| Visit Our Catalog at SteelGuitarShopper.com |

Post new topic No more doom and gloom
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Reply to topic
Author Topic:  No more doom and gloom
Paul Sutherland


From:
Placerville, California
Post  Posted 4 May 2019 2:22 pm    
Reply with quote

Like many older players I've have lamented the decline of interest in PSG from it's hayday in the 70s through 90s. Even moderately skilled players used to get multiple job offers. Things really tightened up by the 2000s, and only the best players consistently found work.

But recently I can't help but notice the increase of PSG players I'm seeing in photos from local clubs, etc., on FB. I think there is a ground swell of interest in the instrument. I'm seeing a lot of photos of older players, but also a lot of younger players. We can add something to the mix that no other instrument can effectively offer.

So keep practicing. Things are looking up.
_________________
It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 4 May 2019 2:37 pm    
Reply with quote

The PSG is so closely connected to country music in most people's minds that the decline of one might look like the end of the other. But in reality it's such a versatile instrument that it will simply take its business elsewhere.
_________________
Homebuilt keyless U12 7x5, Excel keyless U12 8x8, Williams keyless U12 7x8, Telonics rack and 15" cabs
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Glenn Demichele


From:
(20mi N of) Chicago Illinois, USA
Post  Posted 4 May 2019 4:26 pm    
Reply with quote

My 18 year old son says there's psg all over Vampire Weekend's highly anticipated new album. Haven't heard it yet. Greg Leisz I heard.
_________________
Franklin D10 8&4, Excel D10 8&5, Moyo pedal, homemade buffer/overdrive, GT-001 effects, Carvin BX500 or Peavey MiniMax or Trace Elliot ELF to BW1501 neo or TT-12 in closed cylinder or Goldwood 8" in a tiny box. NV400, Rumble 40.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Jonathan Shacklock


From:
London, UK
Post  Posted 6 May 2019 3:01 am    
Reply with quote

Hey Glenn, the Vampire Weekend album is out, it's really good (anyone who likes Paul Simon, The Grateful Dead or the White Album should find something to like) - there is pedal steel on a few tracks, occasionally prominently, but not all over, it's a very eclectic and long album with a lot of instrumentation. If they take a steel guitar on tour it will get more exposure for sure.

There are plenty of young players out there, it's a very cool instrument, always has been. I don't really see a change. If I lived somewhere where there had been a big decline in country music venues I'd have a different perspective but worldwide it's in good shape. Any artist, country or otherwise wanting to tour in the U.K. or Europe and hire a local steel player has more choice than ever before. There were plenty of younger players at our last couple of steel jams in London and more that were too busy gigging to make it.

Country music with pedal steel is in the ascendency, not in the absolute mainstream necessarily, but only the must cursory search will reveal a bunch of touring artists doing very well backed by old school pedal steel playing. Just don't expect to hear it on your radio station. Margo Price, Zephaniah OHora, Chris Stapleton, Kacey Musgraves, Sturgill Simpson, Joshua Hedley, Wheeler Walker Jr., Mike and the Moonpies spring to mind. Smile
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Tim Sheinman


From:
Brighton, UK
Post  Posted 6 May 2019 5:36 am    
Reply with quote

Oy vey, this again?

It's all about about bodies for you guys isn't it?

More players, less players, who gives?

Can't we ever talk about the quality and artistry of the new players, rather than totting up numbers?
_________________
Williams Ext.E9, ToneTron, Hilton
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Tim Sheinman


From:
Brighton, UK
Post  Posted 6 May 2019 5:43 am    
Reply with quote

Sorry, got a little pissy there.

