INSTRUCTION STRINGS ACCESSORIES MUSIC LINKS
 Visit Our Catalog at SteelGuitarShopper.com for Steel Guitars, Strings, Instruction, Music and Accessories 
Forum Index
where steel players meet online
The Steel Guitar Forum

Post new topic Greg Leisz
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Reply to topic
Author Topic:  Greg Leisz
Devon Teran


From:
Kansas City
Post Posted 20 Jan 2012 10:00 am     Reply with quote

I'm pretty new to the world of steel but I'm completely captivated by the subtle detail work Greg Leisz does on 'Bon Iver, Bon Iver.'


What else has he done that I should be listening to?
What sort of setup does he use? What tuning is he in?

Thanks
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Bill Kellum


From:
Taylor, MS
Post Posted 20 Jan 2012 2:01 pm     Reply with quote

He is awesome. Great album. Alot of T-Bone Burnett records have Greg playing steel. As far as lately the latest Luncinda Williams has him on steel and guitar. He does some nice work on Jakob Dylan's "Women And Country". Buddy Miller's "Majestic Silver Strings". As well as Ryan Adams "Ashes & Fire", he is on a few tracks. When I ordered my Williams, Bob Rudolph told me that he uses S-12 Extended E9th tuning.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Brad Bechtel


From:
San Francisco, CA
Post Posted 20 Jan 2012 2:35 pm     Reply with quote

From all music.com:

Quote:
The word "ubiquitous" is usually placed in front of pedal steel player and guitarist Greg Leisz's name. With good reason -- the man's resumé is daunting, boasting spots with Joni Mitchell, Sheryl Crow, Peter Case, Paul Westerberg, Me'Shell NdegeOcello, Victoria Williams, Joe Cocker, Dave Alvin, k.d. lang, Wilco, Lucinda Williams, Bruce Cockburn, Shawn Colvin, Paula Cole, and the Ventures...to name a few. Not to be pigeonholed in just roots music, Leisz (pronounced "Lees") has also played with the likes of Beck, Matthew Sweet, Bad Religion, the Smashing Pumpkins, and Brian Wilson.

Leisz spent his younger years catching acts like the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers in Southern California clubs. Part of his universal appeal -- which certainly draws on the experimental nature of those influences -- comes from an open-minded approach to lap and pedal steel, an approach that casts aside Nashville references. Leisz is also somewhat of a stylistic chameleon: You can't pin down a distinctive style for him because he chooses to serve and accompany a song rather than place his mark on it. His creativity and open-mindedness as a musician have allowed him a genre roving usually not accorded renowned steel players.

During the '90s, Leisz also began making a name for himself as a producer, helming releases by such folks as Rosie Flores, Dave Alvin, Tom Russell, and Lisa Mednick.


Here are some of his credits. I particularly enjoy his work with jazz guitarist Bill Frisell.
_________________
Brad's Page of Steel
A web site devoted to acoustic & electric lap steel guitars
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Gary Cosden


From:
Florida, USA
Post Posted 20 Jan 2012 5:50 pm     Reply with quote

Some of you may know about Gaby Moreno. She is known, among other things, for having written the theme song for the TV show "Parks and Rec". We had the pleasure of opening for her here in Fort Myers a while back. Greg Leisz played some really nice parts on her new CD "Illustrated Songs" but I did not see this listed among his credits. Very nice and tasteful playing. I can see why his recording career show so many credits.
_________________
http://ghtbs.bandcamp.com/
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Richard Argus


From:
Perth, Western Australia,
Post Posted 20 Jan 2012 6:02 pm     Reply with quote

I really enjoyed his work on the recent Blue Ridge Rangers" album (John Fogarty).
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Gerry Brown


From:
Asheville, North Carolina, USA
Post Posted 20 Jan 2012 6:50 pm     Reply with quote

I've been enjoying Greg on Bill Frisell's recent release of John Lennon songs "All We Are Saying".
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Chris Dorch


From:
Wisconsin, USA
Post Posted 20 Jan 2012 7:47 pm     Reply with quote

Pick up any Matthew Sweet album.. He's on all of them.. Girlfriend is a classic...

