Monday, October 24, 2011

Funny or Die

Funny or Die Video Released Today Featuring Steve Martin, Ed Helms, Noam Pikelny, Earl Scruggs, Gillian Welch & Dave Rawlings, and More

Renowned Punch Brothers banjoist, Noam Pikelny, releases his new solo album Beat the Devil and Carry A Rail on Compass Records October 25.  Watch Noam narrowly escape creative failure (with help from Steve Martin and Ed Helms), in the first bluegrass-themed video exclusive by Funny or Die, HERE  

Pikelny is undeniably the next big thing to happen to the 5-string banjo, earning the first annual Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass Music. Unfortunately, Pikelny, having the singing voice of a feverish mule in heat, will not be winning any excellence in vocal skills awards despite his insistence in singing on the album - an insistence that results in a heated dispute with actor and avid acoustic music fan Ed Helms.

Pikelny begins a tour in December with a group of stellar acoustic performers, including fellow Punch Brothers Gabe Witcher and Chris Eldrige, Crooked Still’s Aoife O’Donovan, renowned bassist Mark Shatz and the Infamous Stringduster’s Jesse Cobb.  The run will make stops in New York City, DC, Chicago and more.

12.4 - Mountain Stage Radio - Charleston, WV
12.5 - WoodSongs - Lexington, KY
12.7 - Station Inn - Nashville, TN
12.8 - Barking Legs Theater - Chattanooga, TN
12.9 - Smith's Olde Bar - Atlanta, GA
12.10 - The Evening Muse - Charlotte, NC
12.11 - IOTA Club & Cafe - Arlington, VA
12.13 - One Longfellow Square -Portland, ME
12.14 -  Brighton Music Hall - Allston, MA
12.15 - Rockwood Music Hall - New York, NY
12.17 - Schubas - Chicago, IL

Sell Out Evening For The British Country Music Awards

Sell Out Evening For The British Country Music Awards

Sunday the 23rd October 2011 was the British Country Music Night Of The Year when the BCMAwards were held in London at The British Airways Concorde Suite. The queues to get in were around the building at 6 pm waiting to get into this prestigious night for British Country Music. The doors opened at 6.30 and within 15 mins the venue was full. The evening kicked off with one of last years winners The Hayley Oliver Band who warmed up the audience before 70s/80s star Alvin Stardust took to the stage for a couple of songs including a new version of 16 tons. He was then joined by Sylvie Blackmore from the BBC to host the Awards. 16 Awards were ready to be announced plus two inductees into the British Hall Of Fame.

Live performances were supplied by the house band C'est La Vie who backed the following artists Donna Wylde, Chris Mercer, John Permenter, Darren Busby, MT Allan,and special guest from the USA Johnny Counterfit who with his vocal impressions left the audience screaming for more. C'est La Vie rounded off the evening with 30 mins of top class music.

In between the performances the Awards were announced by Alvin and Sylvie, with the sponsors giving the Glass Award to the lucky winners. The International act was won by Brad Paisley who accepted the Award a few weeks before at his London O2 performance. A filmed acceptance speech was shown. Jim Duncan took to the stage and awarded the two inductees Iona Boggie and Charlie Landsborough with their Hall of Fame awards. Iona was present with a Welsh film crew and Charlie was on tour, so sent in a video acceptance, with Lee Williams handing over the award to Charlie on tour this week.

A full list of winners and sponsors follow

The Awards Show was filmed for TV and details of TV channels and times will be released in due course.

A big thank you goes to the BCMAwards team – Lee Williams, MT Allan, Roger Wild, Jim Duncan, Les Evans and Bob Thomas.

We would also like to thank all the magazines and radio that has supported the Awards and of course all the Award Sponsors.

A couple of Photos are attached, but further official photos will be available for any outlet who require other shots and specific artists and winners.

