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Author Topic:  Steel players who play fiddle
Will Van Horn


From:
Houston, texas
Post Posted 3 May 2017 6:58 am     Reply with quote

How many of our favorite steel players also play fiddle?
I've always been curious about how Paul Franklin's bio notes that he plays fiddle. He's credited with it on some records on allmusic. Can anyone point to a specific track with Paul on fiddle?
It seems that learning fiddle would be beneficial for one's steel playing. It has so many things in common with our instrument.
Of course, the first player I think of is Milo Deering, who is a freak of nature on just about any instrument.
It seems rare to find a utility musician who plays both steel -and- fiddle. Why?
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Earnest Bovine


From:
Los Angeles CA USA
Post Posted 3 May 2017 7:05 am     Re: Steel players who play fiddle Reply with quote

Will Van Horn wrote:
Why?


Because steel is easy and fiddle is hard.
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Lyle Dent


From:
Little Rock ,Arkansas
Post Posted 3 May 2017 7:28 am     Steel and fiddle Reply with quote

Will, the only things the pedal steels and fiddles have in common are strings. I can't think of two more distant techniques required!
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Will Van Horn


From:
Houston, texas
Post Posted 3 May 2017 7:34 am     Reply with quote

Earnest - I'm not sure if there's some humor in there, but taking you seriously I agree. It's much easier to get a "passable" steel guitar tone and vocabulary than fiddle. But why don't more utility guys who already have fiddle learn steel?

Another guy that come to my mind is Fats Kaplin.

Lyle - While I do agree that the general techniques are quite different, the instruments have a lot in common. Ability to play sustained tones, issues of intonation, similar expressive qualities, similar challenges to getting a "full" tone, etc.
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scott murray


From:
Asheville, NC
Post Posted 3 May 2017 8:18 am     Reply with quote

I play some fiddle, though not very well. I devoted a couple years to it before getting my first steel.

Unfortunately my fiddle was stolen out of my car a few years ago and I have yet to replace it Sad

Didn't Buddy Emmons start out on the fiddle?
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Henry Matthews


From:
Texarkana, Ark USA
Post Posted 3 May 2017 8:26 am     Reply with quote

I played fiddle before I ever started playing steel and as Lyle said, two completely different animals so to speak.
I think to be an accomplished fiddle player is harder than being an accomplished steel player, especially playing in a studio.
After I had been playing steel for less than six months, I was able to do a decent studio recording.
Been playing fiddle for 40 years and still hard to do. It has to be right on the money or sticks out like a sore thumb. And impossible if in flats or sharps for me and also may add F and E chord on faster stuff. But on other hand, I never practice fiddle anymore, just play when need arises.
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Henry Matthews

D-10 1975 Emmons p/p Black Woodneck Bolt-on
LTD amp, Nashville 400 amp, Hilton pedal, BJS bar, Kyser picks, Live steel Strings. No effects, doodads or stomp boxes.
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John Brock


From:
Xenia, Ohio
Post Posted 3 May 2017 9:35 am     Fiddl'in Reply with quote

No player by any means,but I do like to ..try...fidlin.Ive alays found the best music to play along with was steel musc...works for me..just a thought
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Tommy Detamore


From:
Floresville, Texas
Post Posted 3 May 2017 9:56 am     Reply with quote

Bobby Flores kills on both.

My old roomate John Clark who has been with Moe Bandy for many years is excellent on both as well.

Years ago I made a serious effort to try to learn the fiddle. After running off the few friends I had in the world, I decided it wasn't in the cards for me Laughing

Seriously, it has to be the hardest instrument on the planet to play well.
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Tommy Detamore

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Last edited by Tommy Detamore on 3 May 2017 9:59 am; edited 1 time in total
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Scott Shipley


From:
The Ozark Mountains
Post Posted 3 May 2017 9:59 am     Reply with quote

I do but I suck equally on both.
Smile
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Brett Day


From:
Pickens, SC
Post Posted 3 May 2017 1:21 pm     Reply with quote

Don Herron played steel and fiddle with BR5-49.
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scott murray


From:
Asheville, NC
Post Posted 3 May 2017 10:01 pm     Reply with quote

speaking of Milo Deering, check this out: Raisin' the Dickens
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Joe Casey


From:
Weeki Wachee .Springs FL (population.9)
Post Posted 4 May 2017 6:26 am     Reply with quote

Terry Sutton,Great on both.
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Jack Strayhorn


From:
Winston-Salem, NC
Post Posted 4 May 2017 9:43 am     Reply with quote

I think the session fiddle player you are referring to is Larry Franklin.
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Bill Flores


From:
Ventura, California, USA
Post Posted 4 May 2017 11:17 am     steel players who play fiddle Reply with quote

Larry Campbell...there are some videos on YouTube of a young Larry with Doug Sahm, in Scandinavia , he switches from fiddle to pedal steel on a couple songs...excellent playing on both instruments.
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Tim Bennett


From:
Sydney, Australia
Post Posted 4 May 2017 2:23 pm     Reply with quote

Not a country player, but David Lindley, Jackson Brown's slide player plays fiddle. I also recall from an interview I read that he said it was the hardest instrument he ever learned...And he's played most of them Whoa!

