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Post new topic Who is Your Favorite Steel Guitar Player?
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Author Topic:  Who is Your Favorite Steel Guitar Player?
Brian Adams


From:
Nevada, USA
Post Posted 2 Aug 2017 12:35 pm     Reply with quote

Buddy Emmons: Mainly for his tour de force album "Minors Aloud" with one of my guitar heroes, Lenny Breau.

Maurice Anderson: As a music student in the mid-70s I played lead trombone in the college jazz band. One of our tasks was to serve as the backup band for guest artists headlining the annual Reno International Jazz Festival finale concert. Being a jazz festival, the artists were mostly well-known sax or trumpet men, but one year (1975?) there's this pedal steel player setting up, named Maurice Anderson. Huh? Did he show up at he at the wrong gig or something? The festival organizer, a music professor, smiled and winked knowingly, saying only "Just you wait."

We had rehearsed Reece's charts beforehand, all straight ahead swingin' roaring bebop, without him, not knowing what instrument he played. At the concert, he sits down at his steel out front, nodded to the bandleader, and off we went! Some of us could hardly play, we were so astonished by what Reece was playing. This was the first live pedal steel I had ever heard, and what he did with that instrument, in concert, in front of 600 hard-core jazz junkies, blew the mind of this 20-year-old kid.
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Tim Heidner


From:
Port Arthur, TX
Post Posted 2 Aug 2017 2:35 pm     Reply with quote

Probably have to go with Junior Brown non pedal and Gary Carter pedal.
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Brian Adams


From:
Nevada, USA
Post Posted 2 Aug 2017 2:58 pm     Reply with quote

I will add Red Rhodes and Sneaky Pete Kleinow.
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Bobby Nelson


From:
North Carolina, USA
Post Posted 6 Aug 2017 2:13 am     Reply with quote

Non-pedal: Don Helms Jr Brown & Kayton. I saw Jr at the Double Door in Charlotte in the 90's - Man is he good!

Pedal Jimmy Day
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Lee Wilber


From:
Davenport, Florida, USA (near Orlando)
Post Posted 6 Aug 2017 5:39 am     Steel players Reply with quote

I looked through all the names of the best steel players and did not see Jor Wright named at all. Hes my favorite. Lee
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C. E. Jackson


From:
Mississippi, USA
Post Posted 16 Aug 2017 6:00 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks to everyone for the posts. We have many different great favorites.

C. E. Smile
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Bill Groner


From:
QUAKERTOWN, PA
Post Posted 18 Sep 2017 9:28 am     Reply with quote

After hearing Chuck Lettes play Goldfinger I have changed my favorite Pedal Steel player and Lap Steel player to him. WOW! Very Happy
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George Keoki Lake


From:
Edmonton, AB., Canada
Post Posted 18 Sep 2017 11:53 am     Reply with quote

NON PEDAL: DICK McINTIRE, BILLY HEW LEN
PEDAL: (The awesome) BILL STAFFORD !

These are merely my favourites. However the steel guitar is such a unique musical instrument, trying to pick a 'favourite', (living or dead), is mighty impossible....agree ?
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C. E. Jackson


From:
Mississippi, USA
Post Posted 22 Sep 2017 9:48 am     Reply with quote

Nostalgia again finds me looking at a book by my favorite steel player, Don Helms:
SETTING THE WOODS ON FIRE 2005.

Interesting Information:
1. Estimate of number of steel
guitar players in the world in 1984.
2. Don's list of steel guitar players
in 2005. Look on the list and you will
probably find your name.











If anyone has an estimate of the number of steel players in the
world in 2017, please share the number.

The book is excellent and great reading, if you can find a copy.

C. E. Smile
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 22 Sep 2017 12:16 pm     Reply with quote

Rusty Young.
I know he's not the most technically advanced - he even says so himself. But he is responsible for fueling the fire for so many, on dobro, lap, and PSG, and is a personal favorite. He always seemed to play the perfect part for the song, which oftentimes was anything but straight ahead country. I just can't deny him the #1 spot on my list.
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Mark Roeder


From:
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Post Posted 25 Sep 2017 8:34 am     Reply with quote

Like potato chips, it's hard to pick out just one.......
let's say Jeremy Wakefield because he hooked me into learning steel through Wayne Hancock's recordings....I still listen to Steel Guitar Caviar regularly....
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Chris Walke


From:
St Charles, IL
Post Posted 27 Sep 2017 5:31 am     Reply with quote

Mark Roeder wrote:
Like potato chips, it's hard to pick out just one.......
let's say Jeremy Wakefield because he hooked me into learning steel through Wayne Hancock's recordings....I still listen to Steel Guitar Caviar regularly....


I still like to spin the Biller & Wakefield disc. Hot stuff indeed!!
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Mark Roeder


From:
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Post Posted 27 Sep 2017 6:30 am     Reply with quote

Yes B & W too

I think they are all both out of print, too bad
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Nic Neufeld


From:
Kansas City, Missouri
Post Posted 27 Sep 2017 11:43 am     Reply with quote

I'm still in the "discovery" phase but my favorites right now are Jules Ah See, Jerry Byrd, and Sol Ho'opi'i. I'll probably have another 5 favorites at least by the end of the year, ha. But 10 years of listening to a couple Alfred Apaka albums (almost exclusively of other Hawaiian music), it's Jules' style that I most naturally want to internalize and mimic.
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Jean-Sebastien Gauthier


From:
Quebec, Canada
Post Posted 27 Sep 2017 12:04 pm     Reply with quote

Mark Roeder wrote:
Like potato chips, it's hard to pick out just one.......
let's say Jeremy Wakefield because he hooked me into learning steel through Wayne Hancock's recordings....I still listen to Steel Guitar Caviar regularly....