It's just I get increasingly worn out by this sort of thing. Sometime I feel like a member of the harpsichordists union in 1699.
_________________
Williams Ext.E9, ToneTron, Hilton
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Glenn Demichele


From:
(20mi N of) Chicago Illinois, USA
Post  Posted 6 May 2019 7:48 am    
Reply with quote

My Dad's an accordion player, and I'm sure bagpipers feel the same way. It's just fun to watch the popular trajectory of you're instrument as long as it's not tanking. I don't care, directly, how popular it is just as long as I'm playing out.
_________________
Franklin D10 8&4, Excel D10 8&5, Moyo pedal, homemade buffer/overdrive, GT-001 effects, Carvin BX500 or Peavey MiniMax or Trace Elliot ELF to BW1501 neo or TT-12 in closed cylinder or Goldwood 8" in a tiny box. NV400, Rumble 40.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
James Quillian


From:
San Antonio, Texas, USA
Post  Posted 6 May 2019 4:07 pm    
Reply with quote

I remember back in the early 70s when Jimmy Day, Willie Nelson and a lot of others left Nashville and came to Austin. I remember reading something Jimmy Day said to the effect that Nashville was destroying country music. It was something like that. I can't remember the exact words.

That was early on in the corporate take over of radio play lists and homogenization of the country sound. Before that time country was like the people's music. Country music evolved from the bottom up. After the corporate take over, music began to be sold from the top down. Independent songwriters have been pretty much locked out, purposefully.

Although I wasn't playing steel at the time, I remember the disappointment in noticing the instrument's growing absence in popular songs.

I have been waiting ever since for a grass roots movement back to appreciating the original essence of country music. If that ever happens, I might do some back flips.
_________________
Loose Shoes
https://youtu.be/22P8CevFajg
Fantasy Free Economics http://quillian.net/blog/
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Marc Jenkins


From:
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Post  Posted 6 May 2019 10:54 pm    
Reply with quote

Glenn Demichele wrote:
My 18 year old son says there's psg all over Vampire Weekend's highly anticipated new album. Haven't heard it yet. Greg Leisz I heard.


There is a steel break on the second track (Harmony Hall) that is unreal. Greg Leisz killing it!
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Jonathan Shacklock


From:
London, UK
Post  Posted 7 May 2019 1:35 am    
Reply with quote

Yes, awesome solo Cool :
https://youtu.be/IlkTVMMkCP4?t=223

Also, on the first track:
https://youtu.be/1egwdCGi_dA?t=77
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Bruce Bjork


From:
Southern Coast of Maine
Post  Posted 7 May 2019 7:29 am    
Reply with quote

I’m a beginner, two years in on my Justice Pro Lite, I play out at least once a week at an open mic and once a month at a really good blues jam. Folks up here on the Southern Coast of Maine love Pedal Steel but there’s only three or four of us within a 100 mile radius. I’m thinking the growing popularity of Americana Music will bring more folks into the fold and the blues crowd is really into steel, 25 plus years on the dobro has helped me a lot.
_________________
Banjo, Dobro, Guitar, Justice Pro Lite 3x5, BOSS Katana 100.
"Use the talents you possess; the woods would be very silent indeed if no birds sang but the best"
View user's profile Send private message
Marc Jenkins


From:
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Post  Posted 7 May 2019 7:47 am    
Reply with quote

Jonathan Shacklock wrote:
Yes, awesome solo Cool :
https://youtu.be/IlkTVMMkCP4?t=223

Also, on the first track:
https://youtu.be/1egwdCGi_dA?t=77


My first listen to that will never be replicated- Up until the very obvious PSG sliding chords at the end, I thought it was 6 string.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
K Maul


From:
Mechanicville NY/Hobe Sound FL
Post  Posted 7 May 2019 7:49 am    
Reply with quote

I am seeing a growth of younger players. I still work plenty in lots of different styles, locally and out on the road. There are also plenty of folks stuck in a particular definition of what is "real" steel playing. Innovation and flexibility are the keys to halting the demise of steel guitar.
_________________
Kevin Maul: Asher, Beard, Clinesmith, Dobro, Evans, EXCEL, Fender, Fishman, Fluger, GFI, Gibson, Quilter, RAM, Redline, Rickenbacher, Sho~Bud, Supro, ZKing.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA
Post  Posted 7 May 2019 9:09 am    
Reply with quote

I get the impression that most new forum members are under 50.
_________________
-𝕓𝕆𝕓- (SGF Admin) Robert P. Lee ♪ Twitter @b0bleeCopedentsRecordings
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Glenn Demichele


From:
(20mi N of) Chicago Illinois, USA
Post  Posted 7 May 2019 10:23 am    
Reply with quote

