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Author Topic:  Being Ben Keith
Barry Blackwood


Post  Posted 11 Sep 2019 7:40 am    
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Quote:
I really like that old 1950s and 1960s pedal steel work, the style that was popular before everything became gobs of pedals and knee levers, and tricky moves that mostly impress only other pedal steelers. That stuff was simple and basic, but terribly expressive. Somewhere along, we lost sight of those qualities.

Like this?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMWYnZDq3Bo
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 11 Sep 2019 8:41 am    
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Barry, I was referring more to early pedal steel stylings, the stuff that made players like Ben Keith, Jimmy Day, and Ralph Mooney famous. Those stylings were probably brought about by the simpler guitars and setups, and the fact that the instrument was comparatively new back in those days.
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Stephen Pride


From:
Berkeley, CA
Post  Posted 11 Sep 2019 11:08 am    
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Marc Jenkins wrote:
Yes thanks for the playlist! I think both Alabama and Words should be included - minimalist parts but two of my faves!


Really glad to know people are enjoying the list! I will get those additional Harvest tunes added shortly, thanks for the tip.
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Marc Jenkins


From:
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Post  Posted 11 Sep 2019 2:08 pm    
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Stephen Pride wrote:
Marc Jenkins wrote:
Yes thanks for the playlist! I think both Alabama and Words should be included - minimalist parts but two of my faves!


Really glad to know people are enjoying the list! I will get those additional Harvest tunes added shortly, thanks for the tip.


Thanks!!
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John Brabant


From:
Calais, VT, USA
Post  Posted 12 Sep 2019 3:39 am    
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I caught Neil Young on the International Harvesters tour back in July 1985. He toured with Waylon and his band which included Ralph Mooney. Now that was a show. Waylon was on first and Neil and Wayon and Waylon's band came out during the International Harvesters' set and did "Are you Ready for the Country" together along with some other songs with Ralph playing steel. My memory is that Ben was playing dobro during some of that set. Rufus Thibideaux played fiddle with the Harvesters, really great. I have a lousy cassette tape recording of that concert lying around somewhere. Those were the days for sure.
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Joachim Kettner


From:
Germany
Post  Posted 12 Sep 2019 4:15 am    
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Old Ways by Neil Young was recorded during that time. There's more Ralph Mooneys than Ben Keiths playing on that record.
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Jonathan Shacklock


From:
London, UK
Post  Posted 12 Sep 2019 6:14 am    
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Stephen, I've been enjoying your playlist too and having fun going down the Ben Keith rabbit hole.

The Tuscaloosa live record that came out last year is interesting for the way Ben plays the famous 2 note slide on the chorus of Old Man - you can hear him doubling with a unison. The Harvest version, released a year before this gig, could have been played any number of ways but I think this gives away his position. Try it out!

Two more Neil Young favourites for me are :

The Old Country Waltz
Neil Young
https://open.spotify.com/track/6BQrp8WbGA2H9sXxtJHFi2

See the Sky About to Rain
Neil Young
https://open.spotify.com/track/4tYPrKSZJQTocvTiPkA87i

Ben Keith with Faron Young. This is difficult to corroborate but I'm pretty sure about these tracks, recorded between '58 and '61:

Country Girl
https://open.spotify.com/track/7w3YZLWL8l11US6FMMLOGq

Forget The Past
https://open.spotify.com/track/44wLXFjXEseC0SI1JvSBvh

A World So Full of Love
https://open.spotify.com/track/4pY65PI8PkbRumQpEoxElV

There’s Not Any Like You
https://open.spotify.com/track/3AtQyclgzE8FnNSUUQrWOt

Big Shoes
https://open.spotify.com/track/0VvMi2X9ca4mtolBsCS0rR

More 1970's Ben Keith on pedal steel:

Brave Awakening
Terry Reid
https://open.spotify.com/track/6TcmSJwVTEFIUb033y0oxv

Mind Your Own Business
Steve Goodman
https://open.spotify.com/track/0AI7mLIYy4cpyJanOfLsmS

