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Post new topic What If We’re Just Passing Fruitcakes Along?
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Author Topic:  What If We’re Just Passing Fruitcakes Along?
Chris Bauer

 

From:
Nashville, TN USA
Post  Posted 31 Jul 2019 7:43 am    
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Probably a quarter to a third of the recording I do involves replacing someone else’s parts. I have to therefore assume that at least a quarter to a third of what I play gets replaced by someone else and, in turn, many of those parts are then replaced by yet another player.

So, it occurs to me, what if steel guitar parts are actually largely like fruitcakes at the holidays in that, in reality, there are really only a small finite number of them that just keep getting passed from one person to the next?

(Kidding, of course, but it did cross my mind...)
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post  Posted 31 Jul 2019 2:39 pm    
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I would haphazard a guess that the majority of pedal steel players are basically fruitcakes. What else could explain someone who willingly carries around enough gear to overload a half-ton truck?

Glad I still have a mouth organ (or two), a Green Bullet, and a VC-508 to fall back on.
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 1 Aug 2019 12:04 am    
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Chris, your mathematical reasoning is of the highest order. A well-made cake (i.e. one with plenty of booze in it) will last for years.

Jack, I would love to follow fashion and replace my truckload with a laptop, but where I live I'm pretty much condemned to loud bands and driverless PA.
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Donny Hinson

 

From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 1 Aug 2019 3:29 am    
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We seem to be, by and large, a group of "copiers" who mostly play the same songs in much the same way. And because there are far fewer steel "trendsetters" than there are "guitar trendsetters", the music we play has much less variety. The demise of big-name singers having their own bands that they record with has only exacerbated the problem. And when you top that all off with producers who rely on only a very few players, the number of different styles people hear reduces dramatically.

This is why we (mostly) listen to players who are no longer with us for inspiration.
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Jeff Garden


From:
Center Sandwich, New Hampshire, USA
Post  Posted 1 Aug 2019 3:45 am    
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We'll know it's all over when someone invents the "player" pedal steel that has all of the canned licks loaded in it and you just press "play" in the studio.
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Mike Neer


From:
NJ
Post  Posted 1 Aug 2019 4:13 am    
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Some artists are trying to recreate something they’ve heard someone else play, so they have the sound they want etched in their minds. It kind of keeps steel players boxed in, but it also explains why steel players have such reverence for the history, because we can never seemingly escape it.
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K Maul


From:
Mechanicville NY/Hobe Sound FL
Post  Posted 1 Aug 2019 4:14 am    
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The fault,dear Bauer, is not in the Stars but in ourselves, that we are underlings. And in record producers.
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gary pierce


From:
Rossville TN
Post  Posted 1 Aug 2019 4:28 am    
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Yes its kind of funny when the recording comes out, and its not the steel part you played on it, but hey, I got paid so no big deal to me..
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Barry Blackwood


Post  Posted 1 Aug 2019 7:17 am    
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Quote:
So, it occurs to me, what if steel guitar parts are actually largely like fruitcakes at the holidays in that, in reality, there are really only a small finite number of them that just keep getting passed from one person to the next?

Nobody likes fruitcake and that's why it keeps getting passed along. It's one of the longest running gags in history...
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Kevin Fix

 

From:
Michigan, USA
Post  Posted 1 Aug 2019 7:54 am    
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I always try to keep Steel kick offs and leads like the original song so the song is recognizable to the audience. All the fill work is entirely my own taste. Originals are totally my own taste.
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Mark van Allen


From:
Watkinsville, Ga. USA
Post  Posted 1 Aug 2019 8:40 am    
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It’s been a while since I’ve done any Nashville session work, which seems to be where most of these posts are referencing. For sessions around Georgia, my recent experience has been the opposite- producers and artists seem to have a pretty clear idea what they want, and when they book me it’s for “what I do”, or what they expect from word of mouth. I can’t remember the last time one of my parts was replaced on the release, although there have been quite a few times they’ve used me to replace keys or a guitar part, usually for compositional reasons. I will say that most of the recording I get booked for is Americana, country, rock and pop with very little of what I would call “bro country.”
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Lee Baucum


From:
McAllen, Texas (Extreme South) The Final Frontier
Post  Posted 1 Aug 2019 9:32 am    
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I just checked in our pantry.

