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Author Topic:  Your Pick For The Big "E" Of Today
Tron Standridge

 

From:
Georgia, USA
Post  Posted 16 Aug 2018 8:10 pm    
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To me I think tommy white is close to buddy Emmons playing but in his on style he comes up with all these licks and so does loyd green but buddy Emmons will still always will be Number 1 I remember in 1974 when buddy use to play all that fast stuff nobody counl'd touch him the only person that comes close to eat is tommy white!
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA
Post  Posted 16 Aug 2018 9:17 pm    
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I don't think the question is "Who sounds like Emmons?" or "Who can play as good as Emmons?". There are several players that can check that box. To me, it's more of "who can innovate and make a difference in the steel guitar world like Emmons did?".

Maybe the window of opportunity has closed, as Steve Hinson said, "Those conditions don't exist today."

Every time I sit down to play, I think "What a wonderful invention this is." I know that Buddy Emmons played a major role in making the pedal steel what it is today. There may never again be a single person with that combination of genius and influence in our musical community.
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Steve Hinson

 

From:
Hendersonville Tn USA
Post  Posted 16 Aug 2018 10:33 pm     Bingo...
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Spot on,Bob...

Not who can play like Emmons,or fast as Emmons,etc...

Who can make a difference like Emmons did?

I say nobody...
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Tyler Hall


From:
Spring Hill, TN
Post  Posted 17 Aug 2018 2:10 am    
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I think you're right, Steve. I don't see it ever happening again at the level Buddy did. He didn't change the game, he invented it.
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Chris Templeton


From:
The Green Mountain State
Post  Posted 17 Aug 2018 3:33 am    
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From my recollection of what Buddy said to me, the push-pull design conditions included, driving the tour bus, late at night, juiced on caffeine or whatever.
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Last edited by Chris Templeton on 17 Aug 2018 3:50 am; edited 1 time in total
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Barry Coker


From:
Bagley Alabama, USA
Post  Posted 17 Aug 2018 3:38 am    
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I read an article once that had a line in it that said
"When Rock and Roll was born FENDER was the Delivery Room and Leo was the Doctor".
With the Pedal Steel I think Buddy was the "God Father" who watched over, and raised it in to what it is today. He built something or at least tweaked it and molded it into what it is.
There are many great Player who can play the notes and make the music but he was the First and without completely changing the instrument the time to be the next "Big E" I think is gone.
Barry
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Jim Cohen


From:
Philadelphia, PA
Post  Posted 17 Aug 2018 4:05 am    
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"...But there will never, ever be another you..." Smile
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Roger Rettig


From:
Naples, FL
Post  Posted 17 Aug 2018 4:48 am    
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I've edited my earlier post.

I agree with Steve Hinson and with b0b. (Also, to some degree, with Jimbo. Very Happy )
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post  Posted 17 Aug 2018 6:52 am    
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b0b wrote:
I don't think the question is "Who sounds like Emmons?" or "Who can play as good as Emmons?". There are several players that can check that box. To me, it's more of "who can innovate and make a difference in the steel guitar world like Emmons did?".

Which is why I picked Russ Pahl, who seems to be pushing the envelope a little bit. Robert Randolph is another. Most everyone else seems to be doing (or attempting to do) what Buddy Emmons was doing 40 years ago, when he set the bar so high it's likely never to be topped.
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Dave Mudgett


From:
Central Pennsylvania
Post  Posted 17 Aug 2018 8:36 am    
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I totally agree with Steve on this. There are so many possible dimensions to this question. Virtuosity, originality, influence, advancement of the physical instrument, and just sheer brilliance. Buddy had "it" on all counts at the most important and pivotal places and times for steel guitar, and particularly pedal steel guitar. True "greatness" in this sense is a combination of what's inside the person and also having all that at the right place and time.

IMO, Buddy was the major paradigm shift in pedal steel, much like Newton and Einstein were the major paradigm shifts in physics. He opened up an entire era of pedal steel which we are still very much in and I see no real sign of abating.