Eight Ball Blues
Steve Goodman
https://open.spotify.com/track/0Ck4ossie7A9TiuqrtWKPD

Kiss Money
Bob Neuwirth
https://open.spotify.com/track/2U6gVPmJInC9dsj905tzFs

Cowboys & Indians
Bob Neuwirth
https://open.spotify.com/track/1C1CIuMZkZpdEisb9kbYKO

Sweet Memories
Blue
https://open.spotify.com/track/3Lkp8CgSDyHPGtQs7NHyXO


Last edited by Jonathan Shacklock on 12 Sep 2019 7:26 am; edited 2 times in total
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Steve Hinson


From:
Hendersonville Tn USA
Post  Posted 12 Sep 2019 7:11 am    
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Ben played on Ringo's"country"album,"Beaucoups of Blues",produced in Nashville by Pete Drake...Pete loved Ben and hired him to run his publishing company,Window Music...lots of good stories...he also hired him on some"Stop Records"sessions...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zq6plWndSE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEdOH1thx1Q


Last edited by Steve Hinson on 12 Sep 2019 7:20 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jonathan Shacklock


From:
London, UK
Post  Posted 12 Sep 2019 7:18 am    
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Pete was apparently the first call for Harvest (presumably off the back of this work for Dylan) but he recommended Ben Keith for the gig instead.

On further research the "This Is Faron Young" LP material I had listed above is probably too early for Ben so I've removed (thanks Steve).
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Stephen Pride


From:
Berkeley, CA
Post  Posted 12 Sep 2019 11:03 am    
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Jonathan, thank you for all those links, this is outstanding! I will get those added soon, and am really looking forward to listening.
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Stephen Pride


From:
Berkeley, CA
Post  Posted 12 Sep 2019 11:06 am    
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Steve Hinson wrote:
Ben played on Ringo's"country"album,"Beaucoups of Blues",produced in Nashville by Pete Drake...Pete loved Ben and hired him to run his publishing company,Window Music...lots of good stories...he also hired him on some"Stop Records"sessions...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zq6plWndSE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEdOH1thx1Q


Thanks for this, I will check out the Ringo. That's Ben Keith on those Kendalls tracks?
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Jeremy Threlfall


From:
now in Western Australia
Post  Posted 12 Sep 2019 5:34 pm    
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scott murray wrote:
just stumbled on this KILLER footage of Ben Keith with Faron Young... wow

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7C39atFn1I


signature neck tie already in place!
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Steve Hinson


From:
Hendersonville Tn USA
Post  Posted 13 Sep 2019 9:35 pm    
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Stephen Pride wrote:
Steve Hinson wrote:
Ben played on Ringo's"country"album,"Beaucoups of Blues",produced in Nashville by Pete Drake...Pete loved Ben and hired him to run his publishing company,Window Music...lots of good stories...he also hired him on some"Stop Records"sessions...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zq6plWndSE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEdOH1thx1Q


Thanks for this, I will check out the Ringo. That's Ben Keith on those Kendalls tracks?


It sounds like Ben to me.
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Steve Hinson


From:
Hendersonville Tn USA
Post  Posted 17 Sep 2019 9:53 am    
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Incidentally,there are two"new"record releases featuring Big Ben...

"Tuscaloosa",a live album by Neil Young and the Stray Gators...

"The Lost Tapes",some live excerpts of shows by Great Speckled Bird(Ian and Sylvia with Ben,Buddy Cage,and Pee Wee Charles featured on various cuts)...

Both worth a listen if you love Big Ben's playing...and I do!

SH
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John Brabant


From:
Calais, VT, USA
Post  Posted 20 Sep 2019 8:14 am    
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Thanks for the heads up on the Lost Tapes Steve. Here's a very recent write up on The Lost Tapes. There is a great video contained within showing Buddy Cage at 2:35:

https://www.fyimusicnews.ca/articles/2019/09/15/ian-sylvia-their-legend-legacy-and-tale-lost-tapes
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John Brabant
1982 Emmons D-10 P-P
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