Same thing for me!
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Mark Helm


From:
Tennessee, USA
Post Posted 27 Sep 2017 4:19 pm     Fave Reply with quote

Well, Jerry Byrd, Don Helms, Speedy West...

And John Ely, too...

C.E. Jackson's pretty darn good, too!
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Jeffery Self


From:
Spring City,Tennessee, USA
Post Posted 27 Sep 2017 7:54 pm     Reply with quote

There sure is a lot of familiar names on that list Mr. Jackson!!
So many faves, where does one start!!
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Clyde Mattocks


From:
Kinston, North Carolina, USA
Post Posted 27 Sep 2017 8:43 pm     Reply with quote

Did you guys even listen to my audition tape?.....Oh, you did!....Never mind.
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C. E. Jackson


From:
Mississippi, USA
Post Posted 28 Sep 2017 5:50 am     Re: Fave Reply with quote

Mark Helm wrote:
Well, Jerry Byrd, Don Helms, Speedy West...

And John Ely, too...

C.E. Jackson's pretty darn good, too!


Mark, this old civil engineer never expected to see his name on this favorites list.
Thanks for the kind words.

C. E. Very Happy


Jeffery Self wrote:
There sure is a lot of familiar names on that list Mr. Jackson!!
So many faves, where does one start!!


Jeffery, Don planned to add names that were omitted and names of new players in the 2nd edition of the book,
but passed away before the 2nd edition was published. Maybe someone else will publish an updated list soon.

C. E. Smile


In my post of 9/22 above, Don's book stated that there were possibly 7,000 steel players in the world in 1984.

If anyone has an estimate of the number of steel players in the
world in 2017, please share the number.


Maybe b0b or Brad can give us a current estimate.

C. E. Smile
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Andy Volk


From:
Boston, MA
Post Posted 9 Oct 2017 4:13 pm     Reply with quote

Let me amend my previous post: I adore Big Jim Murphy's playing! Redd, as well, is a telecaster force of nature and a terrific guy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7n6jcSP06w
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Andy De Paule


From:
Saigon, Viet Nam & Eugene, Oregon
Post Posted 11 Oct 2017 5:34 am     Maybe not Jerry Byrd? Reply with quote

I just got the new Jerry Byrd CD from Germany a few weeks ago. Really good, but is he really the best? Yes yes I know this is like saying bad things about the lord! but as great as he is, Is he the best ever?
Not in my opinion, and that is not to take anything away from him. Heck I couldn't buff his shoes.
However for me it's often the person I'm hearing at the moment. Some of my favorites are guys right here on the forum, Doug Beaumier on Sleepy Lagoon or many other tunes, Andy Volk. So many I can't name them all. Mike Neer or Bob Lee are somewhat out of the box at times and I love to hear them because they can always carry it off so well and entertaining with class.
I'd just never be able to say this or that person is "The Best".... Even steelers who are less than proficient will do something great at times.
Really not many I can't learn something from or just sit back and enjoy.
Thats my 2¢ worth and worth at least 1¢.
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Mitch Drumm


From:
Frostbite Falls, hard by Veronica Lake
Post Posted 11 Oct 2017 5:48 am     Re: Maybe not Jerry Byrd? Reply with quote

Andy De Paule wrote:

However for me it's often the person I'm hearing at the moment.


Seldom wrong and right again, Andy.

For me, my "favorite" is very highly correlated to the type of music I'm likely to be listening to. At any given moment, it is NOT likely I'm listening to something I don't like. All the more so in this age of digital music where you can literally insulate yourself from stuff you don't like. I'd never even heard this "Jason Aldean" until he hit the news in the last 10 days.

If you can't stand Hank Williams, you aren't likely to nominate Don Helms. Who would say "Jules Ah See" if they had no affinity for pre-1960 Hawaiian music?

I don't want to hear much of the last 50 years worth of music by anybody, so I'm not likely to nominate Lloyd Green or Hal Rugg. That's much more a comment on my personal taste in music than a comment on Rugg's or Green's talent.
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post Posted 11 Oct 2017 7:01 am     Reply with quote

Never heard Gabby play anything that was not top-notch. Unfortunately, there's not a lot of stuff available featuring his awesome chops on steel.
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Steve Pawlak


From:
Arizona, USA
Post Posted 11 Oct 2017 7:58 am     Reply with quote

I am
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Nic Neufeld


From:
Kansas City, Missouri
Post Posted 11 Oct 2017 10:57 am     Re: Maybe not Jerry Byrd? Reply with quote

Mitch Drumm wrote:
Who would say "Jules Ah See" <strike>if they had no affinity for pre-1960 Hawaiian music?</strike>


If this isn't a rhetorical question, answer: All right-thinking people. Very Happy Winking

(Yes, yes, I should probably listen to something besides the Tapa Room Tapes for a while)
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