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Author Topic:  Bucky Baxter
Curt Trisko

St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Post Posted 14 Mar 2017 7:17 pm     Reply with quote

I've had some spare time on my hands lately so I've been learning the pedal steel arrangement from a YouTube video of a performance of Bob Dylan and band playing "Forever Young".

I think Bucky Baxter is the steel guitarist. Judging from David Letterman's hair in the video, I think it's circa 1990. It's my first time learning one of Becky Baxter's pieces and this one feels distinct from other players. Is he known for having a distinctive style?

For parts I've learned so far, his music choices seem to follow the rules of thumb, such as when he plays and how he builds and resolves tension, but a small handful of parts had me scratching my head trying to figure them out, such as when he deviates from the chord position on the fretboard.

He also seems to be using a really washed out tone. The audio quality is crappy, so it's difficult to imagine exactly what it actually sounded like as performed. But I really like it. I first heard it when I was just deciding to learn steel guitar and I haven't forgotten about it since.
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Frank Freniere

Chicago, IL
Post Posted 15 Mar 2017 5:30 am     Reply with quote

He employed a thin, jangly tone on Steve Earle's "Copperhead Road:"
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Olaf van Roggen

The Netherlands
Post Posted 15 Mar 2017 6:55 am     Reply with quote

Bucky Baxter is one of my favourite steel players, i read somewhere he was a student of Buddy Charleton.

Here is Bucky with Suzy Bogguss

I have two radio show record albums where Bucky plays with Steve Wariner in the 80's. They were a very good band the quality of the recordings aren't so good.Bucky recorded a cd in 1999 called "Most likely no problem"
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Tommy Detamore

Floresville, Texas
Post Posted 15 Mar 2017 7:23 am     Reply with quote

I have known Bucky since the mid 70's. He played with the Good Humor Band out of Richmond, Va, coming in after Bruce Bouton left. I was with a band in Charlottesville called Captain Tunes, and we would play club dates together.

He was indeed a Buddy Charleton student, along with Bruce, Pete Finney, Tommy Hannum, Jay Jessup, myself, and others.

Bucky is one fine player, and I always loved his playing on Jim Lauderdale's "Honky Tonk Haze":
Tommy Detamore
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Curt Trisko

St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Post Posted 15 Mar 2017 4:12 pm     Reply with quote

Do you guys have any insight into his style to make it easier to pick up on? For example, the combination of poor quality audio, the presence of multiple guitars, and the washed out town makes it hard for me sometimes to figure out when I'm hearing triads vs. dyads and dyads v. single notes.
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Danny Margagliano

Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, USA
Post Posted 16 Mar 2017 4:54 pm     Interview Reply with quote

This is an interview talking about being on the road with Bob Dylan. Check it out

It would've been awesome being a musician in those days. Then to take it a step further and be around one of the best ever.

Danny "wheels"Margagliano[/url]
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Curt Trisko

St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Post Posted 25 Mar 2017 5:17 pm     Reply with quote

In this song, Bucky does variations of the same phrase, but comes in on a different beat each time.

The best example is during the chorus after sliding up the fret board into vi chord. He does a descending scale of single notes, which is a normal musical choice. Each time he does it differently, keeping it fresh.

What gives me trouble is that he starts the phrase on a different beat each time. At first, I thought I just had a horrible feel for the rhythm of the song. But then I counted out the beat and sure enough a couple of the variations of the phrase are staggered. So I sit down and learn one, get it down good, and then I screw up on the other. So then I sit down and focus on the other one until I get it right, and then it screws me up on the first one again.

Here's what I think Bucky is doing - and this is what I want your opinion on. For a couple other parts of the song where Bucky flourishes, I think how he made those parts is by starting with a rough, simple phrase and then dressing it up by adding a lead-in and then tinkering with the internal rhythm of the phrase. And so therefore, in order to feel it as a natural part of the song (instead of a bolt-on) you have to feel the rhythm of the simplified version of the phrase, instead of taking it at face value.

Does this sound like the kind of thing Bucky Baxter does?
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