The Steel Guitar Misconception
Me & my group playing at the House Of Blues
Most people think the steel guitar is only for country music. It is very dominant in country music however this couldn't be further from the truth.
Great Steel Guitarist
If you've ever heard these great steel players "Sneaky Pete" Kleinow, Paul Franklin who played with Dire Straights, Robert Randolph who does not play country at all, or Joe Wright who can play any style on the steel and plays very well with country or rock. This is just a few of many great steel players. Some of the most diversified players I have ever known. Check these guys out online and you will be impressed.
Even though I play mostly country and southern gospel it bothers me when people make these type of comments. I hear them all the time. The pedal steel is one of the most versatile and adaptive instruments for all types of music. I know for a fact that the steel is playing on a lot of contemporary and rock style songs that the normal non musician ear does not hear.
Top Songs and Artists with steel guitar
A few big acts with steel: Eagles, Rolling Stones, Dire Straights, the list is endless. There's hundreds. Here's a few top NON COUNTRY songs with steel:
- Teach Your Children - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
- Christine's Tune - The Flying Burrito Brothers
- Torn and Frayed - The Rolling Stones
- Tangerine - Led Zeppelin
- You Ain't Goin' Nowhere - The Byrds
- Country Feedback - R.E.M.
- Out on the Weekend - Neil Young
- Best of My Love - Eagles
- East St. Louis Toodle-Oo - Steely Dan
- Nashville Cats - The Lovin' Spoonful
Then we have our steel guitar brothers, even pros who talk down steel guitar if it's not playing country. That's crazy. I personally enjoy playing country but I love it when the steel guitar is utilized in other genre's of music. I've even heard it in classical and it's pretty awesome.
I participated at the ST. Louis Steel Guitar Convention for over 20 years and was amused at times when people would get up and walk out when Wally Murphy would start rocking out with the distortion on his steel.
What's really funny is when I kick on my distortion pedal everyone looks at the guitar player as if he's the one doing the lead. That's fine with me as long as the overall music as a group sounds great.
My playing style is very diversified but I enjoy my country style and that's how I best express myself and put my feelings into the song.
I've also been on stage with guitar players who do not like the steel if it starts sounding anything like a regular guitar.
Hopefully this post helps dispel the myth that steel guitar is only for country music.
By the way if you need any backup pedal steel on your song I can provide some great steel licks and backup for you. You can check out some of my music at https://www.ronsproaudio.com.
You can hire me at https://soundbetter.com/profiles/217569-ron-turner. The way this works is you upload your song then I download it and add a separate WAV track for you to mix down. It's a safe to go through this web site since they monitor the contracts, money, and customer satisfaction. I provide 100% satisfaction guarantee as well or you don't pay.
I hope you enjoyed reading this short post and if you have any comments feel free to do so. Have a great 2020.
Pedal Steel Guitarist
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