He's also on Kathleen Edwards' Asking for Flowers...

Check this out... He's the steeler for everyone... Don Was on bass too...
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Kevin Milner


From:
Los Angeles, California, USA
Post Posted 20 Jan 2012 10:43 pm     Reply with quote

My absolute favorite steel player. Definitely check out the Sara Watkins album, he's all over it. Especially the solo on "Pony"
_________________
GFI S10-P Ultra -> Nashville 112 or '94 Twin Amp or Homebuilt 5e3
Effects: Sarno SGBB -> Strymon Ob.1 Optical Compressor/Boost -> Homebuilt boost (similar to EP booster) -> EHX Soul Food -> Earthquaker Devices Bit Commander -> Caitlinbread Dirty Little Secret Mk III -> Malekko Envelope Filter -> Hilton VP -> Tonefreak Effects Naked OD -> Tech 21 Blonde -> Strymon Timeline -> Earthquaker Devices Rainbow Machine -> Strymon Lex -> Strymon Flint
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Steve Hitsman


From:
Waterloo, IL
Post Posted 21 Jan 2012 4:40 am     Reply with quote

Bill Frisell... "Good Dog, Happy Man"... lotsa Leisz.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Karl Fehrenbach


From:
Pennsylvania, USA
Post Posted 21 Jan 2012 6:24 am     Reply with quote

K D Lang's "Ingenue" album has superb playing by Greg Leize. It is why I am playing steel today. I heard this, and could not get that steel guitar sound out of my head. This album is a seminar in playing with taste.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Luke Schneider


From:
Nashville
Post Posted 22 Jan 2012 8:46 am     Reply with quote

Greg Leisz is my favorite modern pedal steel player. His tone (on recent recordings) is, in my opinion, the best you will find in the world. My understanding is he uses a '66 bolt-on push/pull for most of his studio work. This would encompass all the work he does with T-Bone, and likely the Bon Iver and other indie records he's doing these days. I know Greg plays other guitars live, but I gotta believe that unmistakable Leisz sound comes from the bolt-on.

I have nothing but love and respect for the A-list pro's working here in Nashville...watching Franklin play on Monday nights at Station Inn is an incredible and stunning experience. Its a chance to witness the greatest virtuoso and master of the pedal steel that we have in the world. But for different reasons, I also love Greg Leisz's playing, which lies somewhere at the opposite end of the pedal steel spectrum. Greg is the ultimate 'vibe' player. It seems to be all about the song, and tone, with him. Which is my kind of sensibility, and its probably just one of the many reasons he's getting all the super hip indie work these days.

You mention the Bon Iver record...I was listening to that a few months back, and when I heard the pedal steel I immediately thought "that HAS to be Leisz." I looked it up, and sure enough, it was Greg. The guy is unmistakable, which to me is one of the greatest compliments you can give to a studio musician.

I'll never forget hearing Plant/Krauss' 'Killing the Blues' for the first time. It is my favorite modern pedal steel performance. Its a stop-what-you're-doing-and-just-listen track. I have the same reaction whenever I hear an old Weldon/Connie Smith song come on the radio.

killing the blues:
http://www.myspace.com/video/lol/robert-plant-alison-krauss-killing-the-blues-with-lyrics/24448189
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Chris Tweed


From:
Cardiff, Wales, UK
Post Posted 22 Jan 2012 10:13 am     Reply with quote

Please excuse my ignorance, but what is a "bolt-on push pull"?
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Frank Freniere


From:
Chicago, IL
Post Posted 23 Jan 2012 7:20 am     Reply with quote

With Ray LaMontagne.
View user's profile Send private message
Kevin Milner


From:
Los Angeles, California, USA
Post Posted 23 Jan 2012 8:50 am     Reply with quote

Frank Freniere wrote:
With Ray LaMontagne.


