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Pedal Steel Guitars


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I actually think Pedal Steel is my favorite instrument, so here's some choice picks

 

Ryan Adams - Magnolia Mountain

My Morning Jacket - Golden

Flying Burrito Brothers - Sin City (everything by them is pretty great)

CSNY - Helpless (Simple, but I've always loved it)

Loretta Lynn - Trouble On the Line (And all of Van Lear Rose)

 

Also, although it just came out last week, the pedal steel solo in Hazards of Love Pt. 4 by the Decemberists is amazing

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Or favorite players........

 

I can never get enough of It Just Might Be A One-Shot Deal -FZ (Sneaky Pete)

 

Pauls Song -M Ward (not real sure)

 

DASH 7 - :D (Mr Maines)

 

 

I have to agree, although I would not have thought of it on my own, It Just Might Be a One Shot Deal-fz is a great choice. :thumbup

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I don't know where to start on this topic.

 

There is a convention in St. Louis every year on Labor Day weekend. If you want to overdose on pedal steel, go there. It's coloquially referred to as "Scotty's" The first time I met Jeff he asked me if I'd been there. http://www.scottysmusic.com/isgc2009.htm

 

My favorite players: Buddy Emmons; Jimmy Day; Lloyd Green; Curly Chalker; Bobby Black; Ralph Mooney; Doug Jernigan; John Hughey; Jimmy Crawford; Jay Dee Maness; Paul Franklin.

 

The highest grossing instrumental of all time is "Sleepwalk" by Santo & Johnny.

 

The most recognized pedal steel phrases of all time are Jerry Garcia's intro and solo in "Teach Your Children"

 

Lloyd Maines (father of Natalie, of the Dixie Chicks) did all the great pedal steel on the Uncle Tupelo and Wilco albums. Jeff still loves him unconditionally.

 

Buddy Cage did not teach Garcia how to play steel. Zane Beck (the manufacturer of BMI guitars) did. Garcia's banjo background helped him immensely. He never considered himself to be a great steel player (and, if the truth be known, he wasn't. Just listen to him playing live sometime -- he had to do multiple studio takes to get his recordings right). He gave up the NRPS gig to Cage (who had been playing for years in Great Speckled Bird) because he didn't have the time to do that, play with the Dead, and keep up his drug habit.

 

I have too many favorite songs to list, but "Pride of Cucamonga" is definitely on the list. Garcia did not play steel on that number ... proof of the comments in the prior paragraph.

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On this topic, I should mention that Jeff said that Nels just bought an old MSA pedal steel. These things were built in the early 70's and weigh a TON, but the good ones have really cool tone, so I'm looking forward to watching him play that.

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Buddy Cage did not teach Garcia how to play steel. Zane Beck (the manufacturer of BMI guitars) did. Garcia's banjo background helped him immensely. He never considered himself to be a great steel player (and, if the truth be known, he wasn't. Just listen to him playing live sometime -- he had to do multiple studio takes to get his recordings right). He gave up the NRPS gig to Cage (who had been playing for years in Great Speckled Bird) because he didn't have the time to do that, play with the Dead, and keep up his drug habit.

 

I have too many favorite songs to list, but "Pride of Cucamonga" is definitely on the list. Garcia did not play steel on that number ... proof of the comments in the prior paragraph.

Thanks so much for the info - that sounds exactly right. :thumbup I do remember reading Marmaduke saying that they kept asking Jerry to just hang on until the could find "the right guy" to take over. Obviously, with Buddy, they found the right guy. :D It's possible they might have crossed paths with Cage for the first time on the Festival Express Tour in Summer 1970.

 

I'm drawing a blank here - wasn't the steel work on Cucamonga one of the Nitty Gritty folks?

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Lloyd Maines (father of Natalie, of the Dixie Chicks) did all the great pedal steel on the Uncle Tupelo and Wilco albums. Jeff still loves him unconditionally.

 

I did not know this. I did not realize Natalie Maines came from a musical family. Of course it makes sense, now.