It's possible that someone will catalyze a major paradigm shift like this again, but I can't picture how or when it might happen. Note the time distance between Newton and Einstein - roughly a couple hundred years.
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Greg Derksen

 

From:
Alberta, Canada
Post  Posted 17 Aug 2018 1:22 pm    
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I think Buddy is the main tree trunk of the modern pedal steel , but I also think guys like Paul and Tommy are big branches off the trunk, and have taken it to new levels of exploring, I think both those guys have their own sound, no doubt about it.

Buddy played with so much heart and soul, he was a great technician too but it was always the cool lines and musicality that came through,

Also, how many guys have really "mastered" both necks like Buddy?

Paul, Tommy, Doug Jernigan, Buck Reid, really not that many have "mastered" that,
missing a few I know, but it's Rare.

Amazing accomplishment, Buddy was, and is, Totally Unique.

Pedal steel version of a Chet Atkins, or a Tony Rice,bluegrass flat picking , or in the Rock world, EVH.

Greg
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Bill Moran

 

From:
Virginia, USA
Post  Posted 17 Aug 2018 1:48 pm    
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Don't forget Milo ? That man can do it all.
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Kevin Fix

 

From:
Michigan, USA
Post  Posted 17 Aug 2018 4:45 pm    
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By seeing things that Paul is doing today I believe he is a innovator in this day and age of Pedal Steel Guitar. I see this with his ability and desire to teach what he knows. He is giving back. He is a true master in his own right. This is not about the best or fastest, but a innovator.
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Steve Hinson

 

From:
Hendersonville Tn USA
Post  Posted 19 Aug 2018 7:55 am    
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Let me just say that I'm not arguing about anyone's qualifications for the title"the big E of today"...

...it's my opinion that there ain't one...

...and there ain't likely to be one...
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Tony Smart

 

From:
Harlow. Essex. England
Post  Posted 19 Aug 2018 8:50 am    
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Perhaps you could also say "The Big E" gave a lot of us "The Big I".

Inspiration to learn and play the instrument.
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Dave Mudgett


From:
Central Pennsylvania
Post  Posted 19 Aug 2018 9:40 am    
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I knew this discussion would get into discussions of "innovator", "mastery", and other technical issues, as if stating that Buddy was historically unique is somehow a slight on the great masters who have come since. Jim Cohen stated, "I don't care for the question but ...". I agree with that basic preface/thought-kernel because the moment you try to point out the unique position Buddy played - IMO, really a revolution in virtually all aspects of pedal steel - it really could be confused with a slight on everyone else. But it's really not a slight - the way revolutionaries are viewed in history is composed of much more than technical issues like technique, mastery, or even innovation - i.e., more than exactly what they did.

But yes, there are a number of "masters", "innovators", and people who are taking the instrument to new places. We haven't even discussed all of them. I expect that everyone here agrees that the instrument has evolved and continues to evolve significantly.

Stated another way, my point is that, IMO, Buddy Emmons was a revolution in pedal steel that, for the most part, has defined and continues to define the mainstream of thought about pedal steel guitar. I also think there can be players whose mastery even significantly eclipses that of a true revolutionary without causing that type of paradigm shift. The revolution happens when it causes an irreversible change in the way people view the pedal steel guitar - in this case, the way most players approach the instrument, the way others view the instrument, and so on.

Philosophers and scientists get into discussions like this all the time - e.g., Thomas Kuhn's "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Structure_of_Scientific_Revolutions

I think the basic ideas go beyond the hard sciences, definitely into the social sciences, and I believe, the arts. And it should not surprise anybody that not everybody views this kind of stuff the same way. But this is the way I view it.
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Steve Hinson

 

From:
Hendersonville Tn USA
Post  Posted 19 Aug 2018 9:46 am    
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What Dave said...
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Mitch Ellis

 

From:
Collins, Mississippi USA
Post  Posted 19 Aug 2018 10:11 am     Re: Your Pick For The Big
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Kevin Fix wrote:
My pick for the spot that the "Big E" left vacant


"Left vacant" are the key words here. The question was not "Who can play better" or "Who can be as innovative". To answer the question specifically, I would say LLoyd Green because the SD10 with a pad was his idea and is still in common use today. And if I remember correctly, the "E" to "F" raise was also his idea and is still a standard change in use today. But who among us is willing to raise their hand and say "OK folks. I'm here to take John Hughey's place because I'm just as good at everything as he was." Buddy Emmons, LLoyd Green, John Hughey, and others are all irreplaceable for different reasons. In a way, the question is impossible to answer.