Actually he mostly plays guitar with Ray, Eric Heywood does the majority of the steel work. They both play on God Willin' and the Creek Don't Rise (edit: the song, not sure Greg does any other steel on the album). (source: allmusic.com, and conversation with Greg)
_________________
GFI S10-P Ultra -> Nashville 112 or '94 Twin Amp or Homebuilt 5e3
Effects: Sarno SGBB -> Strymon Ob.1 Optical Compressor/Boost -> Homebuilt boost (similar to EP booster) -> EHX Soul Food -> Earthquaker Devices Bit Commander -> Caitlinbread Dirty Little Secret Mk III -> Malekko Envelope Filter -> Hilton VP -> Tonefreak Effects Naked OD -> Tech 21 Blonde -> Strymon Timeline -> Earthquaker Devices Rainbow Machine -> Strymon Lex -> Strymon Flint
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Brint Hannay


From:
Maryland, USA
Post Posted 23 Jan 2012 9:47 am     Reply with quote

Chris Tweed wrote:
Please excuse my ignorance, but what is a "bolt-on push pull"?

Not sure which of the terms you're not familiar with, so: The Emmons company originally made pedal steels with a mechanism differing from most others. Others use a pulling action to execute both raises and lowers of strings, while the Emmons design pushes for lowers and pulls for raises, hence guitars of that design are referred to as "push-pulls." "Bolt-on" refers to one of the three different manners of physically attaching the changer to the guitar that were used on push-pulls. (The other two are referred to as "wraparound" and "cut tail.")
(The Emmons company mostly abandoned the push-pull design in the Eighties, except for a few "reissue" guitars.)
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Brint Hannay


From:
Maryland, USA
Post Posted 23 Jan 2012 9:49 am     Reply with quote

While Greg ranges widely stylistically, he can also play excellent straight-ahead country style, as on some of his work with Rosie Flores.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Rick Schacter


From:
Portland, Or.
Post Posted 23 Jan 2012 10:12 am     Reply with quote

As was already mentioned, his work on the album "Girlfriend" by Matthew Sweet is great.

He also played some mandolin as well as pedal steel for John Fogerty's "Blue Ridge Rangers".

Here's another song from the group Tiger Army that has Greg Leisz playing the pedal steel:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxvTTRKvfEU

Rick
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Devon Teran


From:
Kansas City
Post Posted 23 Jan 2012 10:20 am     Reply with quote

This is all very helpful. I've been teetering on the edge of diving fully into pedal steel for a while but I'm not really a country guy. I'm learning to appreciate and love the form but it's just not my natural habitat, musically speaking. Hearing Leisz' work on that Bon Iver album convinced me that pedal steel is where I want to head. I love the layering and devotion to the song instead of the instrument.

This is definitely a great primer for me to get listening to a wider range of pedal steel music.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Paddy Long


From:
Christchurch, New Zealand
Post Posted 23 Jan 2012 11:54 am     Reply with quote

I worked with Rose Flores from Austin Texas last year out here in NZ and Greg was all over her albums and material --- fantastic playing !
_________________
14'Zumsteel Hybrid D10 9+9, 08'Zumsteel Hybrid D10 9+9, Beard MA6 Reso, Tomkins B-Bender Tele, Telonics, Lexicon, Peterson. Dell & SKB wheeled Roadcases.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Mark Eaton


From:
Sonoma County in The Great State Of Northern California
Post Posted 23 Jan 2012 4:50 pm     Reply with quote

I saw Rosie play in San Francisco a couple years ago - she was great!

We've had a bunch of threads here about Mr. Leisz over the years and for good reason - he is one tasty musician. I saw him play with Bill Frisell several years ago at Yoshi's jazz club in Oakland. We had the table right in front of him next to the stage - great show.

Of course k.d. lang has great admiration for Greg, and below is a quote she made about his pedal steel playing years ago that I'm sure many here are familiar with :

Quote:
“Leisz single-handedly liberated pedal steel from the bondage of country.”