Raises an interesting question though, what are the most useful extra instruments for a steel player on the bandstand? Especially for those not playing straight ahead country, when steel doesn't fit the tune.

Guitar's the obvious one, although I always figured harmonica would be useful...
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Bill Cunningham


From:
Atlanta, Ga. USA
Post Posted 4 May 2017 4:54 pm     Reply with quote

My dad was a well respected fiddler in the southeast so natually I gave it a good try. Scratch, scratch, scratch...

When I got a steel guitar, a family friend showed me basic proper left and right hand techniques, I got the Sho-Bud tab books (we're talking early 1970's) and pretty quickly I was making a pretty decent sound.

So, I agree with those here who have said, fiddle is harder!
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Atlanta, GA
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J R Rose


From:
Keota, Oklahoma, USA
Post Posted 4 May 2017 6:03 pm     Reply with quote

Henry is being modest. He is an excellent fiddle player. Plus an excellent steel guitar player. And a very nice Gentleman on top of that. J.R.
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Henry Matthews


From:
Texarkana, Ark USA
Post Posted 4 May 2017 6:10 pm     Reply with quote

Yes, fiddle is harder than playing steel. I started out playing Texas hoedowns and made all the fiddle contest all over for many years. Some of the most fun times of my life were the fiddle contest. I always won something so made the trips worth while. In 1988 when I started playing steel, I just basically quit fiddle hoedown playing and focused more on country and back up. Can't hardly play any hoedowns all way thru anymore so don't go to contest any more. It's still hard for me in studio to get notes on the money with fiddle and can do a lot better with steel even though I haven't played steel as long.

Bobby Flores and Milo Deering are just awesome on both, well, all instruments. I've seen very few that are proficient on both instruments so I will say it's a hard combination steel and fiddle. See a lot of steel players that play great guitar and even banjo but fiddle is few and far between.
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Henry Matthews

D-10 1975 Emmons p/p Black Woodneck Bolt-on
LTD amp, Nashville 400 amp, Hilton pedal, BJS bar, Kyser picks, Live steel Strings. No effects, doodads or stomp boxes.
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Henry Matthews


From:
Texarkana, Ark USA
Post Posted 4 May 2017 6:12 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks J.R. For the nice compliment. We must have been typing at same time. Smile
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Henry Matthews

D-10 1975 Emmons p/p Black Woodneck Bolt-on
LTD amp, Nashville 400 amp, Hilton pedal, BJS bar, Kyser picks, Live steel Strings. No effects, doodads or stomp boxes.
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Don R Brown


From:
Rochester, New York, USA
Post Posted 4 May 2017 8:09 pm     Reply with quote

Three who come to mind are Carmen Acciaioli in Texas, Sandy Watson in upstate New York, and forumite Rick Campbell in Tennessee.
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Ben Lawson


From:
Hillsborough N.J.
Post Posted 5 May 2017 4:32 pm     Reply with quote

Doug Stock and Bo Frazier play both. Bo is in Florida and Doug was somewhere around the Rocky Mts.
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Rich Upright


From:
Florida, USA
Post Posted 5 May 2017 11:44 pm     Reply with quote

I play banjo,guitar,and bass. Does that count?
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Rick Campbell


From:
Sneedville, TN, USA
Post Posted 7 May 2017 7:27 pm     Reply with quote

Don R Brown wrote:
Three who come to mind are Carmen Acciaioli in Texas, Sandy Watson in upstate New York, and forumite Rick Campbell in Tennessee.


Don...thanks for mentioning me.

RC
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Rick Campbell


From:
Sneedville, TN, USA
Post Posted 7 May 2017 7:28 pm     Reply with quote

Don R Brown wrote:
Three who come to mind are Carmen Acciaioli in Texas, Sandy Watson in upstate New York, and forumite Rick Campbell in Tennessee.


Don...thanks for mentioning me.

Race
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Don R Brown


From:
Rochester, New York, USA
Post Posted 8 May 2017 4:51 am     Reply with quote

Rick Campbell wrote:


Don...thanks for mentioning me.

RC


We had a great time that evening Rick, have not forgotten you. (I sure do forget a lot of OTHER stuff tho! Laughing )
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