Steel Guitar News

Hello fellow players,

I have had several questions and some of them have been waiting for months to be answered. It makes me feel like I’ve sluffed some of you off.

Question: In your playing, do you prefer working live or in the studio?

Answer: It sort of depends on which one pays the best, which is usually the studio, but as far as pure enjoyment, live is much more enjoyable because when I play, I try to communicate my music with my entire body. I’m not above throwing my hands up in the air or yelling across the stage at someone or jumping up and taking a bow after a solo. I like to get a joyful response from the audience when I do these things. In the studio, nobody cares. They might just want to throw me out.

Question: Does it have something to do with the natural interplay with the audience?

Answer: My answer is yes totally.

Question: The word entertainer. Do you look at yourself as a musician or an entertainer?

Answer: The answer is I always totally look at myself as a musician. If something entertaining comes along while I’m playing, I go with it. When I setup on stage to play a job, at the beginning of the evening I have no plans to entertain, just play good music. However, I have been called an entertainer also by many folks.

Question: Do you classify yourself as a country steel guitar player?

Answer: Not totally, however it seems to be where I make the most money. I have been recording country music for many years and if that’s what I get hired to do, so be it, that’s what I do.

Question: Are there any rock n roll guitar players you like?

Answer: Absolutely, but most of them I don’t like to work with because most of them go into their entertainment role when a beautiful guitar part is called for.

Question: Do stage antics and funny uniforms turn your ears off?

Answer: Absolutely not. Showmanship is wonderful as long as it’s not affecting the quality of the music.

Question: Did you ever hear any of Jimmy Hendrix music?

Answer: Actually, I worked with him onstage here in Nashville when we were in the same band at a club called The Hound’s Tooth. It seems like Charlie Daniels was our singer at the time. This was a little over forty years ago. He was not really fun to work with, but was a nice enough person.

Question: When you are doing sessions Bobbe, how do you approach doing a solo?

Answer: First I learn the melody of the song and get the chords from however they happen to demonstrate the demo to me. Then I try to work out something that is interesting and a little different.

Question: How do you decide if it’s you or the guitar player or somebody else who is going to take the instrumental break in the song?

Answer: Usually I just jump right in and start playing something and wait for somebody in the studio group to say, “Oh that’s nice. Let’s do that.” But quite often it’s the guitar player doing the same thing and if he sounds especially good or if he is being exceptionally pushy, I’ll just back out, look at him and say something like, “I like what you’re trying to do. Go ahead and get it perfected and we’ll see how it goes.”

Meanwhile, I’ll be working up something very killer up in my mind. If I really think mine is better, I’ll look at him with a smile and say, “No. Not this time Charley. Try again next song.” Then I’ll charge in. If this doesn’t work, I’ll let the producer make the call.

Question: Do you ever sit and play just to relax?

Answer: No.

Question: If you go on vacation, do you always pack your steel?

Answer: No, never.

Question: How did you get along with star singer guitar players like the late Jerry Reed, the late Don Gibson and how about Steve Wariner?

Answer: I get along extremely well with them. I have much higher respect for a singer if he is a musician also. I’ve worked many television shows in the past with Don Gibson. Things had to be his way or else, but that was fine because they were his hit songs. Same goes for Hank Snow. I didn’t really care for his ricky-ticky guitar style, but the secret here is he was the star with the money, so you listen and do what he says with a smile.

Steve Wariner is an incredible guitarist. When I work with him, which is not very often anymore, I push him as hard as I can, like my rendition of Rocky Top on my website. We got the tempo so fast, poor Steve just could not keep up. This was a live show at Dollywood and the drummer was also the steel guitarist and thought speed was only something you played. But Steve holds his own very well. I have tremendous respect for him as a singer, as a guitar player, but most of all as a wonderful friend.

To clear up some confusion, we can make George L cables in any length you want. We make them to the length you want. If you want one that’s 43 feet and 4 inches, no problem. We’ll do it. Just keep that in mind.

The boys at Cobra Coil are continually experimenting and trying to make a better product. I feel they have done an incredible job with this brand of string in the past fifteen years. I feel they are by far the best which is the reason why so many great steel guitarist use them on a professional basis.

We also got a new shipment of Cobra Coil strings in. We’ve been warned that our cost for strings will be going up so now might be a good time to get yourself a set or two if you’re in need of them. Here’s the direct link:

Check out our monthly specials at 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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