Monday, October 3, 2011

Steel Guitar News

Hello fellow players,

There are a lot of steel guitar players that live in Hendersonville, Tennessee most of which are internationally known or have been. Over the past few years many of these players have turned into good friends and will come and visit for hours at a time. Several of these have left us, like Don Helms, Howard White, Big Ben Keith, Walter Haines, Harold Fogel, of course Gene O’Neal and many others.

We can now add another one to our list. Mr. John Bechtel. John was principally a road musician and is what I call a working industrial steel guitarist, a commercial player that fills in and works with stars continuously but not necessarily on a permanent basis. John worked with many stars like Billy Walker, Charlie Louvin, Ray Pillow and did many jobs in clubs in town and a lot of shots on the Opry.

John was one of the very first Sho-Bud customers that Shot and Buddy built a new guitar for. John was very soft-spoken, had many stories because he knew so much. He was from the northeastern United States and spent a lot of time around Philadelphia in his youth. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him. This may be a corny line, but it is really the truth when it comes to John.

I was asked some questions the other day by Mr. David McKnight. David was the originator of the JagWire String Company. He asked me, “Whatever happened to the guitar called a Mooney that Tom Mooney of western Tennessee designed and built?”

I let him know that I didn’t know, however it seemed like a pretty decent guitar to me. He mentioned the Miller guitar also which is now a thing of the past as is its owner, builder, designer Roger Miller from Chillicothe, Illinois. There were many, many guitars hand built by Roger. All were pretty homemade looking. Some were very homemade looking, but then again, some of them looked pretty good. All of them that I’ve ever seen did play well.

They were all a pull release design and most of them used a good grade of maple and rosewood together. He had the same problem in pickup winding that the Mar-Len Company in North Carolina had and that is all the pickup magnets we placed in the pickup frame North South North South etc, instead of putting all the north on one side and all the south on the other.

Capri also made this mistake. Capri is a similar company to Mar-Len and Miller. I actually liked them better because they were smaller, lighter and more beautiful. Mr. Al Collins was the builder of this fine but not too good sounding guitar. The Wheeler guitar made in Nashville for awhile, unfortunately was pretty much a joke from day one. A couple of guitars that are no longer being built because of the owner’s demise are Derby and Bethel. Both very good guitars.

The Randall Steel King amplifier. The Randall Company was absorbed by another major amplifier company. Mr. Don Randall was a brilliant businessman in the music world, was also president of Fender for quite awhile and was a dear friend of mine and Jody Carver.

Jody is a famous steel player of course, that is in the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame because of his working with Arthur Godfrey and doing major network television shows over the years. I also have Jody to thank along with some others for being in the Hall of Fame myself this day and time. Jody is a wonderful human being that played Bigsby, Fender pedal and non-pedal over the years. A better friend a fellow player couldn’t have.

I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the great Thumbs Carllisle, but this is one truly incredible guitar player that we lost just a few years ago. Herby Wallace did at least two albums with him. Thumbs had very short fingers and laid his guitar in his lap much like a lapsteel and played with a thumbpick on his right hand or a straight pick and with his left hand he played chords with his thumb and fingers on the front of the neck only.

He was an extremely fast player and for a player that just used a basic E major tuning, also played nice chords in songs with deep changes. He worked with Roger Miller while Buddy Emmons was playing bass with Roger. As a person, I really liked Thumbs very much and often hired him on jobs that I had in Nashville when I needed a great guitar player.

I loved hiring guitar players that also played steel like Russ Hicks, Curly Chalker, Steve Hinson and many more. They always knew what I was doing and how to enhance what I was playing. About the only sarcasm I ever got was out of Curly Chalker. I was doing a medium tempo country song and played an obvious Buddy Emmons lick and got an immediate, “Okay, that’ll be enough of that!” comment from Curly.

I busted out laughing and said, “I just wanted to see if you were awake.”

He said, “If I had been asleep, that would’ve woke me up.”

Curly was known to have a very abrasive personality and would always say what was on his mind, however we got along famously and I liked him very much and we were great friends from 1957 to the day he died. Yes, we have lost an awful lot of players over the past few years and many of them really hurt to have gone, but they just keep leaving me.

