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Post new topic Another nail in the coffin of steel guitar.
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Author Topic:  Another nail in the coffin of steel guitar.
Rick Campbell


From:
Sneedville, TN, USA
Post Posted 12 Apr 2016 11:27 am     Reply with quote

Jerry Overstreet wrote:
Back to topic, Rick who was the last steel Player at Renfro? I think Kevin was there after Greg left.

This is a sad note. Renfro Valley Barn Dance has such a long and rich history with country music and has had some of the most well known steel players pass through there including the great Jerry Byrd.


I haven't been there in years. Doug Jernigan played last year and Junior Mercer. Yes, it's sad, but not surprising. The music that steel guitar was popular for is becoming a thing of the past. Yes, you can branch out to other genres but I think that's limited. Paul Franklin did it with a rock band, but it didn't seem to catch on. It seems to be all about loud distorted guitars and keyboards now days.

RC
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Jeff Campbell


From:
Knoxville Tennessee, USA
Post Posted 21 Apr 2016 6:42 pm     Renfro Valley Reply with quote

I remember playing there some during the late 80s and 90s ... was always good music , sadly now it is all gone. If they don't realize it by now , their income was from a large group of folks that drove a long way to stay there and hear the traditional music and had the money to spend!! Looks like they are going to learn the hard way!!
JC
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Reggie Duncan


From:
Mississippi
Post Posted 1 May 2017 2:11 pm     Reply with quote

I heard that they fired the WHOLE band after the show last Saturday. SAD!
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Barry Blackwood


Post Posted 1 May 2017 2:37 pm     Reply with quote

Quote:
I heard that they fired the WHOLE band after the show last Saturday. SAD!

You heard right, Reggie.
http://www.wymt.com/content/news/Renfro-Valley-musicians-lose--420911653.html
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post Posted 2 May 2017 1:23 am     Reply with quote

lots of things are changing, not just Steel Guitars. As stated earlier there is a large social change.

Some of the bands I worked with a few years back have gone to 4 piece from 5 piece, dropping the Steel . Mostly because the circuit they are playing is also dying out, the attendance is dropping . One of the premium dance rooms that has been active for many decades in the area recently closed it's doors due to lack of attendance. Our band played that room twice a month for about 5 years but you could see the crowd changing and diminishing.

Currently I still play 4 to 5 gigs a month where the Steel is dominant so all is not lost. I also recently received a call from another local well known band to maybe come out and gig with them.

Think of it another way, of the approx 60 gigs I play each year, only TWO of them have a keyboard player !

So it's 58 to 2 in favor of Steel !

A good friend of mine, also on this forum plays Steel and Sax. The band he plays with is one of the premier bands in the area, he plays near every Fri and sat night in the region and has for years. His band packs them in like peanuts in a Sardine can.
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Henry Matthews


From:
Texarkana, Ark USA
Post Posted 2 May 2017 6:11 am     Reply with quote

I went to an Opry show last Saturday night just for something to do. Drove 100 miles to get there. The band had no steel or fiddle and yet the whole show was basic country music with a small dash of 50's rock. Even though the musicians were good, the show was very very boring hearing the guitar and or piano trying to kick off country songs like Heartaches by the Number and some other country classics. Yet, most the people going think the show was great, don't think they miss steel guitar because they have never had one. I do think if a steel and fiddle were added, the patrons would notice a big difference. By the way, Once A Day Was a disaster to me being a steel player but the singer and audience never noticed.

I ran my Opry Show or 25 years and there was always steel guitar except for one night we did a 50's show. Had several gripes because they missed the steel so I started playing steel some even on our 50's nights.
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Bob Cox


From:
Buckeye State
Post Posted 2 May 2017 8:16 am     Reply with quote

was going to camp there this year, I have changed my mind now that they don't carry steel.
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Tommy Allison


From:
Transfer, Pennsylvania, USA
Post Posted 2 May 2017 10:25 am     Reply with quote

"the singer and audience never noticed" BINGO!
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Bryan Staddon


From:
Buffalo,New York,
Post Posted 2 May 2017 12:37 pm     Steel Rap Reply with quote