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There's a pedal steel player on the first Brian Blade Fellowship record (maybe the other records, too, I never checked those out). I didn't care for this album, but I like the idea of using pedal steel in a jazz project.

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Buddy Cage did not teach Garcia how to play steel. Zane Beck (the manufacturer of BMI guitars) did. Garcia's banjo background helped him immensely. He never considered himself to be a great steel player (and, if the truth be known, he wasn't. Just listen to him playing live sometime -- he had to do multiple studio takes to get his recordings right). He gave up the NRPS gig to Cage (who had been playing for years in Great Speckled Bird) because he didn't have the time to do that, play with the Dead, and keep up his drug habit.

I just read a book on the making of Blood on the Tracks. Buddy Cage is interviewed and he tells it this way, as well. To some extent he trashes Garcia's playing but also reports that Jerry told the NRPS guys that they needed to get a real player.

 

Cage also tells a funny story about playing on Blood on the Tracks. I'm paraphrasing here but basically Cage was adding overdubs and Dylan came over and told Cage that he was doing it all wrong. Cage got pissed, played a blistering solo, and stormed out of the room. Dylan then came out laughing and said that getting Cage mad was the only way to get him to play the solo the way Dylan wanted it.

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I mentioned lil wallet picture by Buckner so I should mentioned the player who I believe was Eric Heywood (of course he was behind alot of the Son Volt pedal steel)

 

Lloyd Maines

Eric Heywood

Sneaky Pete

Ben Keith? (is that right Neil Youngs)

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Buddy Cage did not teach Garcia how to play steel. Zane Beck (the manufacturer of BMI guitars) did. Garcia's banjo background helped him immensely. He never considered himself to be a great steel player (and, if the truth be known, he wasn't. Just listen to him playing live sometime -- he had to do multiple studio takes to get his recordings right). He gave up the NRPS gig to Cage (who had been playing for years in Great Speckled Bird) because he didn't have the time to do that, play with the Dead, and keep up his drug habit.

 

I have too many favorite songs to list, but "Pride of Cucamonga" is definitely on the list. Garcia did not play steel on that number ... proof of the comments in the prior paragraph.

-I didn't think so but Cage said he did, hence the question. And I agree he wasn't great but was certainly decent enough (actually caught him playing on a tune once w/Dylan + Dead-'87 I think. I, at first, thought he had sat down to draw pictures or something in the middle of the show I was so taken aback). Garcia didn't have a drug "habit" back then, though you're right, his plate was full.

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Pedal steel must be one of the sound that annoys me the most in music, I'm afraid, except for a few good ones. Like "A Song For You" by Gram Parsons. But I can tell I hate it on Neil Young's Harvest and many other country records.

 

On the other hand, I'm totally fond of the steel guitar sound, such as those on Hank Williams or Kitty Wells records.

 

As well as the slide guitar, which is something else again.

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Pedal steel must be one of the sound that annoys me the most in music, I'm afraid, except for a few good ones. Like "A Song For You" by Gram Parsons. But I can tell I hate it on Neil Young's Harvest and many other country records.

 

On the other hand, I'm totally fond of the steel guitar sound, such as those on Hank Williams or Kitty Wells records.

 

As well as the slide guitar, which is something else again.

 

 

I have heard this before, about Pedal Steel being the worst for some people. It amazes how different us humans can be. For me any half ass song that features a pedal steel becomes worth listening to.

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-I didn't think so but Cage said he did, hence the question. And I agree he wasn't great but was certainly decent enough (actually caught him playing on a tune once w/Dylan + Dead-'87 I think. I, at first, thought he had sat down to draw pictures or something in the middle of the show I was so taken aback). Garcia didn't have a drug "habit" back then, though you're right, his plate was full.

 

I just read an interview with Garcia last week. He said he gave up the pedal steel because he wasn't good enough at it, and trying to get good enough was damaging his guitar playing ability, so he chose to devote himself to the guitar.

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