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Post new topic Bill Keith- WOW!
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Author Topic:  Bill Keith- WOW!
Karlis Abolins


From:
(near) Seattle, WA, USA
Post  Posted 2 Mar 2019 6:13 pm    
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Recently, I was looking for lyrics to "Way Up On Clinch Mountain". Google had some suggestions including a version recorded on an album called "Sweet Dreams and Quiet Desires" by Borderline. I have a beat-up vinyl copy of that record so I pulled it out and listened to it. The song on the record is called "Clinch Mountain". It features Jim Rooney on vocal and Bill Keith on pedal steel. I love the album but haven't listened to it in years.
The genre is Americana from before it was called Americana. Bill Keith's pedal steel arrangements on the album are simple but they knock my socks off. Those of us who started out with Winnie Winston's book are familiar with Bill Keith's arrangements. Tasteful and simple!
Youtube has the album "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvtV6LEgb2E" for those who are interested.

Karlis Abolins
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scott murray


From:
Asheville, NC
Post  Posted 2 Mar 2019 7:36 pm    
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thanks for sharing

Bill is one of my favorites and an early influence. I picked up the Blue Velvet Band's Sweet Moments album when I was just a wee banjo picker and Bill's steel playing blew me away. it's on youtube too

https://youtu.be/I7x6Buyezhg

Bill only played banjo on a couple songs, the rest is steel... including an excellent instrumental he penned, second to last song on the album.

Bill's steel is all over those early Jonathan Edwards albums too, and a song on the Muleskinner record. he eventually gave up playing steel. too many strings, he said. the forum's own Gordon Titcomb plays some excellent steel with Bill on this bluegrass classic:

https://youtu.be/4cm7SqzTxuk
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John Macy


From:
Denver, CO/Rockport, TX
Post  Posted 3 Mar 2019 7:41 am    
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Love Bill! My first band in New England played a lot of package shows with Jonathan Edwards and the Lily Brothers which featured Jim Rooney. Bill would play banjo with Jim and the Lily’s and the steel with Jonathan. A lot of great hangs with Bill! I always loved the Blue Velvet Band and vaguely remember Borderline which I now need a copy of. Looks like it available in Japan. Thanks for the heads up!

Jim Rooney and the Irregulars still play occasion gigs in Nashvillewith Dan Dugmore on steel...
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John Macy
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Stu Schulman


From:
Ulster Park New Yawk
Post  Posted 4 Mar 2019 1:45 am    
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I was lucky enough to take a few lessons from Bill in about 1970,he never took any money from my broke butt,My first lesson lasted about 6hours and Bill armed me with enough stuff so I would be able to make a living for many years,I recently ran into Bill's son Martin who builds guitars and has Bill's Emmons with the ZigZag sticker.
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Bob Knetzger


From:
Kirkland, WA USA
Post  Posted 6 Mar 2019 11:08 am    
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Always dug Bill's steel playing, specially on the Blue Velvet Band LP way back when. Very musical, not just plugging together stock licks, but real thought given to original voicings and placing the melody. The same could be said of his banjo playing: respected the cannon of the banjo playing styles before him, incorporated the musical "cliches" and the sonic physics of the instrument and the tunings, but then took it forward in his own very musical way. Actually very heady.

Only met him in later years at a banjo camp thing. Always very generous with his music and explaining what he does. We chatted about steel playing and he offered to make me a cassette dupe of the "Dadi In Nashville" project he played banjo on. (Great Emmons playing on it, as well perfect TWIN harmony melodic banjo parts by Keith and Bobby Thompson!) I never heard from him again ...until a year later when the tapes showed up in my mailbox. He said sorry for the delay, but he first had to service his broken belt-driven turntable! I'll never forget his kindness.
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David Ball


From:
Linville, North Carolina
Post  Posted 6 Mar 2019 12:03 pm    
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I taught at some banjo camps where Bill was also teaching. I had several opportunities to just sit around and talk with him--really nice guy.

Beyond having just about the most chops of anyone I ever met, the thing that amazed me about him is that he could be playing some pretty intense jazz improv on the banjo and carrying on a conversation at the same time. Not even talking in rhythm!

Really glad I had the chance to meet him.

Dave
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Sam Werbalowsky


From:
New York, USA
Post  Posted 9 Mar 2019 12:09 pm    
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I think there's twin steel on that 'Dadi in Nashville' album...Buddy Emmons and someone else, can't remember who off the top of my head. I know Fooch (forum member) has some stories about Bill, Bobby, and that session.
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scott murray


From:
Asheville, NC
Post  Posted 9 Mar 2019 12:17 pm    
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Curly Chalker is on it too. I love the picture of Buddy inside the album


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Keith Murrow


Post  Posted 9 Mar 2019 8:13 pm    
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Nice! Thanks for posting the link, Karlis! Great stuff.
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