Here is the link to an article in the LA Weekly I enjoy on Greg. It's an oldie, from 2004, but if you've nver seen it I'm sure you will enjoy it:

http://www.laweekly.com/2004-04-08/news/south-of-here/
_________________
Mark
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Benjamin Jayne


From:
Orange County California, USA
Post Posted 23 Jan 2012 10:00 pm     Reply with quote

Devon Teran wrote:
This is all very helpful. I've been teetering on the edge of diving fully into pedal steel for a while but I'm not really a country guy. I'm learning to appreciate and love the form but it's just not my natural habitat, musically speaking. Hearing Leisz' work on that Bon Iver album convinced me that pedal steel is where I want to head. I love the layering and devotion to the song instead of the instrument.

This is definitely a great primer for me to get listening to a wider range of pedal steel music.


I was in the same boat as you a year ago when I bought my (first) pedal steel, but my "non-country" steel idol was/is Daniel Lanois. He's got some nice solo stuff as well as works with the ambient artist Brian Eno if you don't know Lanois' work, check this out.
Interestingly, Daniel Lanios led me to BJ Cole which led me to many other steelers, including Greg Leisz.

Speaking of Greg Leiz, I'm hoping and praying he is touring with Lucinda Williams, because my I got tickets for my wife and I to see her in LA on Friday primarily to see Greg Winking his tone on Bon Iver; Bon Iver is unbelievably tasteful and makes me appreciate the instrument so much more every time I hear it!
_________________
Lamar S-10, Goodrich L10K VP, Carvin Vintage 16 all-tube amp, John Pearse Cryogenic steel tone bar, John Pearse strings.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Marc Jenkins


From:
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Post Posted 23 Jan 2012 11:09 pm     Reply with quote

Greg's playing on Bon Iver is some of my favorite steel playing of all. So tasteful!

Benjamin, I saw Lucinda earlier this year, and no steel at all. But! Blake Mills, her very young guitar player, should blow your mind!
_________________
When it comes to shark, man is on his menu.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Mike Neer


From:
NJ
Post Posted 24 Jan 2012 4:39 am     Reply with quote

Greg's always been one of my favorites, from his work with KD Lang to Peter Case to Bill Frisell--I have dozens of CDs he played on that I bought just to hear him.

To Devon--although you say you don't consider yourself Country, that is where a lot of the vocabulary for the instrument has been established. Don't neglect it, it will help you understand how to play the instrument, even if you never intend to play the music. It's worked for Greg and many others.
_________________
Steelin' Scales & Modes
Lap Steelin' Blog
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Alan Bidmade


From:
London, UK
Post Posted 24 Jan 2012 12:10 pm     Reply with quote

Greg Leisz's playing with k d lang is wonderful. On her album Watershed, the track 'Once in a While' is a beautiful example of refined, tasteful and subtle playing. 8 bars over a 1:3m:4:5 chord sequence - bliss!
_________________
Sho-Bud 'Green-Finger' (Fingertip converted to SD10 a la Lloyd Green), Guild D25, Epiphone 'Joe Pass', Roland 40XL, Goodrich VP
Never far from a bar!
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Mark Eaton


From:
Sonoma County in The Great State Of Northern California
Post Posted 24 Jan 2012 12:17 pm     Reply with quote

For any of you that don't have the book from fellow Forumite Andy Volk entitled Lap Steel Guitar it is absolutely essential. One of the chapters is an interview with Greg and you will receive some great insights into what makes the man tick as a musician.

Standard disclaimer: nothing in it for me.

Andy simply did a brilliant job.
_________________
Mark
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Jump to:  

Our Online Catalog
Strings, CDs, instruction,
steel guitars & accessories

www.SteelGuitarShopper.com

Steel Guitar Music
Instrumental steel guitar CDs for your permanent collection
www.SteelGuitarMusic.com

Jewelry by Mom
beautiful one-of-a-kind
pieces handmade by
Mrs. Lee in California

JewelryByMom.com

Please review our Forum Rules and Policies

The Steel Guitar Forum
148 South Cloverdale Blvd.
Cloverdale, CA 95425 USA

Support This Forum


Batman 4 Sale
Batman & Robin collectibles
Toys, comics & cool stuff

www.batman4sale.biz
HTTP