The can on our fruitcake has a tag that says:

BEST IF USED BY MARCH 2055
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA
Post  Posted 1 Aug 2019 9:52 am    
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I don't record very often. On one recording, my part was replaced by Bobby Black. I have no problem with that. Mr. Green
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Darrell Criswell

 

From:
Maryland, USA
Post  Posted 1 Aug 2019 1:02 pm    
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Johnny Carson had a theory that there was only one fruitcake in the whole world that was passed from one person to another since nobody liked to eat fruitcake.
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 2 Aug 2019 7:35 am    
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When the producer changes the player, what are they looking for? Different musical ideas? Different touch, tone, and feel for the song? The sound of a different pedal steel (“I want to hear an Emmons. This Carter isn’t doing it for me”)? A more recognizable name on the credits list?

It seems recording has always been about a producer’s sound as much as it is about the artist. Maybe that is as it should be, I don’t know. That way artists can go to producers for their particular way of handling the music. Is that how it works?
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Don R Brown


From:
Rochester, New York, USA
Post  Posted 2 Aug 2019 8:04 am    
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I guess I'm a culinary innovator. I take the fruitcake and add clams.
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA
Post  Posted 2 Aug 2019 10:25 am    
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Fred Treece wrote:
When the producer changes the player, what are they looking for? Different musical ideas? Different touch, tone, and feel for the song? The sound of a different pedal steel (“I want to hear an Emmons. This Carter isn’t doing it for me”)? A more recognizable name on the credits list?


In my case, I'm pretty sure they just wanted a better steel part than what I gave them. Embarassed
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Herb Steiner

 

From:
Spicewood TX 78669
Post  Posted 2 Aug 2019 12:17 pm    
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gary pierce wrote:
Yes its kind of funny when the recording comes out, and its not the steel part you played on it, but hey, I got paid so no big deal to me..


Well, it happened to me behind my back, and it wasn't funny in the least. In fact it was a very unpleasant conversation between me and a friend of mine I was in a band with. It actually changed our relationship.
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 2 Aug 2019 1:47 pm    
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Herb Steiner wrote:
gary pierce wrote:
Yes its kind of funny when the recording comes out, and its not the steel part you played on it, but hey, I got paid so no big deal to me..


Well, it happened to me behind my back, and it wasn't funny in the least. In fact it was a very unpleasant conversation between me and a friend of mine I was in a band with. It actually changed our relationship.

That happened to me once too. Probably not at the same level as you were, Herb, but it still pissed me off and led me to leave the band I was in. I have only done one pro studio session since then (25 years), so it was quite the turn off. My only enjoyable recording sessions have been in my home studio.
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Bob Ricker

 

From:
Nashville Tn
Post  Posted 3 Aug 2019 6:12 am    
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You mean from demo, to when masters are made, if the song gets recorded?
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Ben Lawson

 

From:
Brooksville Florida
Post  Posted 3 Aug 2019 3:36 pm    
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On my first recording session, everything I played was replaced by a steel player I replaced when he went to work with Hank W Jr.
I was honored to try to take his place and
fully understood why I was outranked by George Edwards.
What a great guy and friend.
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Rich Upright


From:
Florida, USA
Post  Posted 5 Aug 2019 9:51 pm    
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Oh; I thought this thread was about MECHANICAL parts on the steel itself, not MUSICAL parts!
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Chris Bauer

 

From:
Nashville, TN USA
Post  Posted 6 Aug 2019 11:38 am    
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Bob R. - My experience is that it happens all the time at all stages of the process. Maybe ironically, if there's a signature steel part on a demo, it seems like the player on the master is more likely to use that part than come up with something new. That can certainly go either way, though.

Otherwise, replacing parts can be for all kinds of reasons having nothing to do with the quality of the original part. I've replaced parts played by far better players than myself and have had my parts replaced by everyone from great players to true beginners. Sometimes the artist or producer rethinks how they want the track to sound. Sometimes they add other overdubs that now clash with the original part(s). Obviously it's sometimes because someone catches a missed note or tuning issue after the fact but my experience is that that's rare.
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