Terry Bethel stopped by the store here the other day and let me know that his present days with Mel Tillis are as pleasant as the first 45 years. Boy this has to be some kind of a record. Terry’s been with Mel so long he’s starting to stutter. I remember working television shows with Ralph Emory in the sixties and having Mel Tillis guest on the show and hearing Terry Bethel and Leo Bittner playing fabulous arrangements on instruments like “Mrs. Robinson”, “Johnson Rag” etc.

We still have the lowest prices and the best deal in the world on the Peavey Nashville 112 plus they are in stock and ready to ship like always. We always keep the GFI steels in stock. The reason the GFI is so favored is because of it’s extreme high quality compared to many other steel guitars, lightweight and tremendous factory backup service. If you need a part overnight, you can get it.

What do you call a building full of rap singers?


What’s the difference between a bassoon and a chain saw?

The exhaust.

Why do bagpipers always walk when they play?

To get away from the noise.

How long does it take to tune a steel guitar?

Nobody’s ever bothered to find out.

Just kidding guys.

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



October 3, 2011 

Country music legend, Gene Watson, was just eight miles from his Sunday , October 2nd show in Sandstone, MN when his bus lurched off the road and nearly flipped over.  The GPS system programmed the route for a narrow gravel road to the venue .  When the bus driver politely pulled over a bit to allow for an oncoming truck, the road under Watson’s bus completely crumbled and the bus narrowly missed falling into a boggy area which could have caused the bus to flip completely over.

Fortunately for the artist and his band and crew, the bus caught on its side and stayed in that position.    The singer and crew had to climb out of a window to get out of the bus and although shaken from the tumble, no one was seriously injured.

Four tow trucks were called to the scene.  The first three were too small to pull the enormous touring bus.  Finally a 50 Ton rotator truck arrived and the bus was hauled back on the road.  Meanwhile Gene Watson and his band had been driven to the show site with only their traveling clothes  and no instruments.  As the saying goes, “the show must go on” so Gene and his band performed the first of two shows in “bus clothes” and borrowed an opening band’s musical instruments. Gene’s pedal steel player anxiously awaited for a pedal steel to arrive from 80 miles away but it arrived just in time for the first show.  

Gene Watson, long known for being a former paint and body specialist who still owns his own body shop wryly noted  “I was glad that none of my band or crew were hurt in the accident and that the bus only suffered superficial paint and body damage.  Fortunately, I know a little place that can handle that work and I am hoping I can get a discount.”

Gene Watson is on his way today to Nashville, TN where he will join his friend, country great Randy Travis on the Grand Ole Opry Tuesday October 4th,  where they will sing a song they recorded for Randy’s 25 th Anniversary Celebration album, a track titled “Didn’t We Shine”. 

Sarah Darling and Crock-Pot® Brand Launch CrockStar Confessions

Sarah Darling and Crock-Pot® Brand Launch CrockStar Confessions

            Darling is featured on 1,000,000 Crock-Pot® slow cookers
and gifts fans free music


NASHVILLE, TN – October 3, 2011 Black River Entertainment recording artist Sarah Darling has partnered up with Crock-Pot®, the original and leading slow cooker brand, to shine a bright spotlight on modern day uses for its slow cookers.  Beginning in October, Darling appears on the packaging of one million select Crock-Pot® slow cookers and purchases of select Crock-Pot® slow cookers will be gifted with a FREE music download of Sarah Darling’s first #1 video,“Something To Do With Your Hands.”

Sarah Darling celebrated this partnership over this past weekend at the Grand Ole Opry with two performances and a Crock-Pot® slow cooker inspired recipe card pre-show autograph signing at the Opry store.

October also kicks off CrockStar Confessions, an engaging social media-driven campaign featuring Crock-Pot® slow cookers and Sarah Darling as the initial CrockStar. Throughout the CrockStar Confessions campaign, Darling’s own confessions about the many unique ways she rocks the crock while at home and on the road will be featured alongside additional CrockStars all the while giving CrockStar fans the ability to win a $2,500 Grand Prize by simply tuning into the confessions at and answering trivia questions about the confessions.

