Monday, November 14, 2011

Steel Guitar News

Hello fellow players,

Alright friends, neighbors and customers, this is the first writing we’ve done to you since our big 20 percent off sale. As you all probably know, this is what we called a true 20 percent off sale which was even 20 percent off everything, even the advertised sale price.

And yes, we were hit hard. It’s obvious that many of you folks loved this sale. We sold thousands of dollars of worth of items at discount prices. From the emails I’ve gotten since, this sale was greatly appreciated. Most people have asked when we’ll have another one. I don’t really know how to answer that except that it will probably be at the end of next summer.

Of course we will have many items on sale for Christmas before our next big across the board sale.

Our steel player this week to tell you about from the International Steel Guitar Hall of Fame is Speedy West. Speedy was definitely the player with the greatest personality that ever was. I remember a steel guitar show put on by the boys in Tulsa, Oklahoma several years ago. This was a hard show for me to play because I had just lost one of my dearest friends in steel guitar, the wonderful Gary Hogue, steel player for Marty Stuart.

When I was onstage, I decided to do a commemorative song for Gary. Upon announcing it I hung my head and could not hold back my emotions and how I was missing Gary’s friendship. I started crying rather profusely into the microphone and tears got down on the inside of my glasses where I couldn’t see to play.

Upon apologizing to the crowd that was there, I looked in the front row and there was Speedy West crying his heart out also. After the show Speedy came up to me and put his arms around me still crying he said that was about the nicest thing he’d ever seen. It was right then and there that I realized that Speedy West’s heart was as big as the state of Texas.

This famous player worked for many years in Oklahoma City for Fender. He promoted the Fender 1000 steel guitar. It was during this period that he sold his very famous triple neck Bigsby. It was the Bigsby guitar, a triple neck eight string, that Speedy built his career on in the late forties. This was truly a very gorgeous steel guitar and the one that Speedy used in all the movies that he did in major movie studios in California.

Jimmy Bryant of guitar playing fame put out many instrumentals that he and Speedy wrote together and had great luck in the sales department with these great tunes and arrangements the way they performed them. Tunes like Speedin’ West, Across The Alley From The Alamo and many, many more on the Capitol label. As a matter of fact, I was twelve years old when I saw my first Bryant and West album in a record store and bought it having never heard of them, but only because of the great picture on the cover.

The picture was of Speedy with his great triple neck Bigsby and Jimmy with his newly released Fender Telecaster lead guitar. Upon playing it when I got it home, I was pretty astounded all the way around. Little did I know at that time that Speedy would many years later become a great friend.

If anybody asks you today if you ever heard of Speedy West, just say yes, he was the nicest guy ever in the world of steel guitar. You can get a lot more information on Speedy from google. And go to the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame website and read his plaque.

Speedy West had a son named Gary that was born when Speedy was playing for Lawrence Welk. Speedy Jr. just died in 2011. I might add here that Speedy Sr. was also in the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in Springfield, Missouri. He loved Standel amplifiers and his idols were Billy Robinson and Jerry Byrd. Let’s all remember this great player reverently.

One of you readers of this newsletter has asked me to get into lubricants that are used on steel guitars. I recommend a dry silicone lubricant for the changer. Spray it on heavy with the guitar upside down. A tiny drop of 60 weight motor oil underneath the guitar where cross shafts go through their L-bracket holders will make things much quieter and easier to manipulate.

There are some brands of steel guitars which include GFI and Mullen that may not need lubricant because of roller bearings or delran bearings.

A tiny drop in the end of the legs that screw into the guitar will keep them from rusting. Just don’t use enough that you make a mess. Where the pedals rotate on the pedal bar, it’s a good idea to use this 60 weight oil continuously there. Never get any oil on your strings as it will keep them from vibrating freely and kill your sustain.

Many folks have told me not to recommend using oil in the rollers at the keyhead, but I find that this is one great way to keep the rollers from rattling back and forth when the guitar is being played. Tom Bradshaw has other ideas here.