Further Details from Lee Williams at or Tel 01252 514549 or 07956 888587

International Act Of The Year
Sponsor – Americana International Festival
Winner – Brad Paisley

British Hall Of Fame Inductees
Iona Boggie
Charlie Landsborough

Entertainer of the Year
Sponsor – Ascot Lawyers
Winner – Henry Smith

Male Vocalist
Sponsor – CMDS Magazine
Winner – Darren Busby

Band Of The Year
Sponsor – Copper Kettle Promotions
Winner – Gary Perkins & The Breeze

Female Vocalist
Sponsor – Double H Promotions
Winner – Nadine Sommers

Solo Act
Sponsor – Sylvan Entertainments
Winner – Bob Keeley

Sponsor – DCMA
Winner – Kalibre

Christian Country Act Of The Year
Sponsor – NCM/UKCMA
Winner – Dan Wesley

Line Dance Act
Sponsor – Kings Hill Holidays
Winner – Alan Gregory

Musician Of The Year
Sponsor – Country Legends Show
Winner – Gaynor Sutcliffe

Horizon Act
Sponsor – CMR Nashville
Winner – Pig Earth

Album Of The Year
Sponsor – AirPlay Direct
Winner – Brian Hughes – My Kind Of Paradise

Original Song Of The Year
Sponsor – Country Music People
Steve Black – You're On Your Own

Americana Act Of The Year
Sponsor – Maverick Magazine
Winner – Good Intentions

Hotdisc Track Of The Year
Sponsorship - Hotdisc
Winner – The Spirit by Clive John & The Spirit Band

Event Of The Year
Sponsorship – NAMStars
Winner – Wolverstock Festival

Lee Williams with Brian Hughes - Album Of The Year
Johnny Counterfit - Johnny Cash Impersonation

Steel Guitar News

Hello fellow players,

This week I’d like to cover a part of the steel guitar that gets much discussion, the legs. Some of the old console steel guitars were made without legs. These are brands like Epiphone, the earliest Fenders and almost all National, Magnatone and several other great professional steel guitars and the only thing that kept them from being great highly desirable guitars was the fact that they either had legs of a poor design, like the Gibson Console Grand or no legs at all.

In the last several years we have been manufacturing leg sockets that work with standard professional pedal guitar legs. These use a half inch thirteen thread. We also have legs that are much stiffer, will extend a little over 44 inches, are strong and beautiful. These also retract to fit in any steel guitar case. These are the only legs that I would ever care to see on a steel guitar.

Recently, these legs have been very hard to obtain and are getting very expensive. The original manufacturer was Atlas Microphone Company. I can remember when these mike stands sold brand new for only $6.90 each in 1955. Not only have the prices of these mike stands doubled several times, but are nearly unobtainable from Atlas. They will no longer sell them without the base.

All this and by the time we have the plugs made for the ends to screw into the socket, the price is pretty well prohibitive. So for years, a company in North Carolina has been making all the steel guitar lets and doing a very good job of it. However, OSHA has been on them pretty hard recently concerning the chrome work that is done to the finished product. This has made these legs more expensive and harder to obtain.

A friend named Jim Egan in Texas made these for awhile, but has now ceased production because of the cost involved. Many pedal steel guitar companies in the last couple of years have been running scared wondering what they were going to do to take care of this leg situation. Of course, as we all know, GFI manufactures their own thick wall aluminum legs which works fine. However some folks like steel legs that are chrome plated because they stay shiny easier and aren’t quite as flexible.

Adjustability for height is another reason the regular old steel guitar / mike stand legs are still desirable. As of the moment we are buying legs that are steel and chrome of the new design that look almost identical to the great standard old telescoping chrome leg. We have managed to hold the price of these legs to $49.90 each. These are for pedal steel guitars. They use a standard half inch thirteen thread.

These legs can be made to fit and be ordered for the GFI steel guitars, so if you any of you ever had a complaint about the GFI being a little flexible in the aluminum leg department, a set of these new steel legs will stiffen it up and should make you happy. Expect a small increase in weight of a couple pounds.

The knurled nut on these new legs is designed to be very strong and dependable, even though it looks very similar to the regular old Atlas design, it is actually much easier to get a grip on and the threads are much smoother, all of which makes the leg feel much higher quality.

As we all know, legs are a very important part of any steel guitar, pedal or non-pedal. Knowing that many of you have had problems obtaining good high quality legs for your steel guitar or for your lapsteel with leg sockets, this should take care of your most demanding requirements.

