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Post new topic Tunes Of The Week #20 - Ben Keith
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Author Topic:  Tunes Of The Week #20 - Ben Keith
Joe Goldmark


From:
San Francisco, CA 94131
Post Posted 31 May 2011 5:44 pm     Reply with quote

Steeler: Ben Keith

Artist: Faron Young with the Country Deputies
Labels: Country Time and Grand Ole Opry
Tunes: Steelin' Away, Panhandle Rag,
Year: Transcriptions from the mid to late '50s.
Artist: Neil Young
Tune: Heart Of Gold
Album: Harvest, Reprise MS 2032, 1972

I got to hang out with Ben Keith weeks before he died last year. He played at an in-store at Amoeba Music with Peggy Young, Neil's wife. He was very nice and in good spirits. R.I.P.

With Neil (and Peggy), Ben seemingly never played a hot lick. It was all chordal licks and textures. Obviously this was what Neil wanted, but you'd think Ben would have slipped in some single notes here and there, especially considering what a hot picker he was back in the day.

The instrumentals are taken from transcriptions of live shows with Faron Young. There have been many incarnations of the Country Deputies, and this was a particularly good era with legendary guitarist Odell Brown and fiddler Dale Potter. In those days Ben was a crony of Jimmy Day, and you can hear his early use of pedals (what would become the E9 tuning) on Steelin' Away.


Steelin' Away
http://www.vinylbeat.com/forum/01SteelinAway.mp3


Panhandle Rag
http://www.vinylbeat.com/forum/02PanhandleRag.mp3



Heart Of Gold
http://www.vinylbeat.com/forum/03HeartOfGold.mp3


Last edited by Joe Goldmark on 26 Apr 2017 7:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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Russ Tkac


Post Posted 31 May 2011 6:35 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks Joe! Nice to see Ben featured.

Russ
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Jim Robbins


From:
Ontario, Canada
Post Posted 31 May 2011 7:38 pm     Reply with quote

Joe, I've been remiss in thanking you for these great posts. This one was an eye-opener, as was #17 -- Leon's band reminded me a little of that whole late 1930s-1940s alternate "cool"/avant garde thing (Claude Thornhill/Gil Evans' "Snowfall", John Kirby's band) that got overshadowed (at least in retrospect) by bebop.

I learn something from every post. Thanks again, & keep 'em coming.
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Larry Tracy


From:
Nevada City, CA, USA
Post Posted 1 Jun 2011 1:17 pm     Reply with quote

As always thanks for posting songs of the week. It is great that people get to hear how Ben sounded in his earlier days. I thought he didn't get to cut loose with Neil too. But I have to say, I just heard samples of the new live cd that Neil just put with the International Harvesters from 1985 and Ben is all over it. Forgot how cool that band sounded. Looking forward to whomever you got for us next week.
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Barry Blackwood


Post Posted 1 Jun 2011 3:38 pm     Reply with quote

Quote:
There have been many incarnations of the Country Deputies, and this was a particularly good era with legendary guitarist Odell Brown and fiddler Dale Potter.

Joe, did you mean to say Odell Martin? Confused
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Joe Goldmark


From:
San Francisco, CA 94131
Post Posted 1 Jun 2011 9:38 pm     Reply with quote

Oops, yeah Odell Martin. Odell Brown is a funky B3 player, and probably wasn't in Faron's band... Thanks Barry.

Also thanks for the encouragement from all of you. I get a kick out of finally learning how to do a little bit of current technology (that every 14 year old can do in their sleep), and actually post some fun music and pictures.

Joe
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Barry Blackwood


Post Posted 2 Jun 2011 6:32 am     Reply with quote

Joe, don't let my nitpicking get you down - you're doing a great job! Smile
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Chris Dorch


From:
Wisconsin, USA
Post Posted 3 Jun 2011 12:00 pm     Reply with quote

The other night on Paladia (t.v. channel), there was the MusiCares concert for Neil Young. Greg Leisz was the steeler for the evening. While he and Ben have different styles, Greg played very much like Ben. Tasteful playing with very few runs.

Ben is missed..

R.I.P.
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