On my Bigsby guitars, I don’t even use rollers at the keyhead end and have no problem at all with just putting a tiny drop of heavy oil under each string. Naturally with no roller, the strings will not make a funny vibrating noise in the keyhead. I even ordered a new Clinesmith guitar specifically without rollers because this works so well.

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

Janie Fricke Reinvents Well-Known Hits on Country Side of Bluegrass

Janie Fricke Reinvents Well-Known Hits on Country Side of Bluegrass
New album due out January 24th
Janie Fricke - Country Side of BluegrassNashville, TN (November 14, 2011) – The award-winning incomparable Janie Fricke is putting a bluegrass spin on several of her well-known hits with her latest album Country Side of Bluegrass to be released January 24, 2012.
In a partnership with New Music Deals, Janie’s album will be available for purchase through Ernest Tubb Record Shops, at shows and on starting in January 2012. Fans can stop by Janie’s website now to Pre-Order the album before the January release date.
America became aware of Janie Fricke’s voice when she was heard throughout the nation singing jingles for United Airlines, Coca-Cola, McDonalds, and Red Lobster among others. She soon became a background vocalist on albums for musical legends such as Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Eddie Rabbitt, Crystal Gayle, Ronnie Milsap, Barbara Mandrell, Mel Tillis, Johnny Duncan, and Elvis Presley.  It wasn’t until 1977 that fans and industry alike took notice of Fricke as a solo artist. People were asking who sang the line "Shut out the light and lead me..." in Johnny Duncan’s chart topping single “Stranger” and began recognizing her voice in duets with legends Merle Haggard and Moe Bandy among others.
Fricke’s career took off in the 1980’s when America truly fell in love with her ballads and Pop-Country style of singing. Throughout her career she has released 23 albums which generated 36 singles, 18 of which hitting #1 status. Her awards include two-time Country Music Association “Female Vocalist of the Year,” the Academy of Country Music “Top Country Female Vocalist of the Year,” The Cash Box Magazine “Top Country Female Vocalist” and several others. Her Grammy nominations include “Best Female Country Performance and “Best Duet Performance.”
Never one to rest for long Fricke was approached with the idea of going into the studio and reworking a bluegrass version of several of her well-known hits. “So I came to Nashville, and they put the bluegrass pickers together. It was so much fun for me. It’s a real departure from what I'm used to, because I'm used to the basic standard country versions. So it was quite a challenge,” said Fricke.  “Some of the songs were so far out there that I wasn't sure if I could do it or not, because they were so far from the country version.”
Country Side of Bluegrass includes a much more up tempo version of the popular ballad “You Don’t Know Love,” and “Tell Me a Lie,” originally a country heartbreaker. Fans will be excited to hear the new version of her first #1 single “Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me Baby,” and “It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Easy,” the top song of her career in Fricke’s eyes. The album also includes classics such as Grand Ole Opry favorite “Please Help Me I’m Falling in Love with You,” “Faithless Love” and the Johnny Cash smash-hit “Ring of Fire.”
Track List:
  1. “You Don’t Know Love”
  2. “Goodbye Broken Heart”
  3. “Do Me With Love”
  4. “Faithless Love”
  5. “He’s A Heartache”
  6. “Please Help Me, I’m Falling” (In Love With You)
  7. “She’s Single Again”
  8. “Ill Need Someone To Hold Me” (When I Cry)
  9. “Down To My Last Broken Heart”
  10. “Tell Me A Lie”
  11. “It Ain’t Easy Bein Easy”
  12. “Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me Baby”
  13. “Ring of Fire” (Bonus Track)
Fricke is excited to promote and share Country Side of Bluegrass with fans and will hit the road in November with Two-Time Inspirational Country Music Awards “Duo of The Year” The Roys. They will continue touring and sharing their music well into 2012.
For more information on Janie Fricke please visit
Look for Janie Fricke and The Roys out on the road:
Date                      Venue                                                               Location                           
11.12.11               Central Square                                                Glenwood, MN
02.3.12                 Casino Regina                                                Regina Saskatchewan
02.15.12               Florida State Fair                                            Tampa, FL
03.10.12               Cactus Petes Gala Showroom                     Jackpot, NV
03.24.12               The Strand Theater                                        Wheeling, WV
05.5.12                  Mooney Hollow Barn                                     Green Island, IA
06.16.12               Crystal Grand Theater                                   Wisconsin Dells, WI
09.22.12               Renfro Valley Entertainment Center           Renfro Valley, KY
10.27.12               God & Country Theater                                  Branson, MO