“From beverages and breakfasts to candies and cakes, my Crock-Pot® slow cooker works magic every time, no matter how creative I choose to be. I am absolutely obsessed,” confessed Sarah Darling. “I can’t wait to share all of my secrets with other slow cooking fans. I can almost hear them saying:  She made THAT in a Crock-Pot® slow cooker!?”  I really look forward to their confessions too; I just might learn a thing or two!”

Sarah Darling has one of the most recognizable voices in country music. Best known for her #1 music video for “Something To Do With Your Hands,” the track is found on Sarah Darling’s second release with Black River Entertainment, Angels & Devils. Sarah Darling is currently in the studio working on her upcoming album with producer Dan Huff (Keith Urban, Faith Hill, Rascal Flatts) to be released in 2012. Sarah Darling made her Grand Ole Opry debut in February of 2011 and was introduced by Opry Member, Vince Gill. Sarah has since performed on the Opry stage multiple times since. With a passion for cooking and fashion, Sarah Darling signed a promotional deal with Crock-Pot (the original slow cooker) in 2011.  Sarah is also known for her love of Betsey Johnson fashions, and is often seen on stage wearing the designer’s latest dresses.For more information on Sarah Darling, please visit or

Performing of John Rich, The Roys, Darryl Worley & MercyMe


Darryl Worley & MercyMe also set to perform at inaugural event
taking place on October 29th

Fall Festival at BamaJam FarmsEnterprise, Al. (October 3, 2011) – Country music star and 2011 Celebrity Apprentice winner JOHN RICH along with 2-time ICM Duo of the Year winners THE ROYS have been added to perform at the 2011 inaugural Fall Festival at BamaJam Farms taking place on October 29th.  The family-focused entertainment event will also feature musical performances by Darryl Worley, MercyMe, and Enterprise locals The Springs, hay rides, hay maze, along with many other fun activities to include a helicopter fly-over treasure drop for kids 7 and under.

BamaJam Farms currently has RV hook-ups, a 9-hole golf course, as well as its first series of ATV trails that will open that same weekend. There will be major expansions in several areas of the outdoor adventure venue which will include a water park, among other family-friendly areas.

Tickets for Fall Festival at BamaJam Farms will be $25 in advance or $30 at the gate. Military tickets are $15. Children 7 and under get in free. For more ticket info contact Scotty Cox at 334-797-5360 or visit

Stay tuned for much more info and exciting news to come from "BamaJam Farms: Where God and Country Coincide" to include, but not limited to, BamaJam 2012!

About John Rich:
Renowned artist, producer and songwriter John Rich is the reigning champion of NBC television show “The Celebrity Apprentice” and is also one-half of the multi-platinum duo Big & Rich. He has garnered multiple GRAMMY, ACM, CMA and CMT Music Award nominations and is a three-time ASCAP Songwriter of the Year recipient with 13 top ten hits including Faith Hill’s “Mississippi Girl,” Faith and Tim McGraw’s “Like We Never Loved At All,” Gretchen Wilson’s “Redneck Woman” and Jason Aldean’s “Hicktown.” Rich’s publishing company, Godfather Rich Muzik, recently received their first No. 1 award for publishing Jason Aldean’s hit “Don’t You Wanna Stay” feat. Kelly Clarkson. Rich’s first solo release, Son Of A Preacher Man, featured the hit single “Shuttin’ Detroit Down,” which was his first solo hit to land in the Top 15 on the Country Singles Chart. Rich is the only country music artist who has garnered a Top 15 single as a part of a group, duo and solo artist.

About The Roys:
Lee & Elaine Roy come from a unique musical family and are known for their superb sibling harmonies, "rootsy" sound and compelling original songs. The Massachusetts natives were "raised right" on country and bluegrass in New Brunswick, Canada.  They are the reigning two-time Inspirational Country Music Duo of the Year with three ICM nominations for the upcoming 2011 awards show.  Their latest album LONESOME WHISTLE (Rural Rhythm Records) debuted at #7 on BILLBOARD's Bluegrass Albums Chart. 




New music to release to Country Radio later this year


Nashville, TN…(October 3, 2011)…Former American Idol finalist Bucky Covington has inked a record deal with Entertainment One Music Group, with plans for new music as early as winter 2011. While Entertainment One Music Group represents artists across a diverse range of genres, Bucky is joining the label as their premier Country talent.