Yeah, b0b, and the ones of us over 50 are old members.
_________________
Franklin D10 8&4, Excel D10 8&5, Moyo pedal, homemade buffer/overdrive, GT-001 effects, Carvin BX500 or Peavey MiniMax or Trace Elliot ELF to BW1501 neo or TT-12 in closed cylinder or Goldwood 8" in a tiny box. NV400, Rumble 40.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Dave Mudgett


From:
Central Pennsylvania
Post  Posted 7 May 2019 11:04 am    
Reply with quote

Steel guitar, and especially pedal steel, has always been a niche instrument. If anything, I think it's been gradually growing in relative popularity the last 20 years. But I don't think it will, for the forseeable future, rival more popular "standard" instruments like guitar, piano, horns, violin, and so on. Lotsa reasons for this, we've beat them into the ground on this forum since I got here, what, 15 years ago.

But I have never, ever seen reason for "doom and gloom". Lots happening, mostly good. But even if that were not true - the only thing we can do is learn, play out, and promote the instrument to whatever extent we want to and can.

A lot of people, not just steel players, really are hung up with the stereotype of "what pedal steel is for". IMO, this often has nothing to do with what steel players have done. Some people I've been playing with for decades just can't accept it in, for example, a blues or rock and roll band. They'll even argue it sounds good, but I think it's just not what they're accustomed to hearing. But others can and so I deal with them if I want to expand into "non-standard" styles of music for steel. Actually, I think things are more wide open than they ever were back when.

But of course, overall, it is harder to get gigs these days. This has nothing to do with steel guitar, it affects all instruments. Again, we've micro-analyzed reasons for this forever, but it's real. I'd say, if anything, playing steel has opened up opportunities for me. Guitar players are a dime a dozen. Versatility is where it's at.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Tim Sheinman


From:
Brighton, UK
Post  Posted 8 May 2019 10:45 am    
Reply with quote

Here's a thought. Perhaps we shouldn't worry about the players, we should worry about the builders.

Lot of steels are made by small teams with older founders. Not much money it. Crazy complicated and hard to get parts.

Is this a genuine concern, what do you think?
_________________
Williams Ext.E9, ToneTron, Hilton
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 8 May 2019 11:54 am    
Reply with quote

Tim Sheinman wrote:
Here's a thought. Perhaps we shouldn't worry about the players, we should worry about the builders.

Lot of steels are made by small teams with older founders. Not much money it. Crazy complicated and hard to get parts.

Is this a genuine concern, what do you think?

Probably a whole nuther topic. Some insight into the kind of person who builds pedal steels offers a little hope for your concern. They may be rare and endangered, but I think they will always be around. This is an excellent article about fellow forumite and master builder Ross Shafer:
https://craftsmanship.net/bicycles-pedal-steel-guitars-one-makers-quirky-frontiers/
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Dave Mudgett


From:
Central Pennsylvania
Post  Posted 8 May 2019 6:20 pm    
Reply with quote

Quote:
Lot of steels are made by small teams with older founders. Not much money it. Crazy complicated and hard to get parts. Is this a genuine concern, what do you think?

Yeah, pedal steel is a niche instrument. I don't care how much it's simplified, making a steel guitar sound good is hard. So even a relatively simple but solid pedal steel is relatively expensive due to lack of economy of scale. In contrast, one can buy an inexpensive but decent guitar, learn 3 chords, and in a few weeks of serious practice, you can be making halfway decent sounding strummy strummy noises. But even with all that said, there are some fairly reasonably priced starter pedal steels out there. People that love pedal steel really love it, and building is heavily a labor of love.

Violin is another hard instrument to learn. Listening to a beginner is typically like listening to fingernails on a chalkboard. But one can buy a relatively inexpensive, decent violin, and there is an enormous repository of tradition and music to go with it, and a whole mainstream academic/social structure to go with that. Pedal steel doesn't really have that.

