USA
Post Posted 13 Dec 2005 9:02 am     Reply with quote

I happen to be a big fan of Buddy myself. I am pretty sure I'll be nowhere near the virtuoso on steel he'll always be, so, I've made up my own mind just to play the way I will, myself, and to NOT try too many flashy & obviously imitative things. Discovering the instrument on my own leaves a lot of room for real discovery, I think.
I first saw the NRPS in spring 1971 at Winterland, on a show when Garcia sat out the set due to a cold, and there was as yet no Buddy C. They were an OK band without a steel player I think the strong points being: Torbert and Dryden and Nelson, basically- though withtout Dawson there would have been no major songwriter involved. Once Buddy joined they became like, Three times as awesome. I can probably count the rest of their shows I saw on one and a half hands- though Buddy was there for all of those. "maybe it was the drugs?" maybe, but then, it was probably also just the Novelty of it, too.
I am always amazed while listeing back to Powerglide, Gypsy Cowboy & Panama Red, all the OVERDUBS Buddy put on there- not just a MAIN steel lead track, but, rythmn tracks and what I call "bubble" tracks. It is something akin to "cowboy symphony music", the level of complexity they put into those albums- maybe the combination of 18 tracks AND drugs!
As an aside- my best friend & I once copped a ride while hitchiking from Torbert's dad, the week before that first 71 concert. It was quite an interesting conversation we got to have with him!
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Mark Eaton


From:
Sonoma County in The Great State Of Northern California
Post Posted 13 Dec 2005 9:37 am     Reply with quote

Like Mr. Lind-Hanson, I've been around the Bay Area a long time.

Buddy and Bobby Black were the first two virtuoso steelers I ever saw play live. Having been exposed to a number of steelers at a younger age who were decent, but didn't exactly set the world on fire-then going to shows and seeing two players the caliber of these gentlemen-to say I was blown away is putting it mildly.

------------------
Mark
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John Ciano


From:
Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA
Post Posted 13 Dec 2005 5:25 pm     Reply with quote

Back to the comment about the live recordings, monitor board tapes are not only very sterile they are totally unforgiving. I have a tape of NRPS at Seton Hall Unv.around '76 that I recorded with a $29 Panosonic cassette player that I have been listened to for years. Buddy kicked major league butt! At that time Buddy played like someone kidnapped a close relative and threatened he would never see them again if he did not play hard. From what I gathered from conversations with him there came a point when alot of the collective enthusiasm of the band started to wane because of personnel and business problems. Hence the mediorcrity of the last few albums.
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JB Arnold


From:
Longmont,Co,USA
Post Posted 14 Dec 2005 5:42 am     Reply with quote

OK

You can check them out for yourselves! Here's a noice little offering-the reunited band live!

webmaster@nrps.net


Greetings from NRPS Unite,

We're pleased to let you know that the New Riders' performance from Mexicali
Blues in Teaneck, New Jersey this Friday night, December 16, will be
streamed live over the internet for your listening pleasure.

To tune in to the webcast, go to http://www.digitalsoundboard.net on Friday
night, Dec. 16 at 9PM EST and click on the Tune In link on the left hand
side. The webcast will begin when the band takes the stage, so it may wind
up being more like 9:15 or 9:30PM.

Enjoy and thanks to those who've made it out to see the band recently.


webmaster@nrps.net

JB

------------------
Fulawka D-10 9&5
Fessenden D-10 8&8
"All in all, looking back, I'd have to say the best advice anyone ever gave me was 'Hands Up, Don't Move!"
www.johnbarnold.com/pedalsteel
www.buddycage.net

http://www.nrpsmusic.com/index.html

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Chris Forbes


From:
Beltsville, MD, USA
Post Posted 15 Dec 2005 3:25 am     Reply with quote

Weather permitting, I'll get to see Mr. Cage do some pickin' tonight in Virginia.
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John Lockney


From:
New Market, Maryland, USA
Post Posted 15 Dec 2005 11:24 am     Reply with quote

The New Riders were great in Baltimore last night! Just before leaving I read a welcome message on the Forum which included posts from three continents, I took some notes to share:

He has a Bosstone fuzz box plugged directly into the guitar out, and futzes with it constantly while he plays. He also had a Boss GT6 effects unit, used for effect on one or two numbers. Before the show and between sets he sat on stage and noodled with his guitar and tuning, talking to people and hanging out.

It was my first time seeing him play, I was surprised how much he lifts the bar to play with the nose, hammering on/off open strings - I think he did it in just about every song. I thought this was more common with C6 style ? He seems to chop bass-note-chords a lot with the "extra" low strings in the 12-string front-neck and played a bit of the back neck (extended) C6 for "Truck Driving Man" - switching back and forth betwen both necks within the song.

He mentioned he is excited about his show on Sirus radio (Weekdays 8pm-1am EST) and the up-coming Sirus radio Jam Cruise.

I asked if he did any pick blocking ? which is a totally stupid question but easier than "How does one block with infinite speed ?" He laughed and said he could never understand why people would, pick-blocking seemed too slow since it involved two motions... I don't want to misquote, it was noisy but, it was followed by something like "learned ------ Buddy Charleton".

I wonder if Buddy Charleton is also where he picked-up using the nose of the bar ?

I talked a photographer with a silly looking camera into taking a close-up of Cage's right hand position and picks:
http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum5/HTML/011634.html

[This message was edited by John Lockney on 20 December 2005 at 02:08 PM.]

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