 “From the first time I met Bucky a couple of years ago I’ve been very impressed with not only his great music but also his engaging personality and love of performing for country music fans,” shares Entertainment One Nashville Vice-President Van Fletcher. "We are really enjoying working with Bucky Covington and his management team on his sophomore release in 2012 for Entertainment One Nashville.“

"We are very excited to welcome Bucky Covington to our Entertainment One Film, TV, and Music family,” adds Entertainment One Nashville President Mike Olsen. “We are already having great success this year at eOne and adding Bucky to our roster is a wonderful indicator for 2012 and beyond."

Bucky first burst onto the scene in 2006 following an impressive finish on the fifth season of American Idol. His self-titled debut CD opened at #1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart and delivered consecutive Top 10 hit singles including “A Different World,” “It’s Good To Be Us” and “I’ll Walk.” After the 2010 closure of Disney’s Lyric Street Records, Bucky continued to record new music while performing to sold-out crowds across the country.

"After getting to know everyone at eOne, they are a perfect fit for me.  Being a part of eOne is such a great opportunity, and I truly believe it will be a winning combination. I love these guys!” declares Bucky. “I am very excited and can’t wait to get the party started and share my new music with my fans."

Bucky is busy in the studio writing and recording new music for his long-awaited sophomore album. Fans attending his shows this year can expect to hear a sampling of the new music. The first single is expected late this year with a new album releasing in 2012.

About Bucky Covington: Bucky Covington’s self-titled debut CD opened at #1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart with the biggest first week sales for any debut country artist that year. He went on to become the best selling debut artist of 2007 and delivered three consecutive Top 10 hit singles to country radio. In addition to competing on the fifth season of American Idol, Bucky’s national television appearances have included Good Morning America, Live with Regis and Kelly!, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Tonight Show andFox & Friends. To learn more about Bucky Covington, log on to or follow him on twitter @buckycovington.

Entertainment One Ltd. (LSE:ETO) is a leading international entertainment company that specializes in the acquisition, production and distribution of film and television content.  The company’s comprehensive network extends around the globe including Canada, the U.S., the UK, Ireland, Benelux, France, Germany, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.  Through established Entertainment and Distribution divisions, the company provides extensive expertise in film distribution, television and music production, family programming and merchandising and licensing. Its current rights library is exploited across all media formats and includes more than 20,000 film and television titles, 2,500 hours of television programming and 45,000 music tracks. To learn more about Entertainment One visit

Country Music News International Oct. 3, 2011

Here is your Country Music News of the day. Your Country Music News is supported by Lucy Angel, , Steel Guitar Nashville, , HelpCharity, , Bobbe Seymour, , Radio4Humans, , Katsy Redstar

You can publish the Newsletter to your websites or forward to your friends. If you want to publish some of the interviews, please contact me.

Hier sind jetzt Eure Country Music News des Tages. Eure Country Music News werden unterstützt von Lucy Angel, , Steel Guitar Nashville, , HelpCharity, , Bobbe Seymour, , Radio4Humans, , Katsy Redstar

Der Newsletter darf veröffentlicht werden auf Euren Internetseiten und an Eure Freunde weiter geleitet werden. Solltet Ihr gerne einige der Interviews veröffentlichen wollen, kurze Rückmeldung an mich.

Last but not least, join my buddy list on the following profiles and add me to your Top Friends:
Warm regards

Viele Grüße


Country Music News International
Editor / Publisher
Christian Lamitschka
An der Pfingstweide 28
61118 Bad Vilbel
Phone: ++49 6101 544613
Mobil: ++49 171 6903352
Fax: ++49 6101 544622

Russ Carson – Last Chance

Russ Carson – Last Chance


1. I Feel The Blues Movin' In 3:24 2. Methodist Preacher 2:52 3. You Can Take Your Time 3:22 4. Sullivan County 3:12 5. Goodbye Lize Jane 2:42 6. Sake of Love 2:50 7. Liberty Off The Corn Liquor Still/ Devil In The Wood Pile 2:43 8. Shenandoah Breakdown 2:41 9. One Tear 2:42 10. Runaround 2:54 11. Blue 3:26 12. Last Chance 2:09 13. Redwood Hill 2:45 14. Squirrel Hunters 4:45

