Sunday Wax Bits - JazzWax

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February 06, 2011


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Dave James


I share your appreciation for good steel guitar. Some favorites of mine would include Tom Brumley and Randy Meisner who both played with different iterations of Rick Nelson's Stone Canyon Band, O.J. "Red" Rhodes with Michael Nesmith's First National Band and Rusty Young with Poco. I'm sure you're also familiar with Junior Brown who plays the double necked Guitsteel. Of course, it's also good to remember the other kind of specialist in this genre, the lap steel player. Here's a video of a pretty fair representative of this subset. Unfortunately, I don't know his name. He's part of Wayne "The Viper of Melody" Hancock's band. The bass player isn't too bad either. Solid rock-a-billy.


Many pedal steel players can play some impressive jazz when given the opportunity. The best known is Buddy Emmons who recorded red hot jazz with Lenny Breau, Danny Gatton, Buddy Spicher, and others. Another is Curly Chalker who recorded with Joe Venuti, and there are many others.

Mike Lynch

Giacomo Gates is the hippest cat on Planet Earth.

Mike Milner

Hi Marc

Hi Marc

I completely agree with your entry about the steel guitar. Two of my personal favourites are Bobby Black and Junior Brown. Bobby played with Commander Cody on those great country swing recordings. Junior Brown is of course still active. Lenny Breau's album "Swingin' on a Seven-String" is I believe the one referenced earlier.

John Hulaton

I'm all for Buddy Emmons. "Bluemmons" is a happening tune. He also did "Cherokee" and "Oleo" on the same album.


hey! I completely agree with all of you and your love for the steel guitar. One of my favorite bands is the Cangelosi cards who play early 20s jazz here in NYC. Also I suppose over time one can get more comfy in their skin. But True Charisma is either there or it isn't. Tony Bennett is one of my heros and I've met him twice. But you can't compare him to a Dean Martin or Sammy Davis. on that note, I hate to admit it ...but Michael Buble is one charismatic dude. Live the guy is like's impressive. I think his charisma trumps his chops even.
Whaddia say?

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of a Song" (Grove) and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax is a two-time winner of the Jazz Journalists Association's best blog award.

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