Now, there are some very inexpensive lap steels out there - MF/GC have them well under $100. They are not easy for a raw beginner to make sound good, but I do think the availability of such inexpensive lap steels has propelled a lot of movement in lap steel popularity. I also think that an experienced guitar player who can play slide can move to lap steel pretty readily. I think slide and lap steel are a good gateway drug to other forms of steel guitar, as well as being cool in their own right.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Curt Trisko


From:
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Post  Posted 9 May 2019 12:24 pm    
Reply with quote

Jonathan Shacklock wrote:
Hey Glenn, the Vampire Weekend album is out, it's really good (anyone who likes Paul Simon, The Grateful Dead or the White Album should find something to like) - there is pedal steel on a few tracks, occasionally prominently, but not all over, it's a very eclectic and long album with a lot of instrumentation. If they take a steel guitar on tour it will get more exposure for sure.

There are plenty of young players out there, it's a very cool instrument, always has been. I don't really see a change. If I lived somewhere where there had been a big decline in country music venues I'd have a different perspective but worldwide it's in good shape. Any artist, country or otherwise wanting to tour in the U.K. or Europe and hire a local steel player has more choice than ever before. There were plenty of younger players at our last couple of steel jams in London and more that were too busy gigging to make it.

Country music with pedal steel is in the ascendency, not in the absolute mainstream necessarily, but only the must cursory search will reveal a bunch of touring artists doing very well backed by old school pedal steel playing. Just don't expect to hear it on your radio station. Margo Price, Zephaniah OHora, Chris Stapleton, Kacey Musgraves, Sturgill Simpson, Joshua Hedley, Wheeler Walker Jr., Mike and the Moonpies spring to mind. Smile


I saw on my YouTube homescreen this morning that Kacey Musgraves just released a music video with a song that is soaked in steel. Already has 62,000 views and I bet a good share of those are from girls and young women - her main fanbase.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
John Spaulding


From:
Wisconsin, USA
Post  Posted 9 May 2019 12:52 pm    
Reply with quote

The new Midland single is a rockin' shuffle with a ripping pedal steel solo...and they even give a shoutout the steel player by name at 3:38:

Mr. Lonely


.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Dennis Brion


From:
Atwater, Ohio USA
Post  Posted 9 May 2019 1:46 pm    
Reply with quote

Midland is one of my favorite, first CD was killer! Don't care much for Musgrave little to pop country for my taste. I like lots of music styles but lean to more country than any, love the steel, all steel and dobro and really appreciate the talent it takes to play those. I have all three so plenty of work ahead! Going to take me awhile but improving everyday and enjoying the journey!
Dennis
_________________
1969 Custom built d10, Fender 25R practice amp,Dunlop pedal, Peavy Special 130 w/15" Blackwidow, Gretsch resonator, 41 Gibson 7 string lap steel, Epiphone flat top, 67 Epiphone Olympic
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Rick Schmidt


From:
Prescott AZ, USA
Post  Posted 9 May 2019 8:34 pm    
Reply with quote

I actually gave 3 lessons this week to 3 very motivated new players. All very musical and real seekers of steel guitar truth. 2 were under 30, and all in the relatively small community of Prescott AZ to boot!
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Curt Trisko


From:
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Post  Posted 10 May 2019 5:49 am    
Reply with quote

Curt Trisko wrote:
I saw on my YouTube homescreen this morning that Kacey Musgraves just released a music video with a song that is soaked in steel. Already has 62,000 views and I bet a good share of those are from girls and young women - her main fanbase.


Wouldn't you know it, when I woke up this morning there was a notification on my phone of someone commenting on one of my YouTube videos. It was quick and dirty video I made a while ago playing the intro to Kacey Musgraves' cover of Willie Nelson's "Are You Sure" (which has a co-writer credit to Buddy Emmons). The commenter wanted to know about how to purchase a steel guitar.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Curt Trisko


From:
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Post  Posted 10 May 2019 5:57 am    
Reply with quote

Tim Sheinman wrote:
Can't we ever talk about the quality and artistry of the new players, rather than totting up numbers?


The frank answer is 'probably not'. It's a small community and that's too personal.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Jump to:  
Please review our Forum Rules and Policies
Our Online Catalog
Strings, CDs, instruction, and steel guitar accessories
www.SteelGuitarShopper.com

The Steel Guitar Forum
148 S. Cloverdale Blvd.
Cloverdale, CA 95425 USA

Click Here to Send a Donation


BIAB Styles
Ray Price Shuffles for Band-in-a-Box
by Jim Baron