Seine letzte Chance ist das Album, auch wenn es den Titel „Last Chance“ trägt, bestimmt nicht. Bluegrass Music in seiner feinsten Art wird von Russ Carson präsentiert. Insgesamt umfasst das Album 14 Songs, wobei „Sullivan County“ von Russ Carson selber geschrieben wurde. Freunde der Bluegrass Music, die die Musikrichtung schon untergehen sehen, sollten sich das Bluegrass von Russ Carson einmal anhören und werden feststellen, dass sie sich um die Zukunft der Bluegrass Music keine Sorgen machen müssen.

Christian Lamitschka ( )

How to promote your music?

One morning in late August, we read in Country Aircheck that Sony Nashville – one of the biggest country label groups in the world and home to superstars such as Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, and Brad Paisley – laid off seven full-time members of its radio promotion staff.
As we always remind you, the brutally high cost of promoting singles to country radio is probably the major reason so many labels go under each year. Happily for Nashville, there’s never a shortage of hopeful new labels and out-of-town investors springing up to take their place, but the new labels will likely go the same way as the ones they replace unless they fix their radio-promotion models.
Radio is potentially a marvelous way to get your music heard, but it is also more often than not a gigantic financial sinkhole. The playlists that make up the Billboard and Country Aircheck charts, which consist of the combined spins from an elite group of roughly 120 country stations, are dominated by superstar acts like Taylor Swift, Chesney, Lady Antebellum, Underwood, Paisley, and a handful of other major artists whose labels invest millions of dollars each year on radio promotion.
And unless you have a few million bucks sitting around that you’re willing and likely to waste in exchange for a few meaningless spins at 3 a.m. on those same stations, don’t waste your time trying to play that game. You’ll lose every time, as so many of those failing labels have learned so painfully.
Promoting to the Music Row stations won’t cost you quite as much and they’re far more open to new music, but getting meaningful spins on their panel – 110 stations in small and medium markets – is also very, very expensive, time consuming, and generally frustrating.
One of the classic failures of radio promotion is that artists and labels think too big. They try to work the entire country – all of the reporting stations or another group of stations from coast to coast.
That too is in nearly all cases a waste of time and a brutally expensive mistake.
If you want to do a cost-effective radio tour, follow the example Captain Joe Kent and Curtis Lyn Cook have used this summer: focus on just one state, and focus on the smaller country stations there that the major labels and artists never call on.
Curtis Lyn Cook is from Missouri, and has long been a popular live act there, both in a band and solo setting. So Captain Joe, who is CLC’s publisher, co-writer, and head of radio promotion, is working the dozens of Missouri country stations with CLC’s single and new album, and the response has been exciting and instantaneous.
That’s dozens of stations in one state instead of hundreds of stations spread across 50 states. And just working one state – as Captain Joe can attest – is exhausting work in itself. He has assembled and mailed dozens of packages with CLC’s CDs and press package; he has made hundreds of phone calls and sent hundreds of Emails and texts; worked hundreds of hours; and he has spent hundreds of dollars of his and CLC’s money in this promotion.
But the payoff has been outstanding. Not only is CLC’s first radio single being spun all over the Show Me State – and now in other states as well, since they’ve heard the buzz coming out of Missouri – but many stations are playing album cuts that Captain Joe hadn’t even started promoting yet, because they are so excited about the whole record and the local fan base CLC already had in place in Missouri.
Another huge plus has been, Nashville Music Guide’s booming Internet radio station. Big Joe Matthews spins the heck out of CLC’s music, and has done on-air interviews with CLC and Captain Joe. has been one of several innovations and improvements that NMG owner and executive editor Randy Matthews and his family have made to the business models the Row and radio have been using for years. The support of Randy for independent artists and songwriters, both at NMG and through the new TCM Records, has truly been something to see and hear.
And as Captain Joe and CLC have shown on their Missouri radio tour, when it comes to radio promotion, often smaller is better.
By: Phil Sweetland

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