Mitch
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 19 Aug 2018 11:21 am    
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Another thing that happens with discussions like this is they get too long for people to read through all the posts and things get repeated but maybe in a different way and someone will say yeah I agree with that and I’m all like okay I’ll take that as affirmative acknowledgement too. Just kinda funny is all. Opine on, mates.
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Johnie King

 

From:
Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 26 Aug 2018 9:08 am    
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Jack Strayhorn u got it right Steve Palousek my pick too by far.
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Bob Ricker

 

From:
Nashville Tn
Post  Posted 26 Aug 2018 10:10 am    
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I agree with Steve in the sense that many times a persons success or height of success depends on timing or "how the stars align". Producers that hire at the right time, artist that come along with the right producer that hires you, come in contact other creators such as Ron Lashly with resources to really create and build, or others wanting to create as well at the right time, and creating opportunity from chance circumstance.

Of course being a good player and inventive continuously was a key. How many people were thinking about making a better pedal steel? Probably not many. So Buddy's gumption to create and continue to look for improvement, along with the opportunity to play a lot was a driving force. Many players today wouldn't be in that situation.
But those that record daily today and find purpose to change and create are fully capable of doing so.
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Bobby D. Jones

 

From:
West Virginia, USA
Post  Posted 27 Aug 2018 2:01 pm     Your Pick for the Big E of Today
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To me There is some great players, But there was only one BIG E
Mr. Emmons came at a critical time in the developing of what we know today as a Steel Guitar.
In reading and watching everything I can find of the history of steel guitar.
Mr. Emmons was a very musical person, A great showman, A very people person, and great musician.
Mr. Emmons figured out a lot of the pulls and lowers we take for granted today. When he got back off the road, He went to Shot Jackson and they figured out how to apply it to the guitar.
To me Mr. Emmons and Shot Jackson to the Steel Guitar as the Wright Brothers were to the airplane,
They developed and flew it. Now we just fly it or ride it.
And hope no parts break or fall off and we crash and burn, In the middle of a ride on our steel guitar today, Just like a plane ride.
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Bob Ricker

 

From:
Nashville Tn
Post  Posted 27 Aug 2018 4:29 pm    
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I could see someone making a somewhat non-mechanical Synth-like pedal steel at some point if there was a genuine business case behind it.


Light weight case that held a control card and looked like a pedal steel body with knobs and buttons and small screen for control and set ups. Fold down legs with an attachable/adjustable carbon fiber pedal board with a connectorized light cable that connected to the body.

Would have unbreakable strings to emulate strings for pick/bar realistic feel.

Light weight, always in tune, synthesized control over each string-tons of options and storage for favorites. Punch a button to change tunings.

Would be great for on-the road or where super light weight instruments were needed.


Comparable to using a keyboard VS Grand Piano or 61 key Synth VS a B3.
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Steve Allison

 

From:
Eatonton,Ga. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 27 Aug 2018 6:37 pm    
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And lets not forget that true country music seemed to have brought out the best in the best players as to the way E9 lays out. Just as western swing lays out to C6. As I stated before, we don't have the Major market of songwriters like we once did. The drinking cheating lost love songs of Bill Anderson, Dallas Frazier, Harlan Howard and on and on. These kids now a days just don't have a clue as to how the clubs and Real Life was in the 50,s and 60's were. I hate to preach but, most of you should know what I am saying. Shame to have let it all go by the wayside. Steve Hinson and I have played all those old Ga. clubs back in the day.Eddie Thomas too. That's how we learned! It's just not there much anymore.
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Paul King

 

From:
Gainesville, Texas, USA
Post  Posted 29 Aug 2018 2:18 am    
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I was talking to a well known steel player this weekend and he said Buddy Emmons and Maurice Anderson were tops on his list. Both men have passed but today at steel shows I will have to say Doug Jernigan grabs my attention. He seems to always come up with something fresh and has everything a player desires, speed, accuracy, super player on both necks and wonderful tone.
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