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Post new topic Chris Scruggs plays Jerry Byrd with the Nashville Symphony
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Author Topic:  Chris Scruggs plays Jerry Byrd with the Nashville Symphony
Pete Finney


From:
East Nashville Tn.
Post  Posted 13 Feb 2020 1:30 pm    
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I’m so proud of my old friend Chris Scruggs; tonight he will have the well-deserved honor of playing Jerry Byrd’s complete album-length “Polynesian Suite” live with the Nashville Symphony at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center here. The piece was composed for Byrd by Boudleaux Bryant, who had been both a working classical violinist and a hillbilly fiddler, besides being (of course) one of the top songwriters of all time along with his wife Felice. It was recorded for Monument Records and released in 1969, and has never been performed live. I can’t wait to hear this; Chris can channel Byrd’s touch and tone so perfectly, and this will be one to remember.

Here’s a link to a clip explaining the tribute show that this is a part of (you’ll have to forgive Bryant’s son’s unfortunate references to the “lap-top” steel!):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrfBjLHzheA

Here’s a link to youtube clips of the original (and quite rare) Byrd album:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-KvP3jy20s&list=OLAK5uy_kRLudm-n0DQi4TG7MYrJjyo1gmEcg9F5k&index=2


Chris I'm sure you’re too modest to post about this yourself; I hope you don’t mind that I did. It seems like a real milestone for our instrument, and a real tribute to how you’ve kept some of these older styles alive and vital. I hope someone is filming and recording this professionally.
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post  Posted 13 Feb 2020 1:50 pm    
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Man, oh man... would I ever love to be in Tennessee tonight!

I just finished reading Jerry's little book, where he explained the story behind that album. The 50+ piece orchestra was recorded in the RCA studios in Mexico City for financial considerations. While in Mexico rehearsing, an 8.3 earthquake nearly toppled Jerry's hotel. Jerry dubbed his "lap-top" steel tracks in Nashville shortly thereafter.
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Mike Neer


From:
NJ
Post  Posted 13 Feb 2020 4:55 pm    
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Wow, that’s just fantastic. I’m sure it will be amazing.
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Tom Snook

 

From:
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, USA
Post  Posted 13 Feb 2020 6:35 pm    
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I wonder what steel guitar he will be playing?
ALOHA
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Pete Finney


From:
East Nashville Tn.
Post  Posted 13 Feb 2020 10:54 pm    
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Chris sounded fantastic, and for what it’s worth he was playing his Fender Dual Pro through a silverface Deluxe Reverb.

Byrd’s playing was never less than stellar on any of his recordings that I know of (I’m not the expert that some are here on his playing) but to me he was at a peak in the ‘60s in terms of tone, phrasing, touch and just pure musicality. Chris has both the amazing talent and the passion for Byrd’s playing to be able to make that come alive (years of dedicated listening, practice, and study don’t hurt!). To hear that in a beautiful concert hall surrounded by an excellent orchestra (and with a receptive hometown audience) was an amazing experience.

I’ll be the first to admit that the arrangements and orchestrations from the album are more than a little quaint and dated; some beautiful moments here and there, but a lot that sounds like clichéd TV and movie writing of the era. But still an album I’ll be coming back to for Byrd’s playing, and an amazing night.
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David Matzenik


From:
Cairns, on the Coral Sea
Post  Posted 13 Feb 2020 11:10 pm    
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If "a little quaint and dated" means it was not sophisticated and up to date like the high standard we hear in contemporary popular music . . . that's a good thing, right?
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Bob Watson


From:
Champaign, Illinois, U.S.
Post  Posted 14 Feb 2020 12:03 am    
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Thanks for telling us about this concert Pete, I wish I could have been there. I sure hope that there is a professional recording of it.
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John Herb

 

From:
West Virginia, USA
Post  Posted 14 Feb 2020 5:18 am    
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Chris is a modern steel master! Such a great player and person.
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K Maul


From:
Mechanicville NY/Hobe Sound FL
Post  Posted 14 Feb 2020 7:55 am    
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I would’ve loved to have seen that!
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Kevin Maul: Asher, Airline, Beard, Clinesmith, Dobro, Evans, Excel, Fender, Fluger, Gibson, Hilton, Ibanez, Justice, K+K, Live Strings, Martin, National, Peterson, Quilter, Rickenbacher, Sho~Bud, Supro, TC, Ultimate, VHT, Webb, X-otic, Yamaha, ZKing.
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Tim Whitlock


From:
Colorado, USA
Post  Posted 14 Feb 2020 9:17 am    
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High praise for a great player (Chris) by another great player (Pete). Would love to have attended the performance.
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