By way of request, Bob Wills road stories. Seeing a great old black and white movie on Turner Classic Movie channel last week, I was reminded of some of my travels with Ray Price and Bob Wills back in the fifties in the famous old 29 passenger Flxible busses that I mention so often.

It seems like we were always having trouble with the engines blowing in these beautiful buses. The body on these buses was fine even though they didn’t have air conditioning and the heaters never worked after the first year or two on the road. The buses had the most beautiful lines of any buses ever made, even in this day and time, these buses with their rounded front ends, molded in headlights, big curved windshield and the rounded back end with the big cooling scoop on top, they looked absolutely gorgeous and still look much better than the aluminum boxes that we call buses today.

The problem with these wonderful buses was the fact that they used car engines, most often the straight eight Buick of the day. The biggest problem was these engines could throw a rod farther than Babe Ruth could hit a home run and managed to do so even more often.

Whenever we had to be somewhere at a certain time, we’d make sure that we went through a town that had at least one Buick dealer and tried to play in towns where they had plenty of old Buick parts. The brakes on these buses were just about as bad as the internal components of the engines themselves.

There I was, a steel guitar player in a couple of the great country music bands of the day having to spend most of my road time keeping our bus running. Years later I remember moving to Nashville and getting to drive and ride in some of the new, more modern General Motors coaches of the day. Power steering once in awhile, good heaters and in some of these GMC coaches, the heat was even good. But we still admired the bands that got to ride in the Trailways Silver Eagles.

Then there was David Houston’s little Flxible 29 passenger bus and he had a Detroit 371 super-charged engine and this bus would absolutely fly. He told me one time that when he went out to buy a bus, he went down to a GMC dealer, bought the engine and as soon as it was delivered to the dealer, he just went out and bought a junky old bus to install it in.

This way he had a very good dependable fast bus that may not have had air conditioning or heat, but it was dependable and fast. He had that bus for a long time, but near the end of his career I think he went back to a van and trailer. I must add here that David Houston of “Almost Persuaded” fame, was one of the very nicest stars ever in country music and he sure knew how to get the boys to a job.

The musicians might have frostbite when they get there or be half dead of heat stroke, but they got there with a smile. But then why not? They were usually the first ones there. I miss seeing those old buses on the road today.

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

Charlie Sizemore welcomes Paul Kramer “No Lawyers in Heaven”

Charlie Sizemore welcomes Paul Kramer to the band
as they celebrate numerous #1s for the single,
“No Lawyers in Heaven”
The Charlie Sizemore Band is pleased to announce the addition of award-winning multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter Paul Kramer on fiddle.  "We are thrilled," Charlie reports. "Great fiddle players are hard to come by, and having a musician, singer, and writer of Paul's caliber in the band is inspiring and exciting for all of us."
A native Chicagoan, Paul began his career with Special Consensus before moving to Nashville in 1988.  His impressive resume includes a songwriting deal with Mel Tillis' publishing company as well as touring and recording with Lorrie Morgan, Gary Allan, Travis Tritt, and, most recently, Sammy Kershaw.
Charlie Sizemore is celebrating the #1 single on October's Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine Top 30 Song chart and #1 on October’s Power Source Magazine Top 35 Song chart for “No Lawyers in Heaven.”  The song was written by Paul Craft and Billy Edd Wheeler and appears on Sizemore’s album, HEARTACHE LOOKING FOR A HOME (Rounder) that is currently in the #5 spot on the Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine Top 15 Album chart.  The single and album have topped numerous other charts since its release including also hitting #1 on the Bluegrass Music Profiles Magazine Top 30 Hot Singles chart in July.
Paul joins Charlie Sizemore (lead vocals, guitar), Danny Barnes (mandolin, vocals), Charles Fields (bass), and Josh McMurray (banjo), to round out The Charlie Sizemore Band.

For more information, please visit


Order your copy here

Track Listing

01 Down in the Quarter
02 Red Wicked Wine
03 No Lawyers in Heaven
04 Heartache Looking for a Home
05 Feelin' Like El Paso
06 Slow Goin'
07 Walking the Floor Over Me
08 I Don't Remember Loving You
09 Poor Rambler
10 Ashley Judd
11 Ford of Pittman
12 Pay No Attention to Alice
13 Going to Georgia
14 Crossing Over Into the Valley

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