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Steel Guitar News

Hello fellow players,

Here we are, New Year’s has passed, Christmas pressures and hubbub are on their way to being a memory and we can finally settle down to try to endure the cold harsh winter unless you’re somewhere like McAllen, Texas or Jacksonville, Florida. Of course, we all have a choice. We can fight snow or fight alligators.

I’ve never played the gulf coast much except for being booked in with the big recording stars like Johnny Rivers, Billy Walker, Johnnie Paycheck and the like. I will have to say I found our lower coast to be extremely enjoyable in many ways. Good people, food and all the alligator you can eat.

There is a different twist that residents put on country music on the south coast, a twist where Fender steel guitars and old Ralph Mooney styles blend in like no others. The lead guitar and rhythm sections also seem to have their own feeling of soul.

I remember working with Rufus Tibideau. I actually feel that a good recording company could make a sweep through this section of the U.S. and find some great music stars. I played with a few myself that have done pretty well. Doug Kershaw is one of them and of course Johnny Rivers is a native of New Orleans.

It is such a wonderful, unique style of country music, so much so that possibly it shouldn’t be called country. Jimmy C. Newman, Jo-el Sonnier and Eddie Raven are three guys from the lower coast that have done real well in country music. It seems like all of these people that I’m reminiscing about used steel guitar.

I know that Sonny Garrish has done several hit tunes with great stars . Of course, this is where Mr. Lloyd Green is from, Mobile, Alabama. Don Davis, Doug Jernigan and Curly Chalker all hailed from the panhandle of Florida. So there could definitely be something in the water there.

But what I’m talking about today is that great, funky south coast style that the Cajuns are so renowned for. Sort of like crayfish, hush puppies, clams and lightly done alligator, you just about have to be there to get the full effect. This is quite likely to be a wonderful place for a vacation. The recreation, warm temperatures, the smell in the air of the ocean and the infectious Cajun music is just about wonderful. Wish I were there.

I know many steel guitar players in this region and nicer people there aren’t. They all seem to be flowing over with that good old southern hospitality.

Since I’ve touched on the subject of food, I would like to recommend some places in my area here near the store. It seems like all of you ask where a good restaurant is when you come to see me.

The restaurants seem to have a way of changing, however me being an extremely picky eater and very demanding in where I eat, I have pretty well weeded out the ordinary and can recommend some pretty fine places. Tennessee is not real famous for great food, hence the reason for me recommending the best I can find.

First of all, let me recommend a Mediterranean restaurant very near the store. It has been on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and many people rave about it. It’s where Ricky Scaggs, The Oak Ridge Boys and the great engineer Snake Reynolds eat regularly.

There used to be a lot of hoop-de-doo in the past about a place called The Blue Goose, however it has changed hands and has pretty well slipped to the depths of mediocrity.

If you come to see me, I won’t let you go to a place that is bad, so ask me about a place called The Chop House and I promise you, you will never have any better pork chops, ribs or chicken at the low price that they will charge you for it.

If nothing else, come on out and let’s have lunch and listen to some great steel guitar players. Doug Jernigan, Penn Pennington and many other great musicians will vouch for my recommendations.

I appreciate all the responses I got to the Red Rhodes newsletter like this very kind note from Dave Hopping.

Not to worry at all about the Red Rhodes/Mesa-Boogie stuff. Leo Fender was known to call Telecasters “Broadcasters” up into the ’60s. Even though I don’t get to do as much business with Steel Guitar Nashville as I’d like, I always read “Bobbe’s Tips” first thing and appreciate the stories, tips, jokes, and everything else. You’re a good friend to the steel community.
Kindest regards
Dave Hopping

Check out our monthly specials at http://www.steelguitar.net/monthlyspecials.html and we’ll try to save you a lot of money.

Your buddy,

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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