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Post new topic Looking for a Steel Player/70's Chicago Country Music
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Author Topic:  Looking for a Steel Player/70's Chicago Country Music
Jonathan Dale

 

From:
Illinois, USA
Post  Posted 16 Feb 2020 1:19 pm    
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I'm wondering if anyone is familiar with the steel player Butch Butler. He played in Chicago in the 70's. He played some of the best stuff I've ever heard on a record by a guy named Jeff Cowell.


I'm also interested in the country music scene in 60's-80's Chicago. Any of yall played then? What were some of the best venues to play? Where were you seeing good music?
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Leon Champion

 

From:
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA
Post  Posted 16 Feb 2020 4:43 pm     Steel Player
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Butch Buttler resides just north of Birmingham Ala. Great steel player ,and a good friend. . HE'S a member on here. I'll call him and let him know you're looking foe him.
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James Flaherty

 

From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 16 Feb 2020 10:18 pm    
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Yes, I used to go hear him play at the 5th Wheel Lounge in Chicago. He was working with Phalgg Williams and Chris Atcher. I would sub for him now and then. I lost touch with him (and many others) after I moved to California. He was a great steel picker and great person.
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Jonathan Dale

 

From:
Illinois, USA
Post  Posted 17 Feb 2020 5:20 am     Re: Steel Player
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Leon Champion wrote:
Butch Buttler resides just north of Birmingham Ala. Great steel player ,and a good friend. . HE'S a member on here. I'll call him and let him know you're looking foe him.


That would be great Leon, thank you for your help!
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Frank Freniere


From:
The First Coast
Post  Posted 17 Feb 2020 5:22 am     Re: Looking for a Steel Player/70's Chicago Country Music
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Jonathan Dale wrote:

I'm also interested in the country music scene in 60's-80's Chicago. Any of yall played then? What were some of the best venues to play? Where were you seeing good music?


Here's an old thread that may be of interest, Jonathan.
https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=123185&highlight=pinto+lounge
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Jeremy Reeves


From:
Chatham, IL, USA
Post  Posted 17 Feb 2020 5:38 am    
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https://www.bloodshotrecords.com/album/sundowners-chicago-country-legends

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1997-03-02-9703020208-story.html

http://members.tccoa.com/lastmrk/sundowners.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GyVG1T10j4
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Tom Dillon


From:
La Mesa, California, USA
Post  Posted 17 Feb 2020 8:35 am    
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I grew up in Chicago and did my first few years of playing in bands there in the mid 70's. I played fiddle then. I just start playing steel 3 years ago. I remember going to the RR Ranch (open till 4am) to see the Sundowners after my own gigs. They were great and had a bottomless repertoire.

Some of the C&W venues I remember are:
Mr Kiley's - The house band was The Sidemen
Clearwater Saloon - This was the place I played in the most.
The Iron Rail
Nashville North
Durty Nellie's
Lake & Park Inn

Here's a book on the Chicago music scene in the 70's that might be of interest. There is a section on the local country bands. It's mainly a compilation of band photos with a short blurb on each.

https://www.amazon.com/Chicago-Music-Scene-Images-America/dp/0738577294/
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Tom Dillon

MSA Legend, On-Trak, fiddles
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Wally Pfeifer

 

From:
Illinois, USA
Post  Posted 17 Feb 2020 12:03 pm     Steel players in Chicago area
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Very Happy Did you know or ever hear of Dusty Nall from Joliet IL that played with Jole Daly and the Sundowners(?) Joel
was also on ABC TV News in Chicago and was also a lawyer.
Wally Pfeifer
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Lee Baucum


From:
McAllen, Texas (Extreme South) The Final Frontier
Post  Posted 17 Feb 2020 2:46 pm    
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What a coincidence. I know a Butch Butler, from Indiana, who was a long time employee of Kimball Piano & Organ Co.

His first name is Lance; however, he has always gone by the name Butch.
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Price Porter

 

From:
Marble Falls, Texas, USA
Post  Posted 17 Feb 2020 7:11 pm     Chicago steel guitar
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Catfish John
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Frank Freniere


From:
The First Coast
Post  Posted 18 Feb 2020 5:45 am     Re: Steel players in Chicago area
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Wally Pfeifer wrote:
Very Happy Did you know or ever hear of Dusty Nall from Joliet IL that played with Jole Daly and the Sundowners(?)


https://www.reverbnation.com/dustynall
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James Flaherty

 

From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 19 Feb 2020 7:33 pm    
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Catfish John was great player and a great person. I heard he passed away sometime after 1986. I took lessons from him until I moved in June of 1986.
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Russ Wever

 

From:
Kansas City
Post  Posted 1 Mar 2020 9:08 pm    
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I know Butch from back in the early '70's
and visited him several years ago at his
home in Alabama.
Terrific steel player and a very nice guy.
~Rw

February 14, 1971
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James Flaherty

 

From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 2 Mar 2020 7:14 pm    
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If any of you guys run into him tell him I said hello. I always enjoyed hearing him play whenever I had a night off.
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Jonathan Dale

 

From:
Illinois, USA
Post  Posted 2 Mar 2020 7:32 pm    
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This picture rocks. Thanks Russ


Russ Wever wrote:
I know Butch from back in the early '70's
and visited him several years ago at his
home in Alabama.
Terrific steel player and a very nice guy.
~Rw

February 14, 1971
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Russ Wever

 

From:
Kansas City
Post  Posted 20 Mar 2020 7:46 pm    
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Jonathan . .
Here is an album
with Butch on it.
~> click
~Rw
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www.russguru
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James Flaherty

 

From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 20 Mar 2020 8:12 pm    
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That was great. It sure brings back memories. Thanks.
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Tom Dillon


From:
La Mesa, California, USA
Post  Posted 20 Mar 2020 8:32 pm    
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Johnny Frigo on fiddle!!
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Tom Dillon

MSA Legend, On-Trak, fiddles
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Glenn Suchan

 

From:
Austin, Texas
Post  Posted 22 Mar 2020 8:27 am    
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Russ Wever wrote:
Jonathan . .
Here is an album
with Butch on it.
~> click
~Rw


Thanks, Russ.

Back in the mid 1970's, when I first caught the PSG 'bug', I bought a used Gibson 8-string, 6-pedal steel guitar. The seller included a Stevens Dobro bar, but no case. I tuned it to an abbreviated E9th tuning and promptly hacked a make shift pedal arrangement (only A, B and C pedals).

Next, I started my search for a teacher in the Chicago area. The first teacher I found was Butch Butler and I made an appointment to begin my lessons at his home. On the day of the first lesson I wrapped up my 'new' steel guitar in an army blanket (remember, it had no case) and with the Stevens bar in hand, I showed up at Butch's home. He answered the door and had me unwrap the guitar. He took one look at my laughable example of a 'modern' PSG and my Stevens bar and said, "I'll teach you, but first, get a better guitar, such as a Sho~Bud or Emmons and get pedal steel bar". Generously, he gave me one of his bars (which I still use exclusively to this day) and a copy of his recently released (at that time) solo album. Here's the album:
https://www.rootsvinylguide.com/ebay_items/butch-butler-steelin-for-jesus

A few months later I bought an early 70's Emmons S-10 and wound up taking lessons from another great Chicago area picker, Paul Carestia. Ultimately, I give thanks to Butch for initially setting me in the right direction.

Keep on pickin'!
Glenn
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Steelin' for Jesus
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James Flaherty

 

From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 22 Mar 2020 10:43 am    
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Great story. That album is one of my favorites.
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