I play steel with some rappers in Niagara Falls, mostly spacy delay effects and big fat Chords. It's fun and really energetic with really slamming political lyrics. Bring your axe and matches we could have some fun!
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Wally Pfeifer


From:
Illinois, USA
Post Posted 2 May 2017 1:03 pm     dropping the steel Reply with quote

Sad Same way in Hawaii. The first player the hotels etc drop is the steel player. Some people go to Hawaii just to hear Hawaiian music with steel. What you now hear is slack key guitar and ukulele. I cancelled a trip to Hawaii in April because there was nothing I was interested in. Even the HSGA Convention in Hawaii seems to be in shambles. I'm interested to see if it ever recovers. Time will tell and maybe some of us are getting short on time. Best wishes to Ray Montee, who I became acquainted with back in the Jerry Byrd Fan Club days with Millie Annis.
Crying or Very sad Wally
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Don R Brown


From:
Rochester, New York, USA
Post Posted 2 May 2017 2:18 pm     Reply with quote

Barry Blackwood wrote:
Quote:
I heard that they fired the WHOLE band after the show last Saturday. SAD!

You heard right, Reggie.
http://www.wymt.com/content/news/Renfro-Valley-musicians-lose--420911653.html


Boy, that "Dear John" letter is a kick in the teeth. Unless there is more to the story, it seems like a low and even cowardly way to deal with people who have been with you for many years. Is there perhaps some internal politics going on there which would prompt such an action?
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Jay Yuskaitis


From:
Massachusetts, USA
Post Posted 2 May 2017 2:43 pm     no pedal steel Reply with quote

I have found this true in my area also. My feeling would be the sound of the "pedal steel". No matter how you play A & B and XYZ, it will always sound the same no matter who plays it. Don't get me wrong, I was totally obsessed with pedal steel from the mid '60's for many, many years. My origin was straight steel guitar and I found some twelve or so years ago, the folks I played along with, long gone now, always wanted straight steel sound. As age has taken its toll, I'd probably do the same thing again. Pedal Steel is dead in my area. No matter how you do it, enjoy. Thanks for reading. Jay Y.
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Barry Blackwood


Post Posted 2 May 2017 3:44 pm     Reply with quote

Quote:
Is there perhaps some internal politics going on there which would prompt such an action?

The politics of money.
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Don R Brown


From:
Rochester, New York, USA
Post Posted 2 May 2017 6:14 pm     Reply with quote

Barry Blackwood wrote:
Quote:
Is there perhaps some internal politics going on there which would prompt such an action?

The politics of money.


As in the band demanded too much money from the venue? Or as in the venue decided it could make more money by catering to a younger clientele?

A totally uneducated guess would be the first one. That would explain the abrupt and cold dismissal. If it were a change to a younger audience, it would seem the venue would attempt to reach both age groups, by having one era of music one night and something different the next. That option would perhaps call for fewer gigs for the long-time house band yet not require outright dismissal.

But what do I know?
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Jay Yuskaitis


From:
Massachusetts, USA
Post Posted 5 May 2017 2:36 pm     Reply with quote

Face it folks, over the years how many wannabe's played A & B and a K with the same lick over and over and over, how many picked up a pedal steel and thought they were over night stars then as now. I'll listen to, and enjoy any straight steel player who knows his place. Same with guitar, fiddle or whatever. Face it guys, you all have killed it thinking, myself included, that the band cannot live without you. WRONG, WRONG. Along with myself and my hopes, I also blame the manufacturers other than Sho Bud back when I got hooked, for enticing Billy, Bob and me into thinking the more pedals and knees you have, the better player you are, along with Best 1, then Best 2, then Best of all pickups. There are more pedal steels for sale out there than Hondas. In the late '60s when I got hooked, in my neck of the woods, all I could find with more than six strings were Fenders and Gibsons modified with home made changers. I was lucky when I got my first real pedal steel, for a months pay back then. A Marlin pull release with 5 pedals. It was tuned with the pedals down and adjusted to tune on the bridge area. Whenever you moved the guitar it had to be retuned as the pedal bottoming out, be it on a rug or hardwood floor would change the pitch. Pedal Steel is over. JMO Jay Y.
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