Steel Guitar News January 10. 2013

This is Bob Hempker. Here it is time to come up with another newsletter and we’re scratching around for new ideas. I have to tell you it’s not easy being brilliant. I say that jokingly because hard working is more like it. Usually, it’s hard enough just finding the time to sit down to write about something, then we’ve got to come up with something to write about.

We apologize if sometimes we don’t mention everybody that you expect us to mention, but we try to present a general concept and illustrate it with a few examples, not every possible example. We are sorry if we overlook your favorite player, favorite song, favorite steel intro or whatever. It’s not our intention to insult you with an omission.

We’re trying to pass along information in a casual way and not trying to write a doctorate thesis so please excuse our loose use of grammar and punctuation. We are trying to reach out to each and every one of you regardless of age, experience, musical background and preferences in genres of music.

We encourage people to ask us about things they are curious about because it gives us something to write about. We thoroughly appreciate all your encouragement and support for these newsletters.

We write these newsletters pretty much spontaneously, oftentimes as a result of what someone says, does or asks when they come in to the shop. We try to be as helpful as we can while at the same time making sure that all the guitars are in tiptop shape and ready to go.

I’m glad to see more and more manufacturers making products specifically designed for steel guitar usage and not redesigned guitar equipment. This is great news for steel players. Companies like Peavey have shown their support for our instrument by building amps from the ground up with the steel guitar player solely in mind.

A product that originated as a steel guitar accessory that has found a market with guitar players are the George L cables. I’m happy to see expanding markets for these products. Another steel guitar product that I’ve seen catch on with guitar and fiddle players is the Goodrich volume pedal. The Hilton is also showing up more and more.

I remember when my dear friend Keith Hilton was first designing the Hilton pedal. When he formally came out with it, it was a really, really hot item. It continues to be one of the most sought after accessories for steel guitar players. I personally have two of Keith’s pedals. I’ve had them for ten years or so and have not had one iota of problems with either of them.

Keith is a great guy and I’m really happy for all his success. I lived near Keith when I lived in Branson. During the fifteen years I lived there, we became very good friends. These are the kind of people I try to support because they really have the steel guitar players interests at heart.

Another company that is responding to steel guitar players is the Little Walter company. We are very fortunate to have the builder coming in this Sunday to give us a hands-on workshop and answer all the questions we can throw at him.

We want as many of you as possible to show up for this event, however if you are unable to attend, we will be videoing parts of the workshop and will put them up on YouTube.

We received so many replies to Vic’s last newsletter, I wish I could print them all, but there was one that particularly inspired all of us.

It’s from Ike Anderson, a steel player in Switzerland. The English is broken, but the message is clear. Here’s what Ike had to say.

Hi Vick Lawson

I’m born once in US but lived in Switzerland since long, my name is.. Ike
Anderson..60…..I had some different brands of Ped.Steels for long… Was
never happy with the sound, Came in contact with Bobbe, according my

He recommended me a Emmons p/p… found one for me, sold it to me.

And Wow!!…. He was right, I needed some time to figure out the new diff.
way of tuning etc as he also said….

I play today also, in some symphonies Orchestra here in C-Europe.

Yea! You read right…. the Ped. Steel has now become requested , also in
some bigger of them!

I played Classic music for the first time on my p/p in Italy (Rom) about a
year ago… and it became standing applauds for at least 5 min.

Afterwards, plenty of the audience asked if they could come up on stage
and see this… “Hm.New” instrument with this “Himmelskt sound” that they
NEVER heard or seen before..

I was hired then for 6 hours! I got paid for 9 hours…

The Steel are on its way into a new line of use, that’s for sure…And
with only an old “Stereo” Emmons p/p D-10.. Twin Peavey 112…mixed into
their stage sound device, Hilton volume ped.. some old music theory and
off course… Nashville Number system in my head.

The Number system are a absolute, Classic music are based on fixed tunes
on “Papers” and can’t be read at the same time as playing….

But it’s simple with the system in the head

The Steel Guitar did turn critic classic music audience into a new
“Haven”… They just loved it…
Today I play Classic at least 2 weekends a month in different Countries

I’m a Country music loving man…But today I found also a new line that
gives perspective on music….

And as all you who write news on “Steel Guitar Nashville” news, said

Oh Yea…There aint NO limits on a ped Steel…There are a “Hooooole”
universe to discover

The only limits there is?….Our own feeling and fantasies..

Dear Steel players out there?… listen to this great players who give
from them self, to us out there.

Bye their theory/practical DVDs etc…They help much, to shorter the way
to learn more and make it more interesting way to “Grow” our playing. No
matter music stile

I did once, even thought then!… I don’t need that…Wrong!. It would
taken me two life times to figure out all they tell/Show, by my self…

Thank you so much….Best to Bobbe and All of you..

Ike “Capt.” Anderson Switzerland

Ob..Sorry for my English but I’ve bee gone from US to long…

Back when I was playing with Loretta and also when I was with Roy Clark, we played numerous things with symphonies. Many of the musicians would come down and be curious about the steel guitar. They’d want to know how it’s tuned, what the pedals do and all that stuff.

When we worked the Vegas, Reno and Lake Tahoe circuit, we’d always use the house orchestra but we had our own conductor. I spent many hours with the conductor showing him the copedant to the steel and the range of the instrument so he could write and arrange for it.

If you listen to Bach much, Bach would’ve loved steel guitar. The next time you’re looking for a fresh way to look at steel, try some classical.

Steel Guitar Nashville
123 Mid Town Court
Hendersonville, TN. 37075
(615) 822-5555
Open 9AM – 4PM Monday – Friday
Closed Saturday and Sunday

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