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Author Topic:  The Phoenix Steel Show
Joe Goldmark

San Francisco, CA 94131
Post Posted 15 Jan 2017 6:16 pm     Reply with quote

Just got back from my first time attending the Phoenix Steel Guitar Show. This show is a little looser, in a good way, than either Saint Louis or Dallas. They had a scheduling snafu where the Friday and Saturday evening shows were moved to the downstairs lounge (at the Hilton). This actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it was much more fun and less sterile than in the ballroom. There were many excellent players, some whom I'd never seen before. I'm going to mention a few personal highlights. First, the young guys:

Jonathan Candler and Jacob King are both amazing talented players. Jonathan seems to have so many ideas and unique licks that I think he will be one of the innovators in years to come. Jacob is 15 and has only been playing a few years, but he plays so tastefully and maturely, way beyond his years.

I enjoyed hearing Bobby Black play pedal, as the last few times I've seen him locally he's been on lap steel. Also it's always a treat to hear Jaydee play, and I know that he's a big supporter of this show. My old friend Jim Cohen, has really taken his playing to the next level and has become a fine jazz player, and Doug Livingston played an amazing solo Beach Boy medley taken exclusively from the "Beach Boys Today" LP. Herb Steiner played an ultra smooth C6 set and is always fun to talk to. Steve Palousek is a monster "must see" player, and Al Brisco is a clean no BS player, and great to talk with, even if he is from Canada...

One of the pleasant surprises was seeing Rick Schmidt play tunes that are a little out of the box, but always musical. Speaking of Rick, he also alternated on bass with Peter Freiberger in a kick-ass house band. The a fore mentioned Doug Livingston alternated on piano with Skip Edwards and it was fun seeing guitar legend Harry Orlove who alternated with other excellent players. Great fiddler also, who's name slips my mind and the cool drumming of Dan Range. All these guys could cover multiple styles of music, and never seemed to lose it. I also got to hang, hear and renew acquaintances with old friends Russ Hicks, Tommy Dodd, Carco Clave, Kevin Ryan, Blackie Taylor, John McClung and Chuck Lettes.

Finally, Sez Adamson came over from South Africa. This guy is unique and is a special player. He uses big jazz chords and you should check him out on YouTube if you're unaware of him. Also it was a treat to see Travis Toy from Nashville, a guy I've been hearing about for years.

As far as I could tell, a good time was had by all. Thanks to Telonics for supplying the amps and the Infinity, Mullen, GFI & Justice steel manufacturers for demonstrating their axes and supporting the show. I apologize for omitting some steelers and some fine house musicians, but I missed some sets.

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Fred Justice

Mesa, Arizona
Post Posted 15 Jan 2017 6:45 pm     Reply with quote

Joe, thank you for coming.
Jacob King is only 13 years old. Whoa!
Phone: 480-986-2599
Justice Steel Guitars and Accessories~Hilton Pedals~S.I.T. Strings
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Jim Cohen

Philadelphia, PA
Post Posted 16 Jan 2017 10:43 am     Reply with quote

Hey Joe, it was great to run into you at the show. I'm glad we had a good chance to hang at breakfast.

You're right: it was a super show with so many outstanding players. Jacob King was the surprise of the weekend. Just 13 years old and playing only 2 years and has already nailed a whole lotta E9 and C6 Emmons-style playing. A great tribute to his musical intelligence and dedication, Dad and Grandpa both being musicians, and his teacher, Mike McGee. It's great that the SWSGA invited him to play; he is definitely one to watch for the future!

The other special treat was getting to hear Sez Adamson play for the first time. Loved his set. If anyone hasn't heard him yet, check out his YouTube videos for some great, unaccompanied, lush C6 arrangements of standards.

Thanks for sticking around for my set on Saturday night and for the nice comments on my playing, Joe. I appreciate that and the opportunity to be a part of this fine show for 14 years. My thanks to Fred, Troy, Peggy, and all the fine folks at SWSGA for making this all possible every year.

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kevin ryan

San Marcos, California
Post Posted 16 Jan 2017 12:41 pm     Reply with quote

Joe, it was such a treat to see you again... Last time was with Billy C Farlow at the Stingeree in Encinitas, Ca maybe 80-84ish? Great talking with you too. Travis Toy was also one of the highlights of the show and He helped ( all the heavy lifting ) at the advanced class with me... Mark Abbott was the fiddle and vocalist extraordinare.. What a side guy he is.. Fun show and maybe you join in next year????
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Jim Park

Carson City, Nv
Post Posted 16 Jan 2017 4:59 pm     Reply with quote

Very well said Joe, I went for the first time also, and had a superb time as well. It was great to make some new friends and see some old ones too!
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Tommy Detamore

Floresville, Texas
Post Posted 17 Jan 2017 7:02 am     Reply with quote

Thanks for this Joe! Sounds like a great time! So wanted to be there but I had to work a few Lauder-dates 😜.

Me and Dallas Wayne were talking about you over dinner last night. He told some great road stories from the Twangebanger days 😉
Tommy Detamore
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Jason King

Missouri, USA
Post Posted 17 Jan 2017 7:55 am     Reply with quote

Thanks for the kind words guys. We had a great time and met some great people. Jacob had a blast and enjoyed every minute of it. Especially getting to fly. Thanks to all that made this a great event.
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Joe Goldmark

San Francisco, CA 94131
Post Posted 17 Jan 2017 4:47 pm     Reply with quote

Hey Tommy,

I miss Dallas Wayne. I'm so happy for him, that he went from being a struggling musician to country radio maven on Sirius XM. Great guy and a good story teller as you allude to. Hope you're doing well and keeping that studio booked, as well as doing that wonderful pickin'.

Jim Cohen, always good to see you and to hang the few chances that we get.

Kevin Ryan, thanks for pointing out that it was Mark Abbott on fiddle. What a tasteful player. I think the Billy C. Farlow days were in the late 1970s. You've become quite a good player.

Jim Park, Fred and Jason, thanks for chiming in.

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Ben Rubright

Punta Gorda, Florida, USA
Post Posted 17 Jan 2017 10:35 pm     Reply with quote

What are the dates for next year? has not been posted on the website as yet.
D10 Emmons LeGrande SKH (rebuilt by Billy Knowles), D10 Emmons Push/Pull (setup by Billy Knowles) , SD10 Rittenberry
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