Hee Haw Star to Appear on Nationally Syndicated 'The Better Show' This Week

Television Icon Lulu Roman  Busier; “Better” Than Ever
Hee Haw Star to Appear on Nationally Syndicated 'The Better Show' This Week
LuLu RomanNashville, TN (November 14, 2011) -- Television icon and Gospel Music Great, Lulu Roman will dish it up on the nationally syndicated TV show, the Better Show today.  Check local listings for specific times in your area.
Roman taped the Better Show segment in New York last month.  In it, she proudly talks about her fight against poverty through her involvement with world-renowned child advocacy organization, Compassion International and about her recent trip to Guatemala to see first-hand, the work Compassion International does.
“I saw much happiness and laughter in the children and I also saw children who were quietly crying in their spirit. I know that cry," Roman says, drawing from her own painful childhood in an orphanage.  "I saw the sadness in those dark eyes and the longing of desire for someone to take the sadness of uncertainty away from those small faces."
Roman sponsors a little Guatemalan girl through Compassion International.
Best known for her long-running stint on the syndicated hit TV show, Hee Haw, Roman was an original cast member who appeared regularly on the show from 1969 to 1971.  She left the show for a few years but later returned, and remained a regular until the show ended in 1992.  During her tenure, Roman helped create some of the show's most memorable characters in skits like The Culhanes and Lulu's Truck Stop.  
In her interview with The Better Show, Roman also talked about her weight loss (more than 200 pounds) and about recently reuniting with her Hee Haw cast mates to tape a TV special called Salute to the Kornfield.  That special will air in January 2012 and will also be released as a special DVD collection through  You can pre-order the DVD set in time for Christmas!
A gifted vocalist, Roman often sang on Hee Haw and later established herself as a force to be reckoned with on the Southern Gospel Music scene.  She has recorded several successful albums and is a member of the Country Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
The Better Show airs on 80 television stations around the United States.  The show is produced and distributed by Meredith Corporation which also publishes several popular magazines including Better Homes & Gardens from which the show borrowed its name.

Roman grew up in an orphanage and was often teased by other children because of her weight, brought on by a thyroid problem.  Roman has said her weight also prevented her from being adopted.  Now that painful past fuels her passion to help children through Compassion International.

"Compassion International is changing lives every day, putting hope, joy and grace into many, many lives," Roman says.  "The children are getting love, food, school, hope, bible teaching, and above all, Compassion, in a world that is harsh and hard and in need of love."

Compassion International is the world's largest Christian child development organization that permanently releases children from poverty. Founded in 1952, Compassion successfully tackles global poverty one child at a time, serving more than 1.2 million children in 26 of the world's poorest countries. Recognizing that poverty is more than a lack of money, Compassion works through local churches to holistically address the individual physical, economic, educational and spiritual needs of children - enabling them to thrive, not just survive. Compassion has been awarded ten consecutive, four-star ratings by Charity Navigator, America's largest charity evaluator.


HOME ON FEB. 7, 2012
'Home'town Album Release Show Set For Feb. 2 at the Ryman Auditorium

Nashville, TN – Nov. 14, 2011 – Award winning singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley announced today that his sixth Capitol Nashville studio album HOME will be released on Feb. 7, 2012. The upcoming album’s anthemic title single was released to iTunes last week and immediately shot up the Top 10.  It follows the disc’s “Am I The Only One,” which recently marked Bentley’s eighth career No. one hit.  Bentley will play a special album release show in Nashville at the historic Ryman Auditorium on Feb. 2.  Fans can purchase tickets beginning this Fri., Nov. 18 at 10:00A CT at the Ryman box office, on and through all Ticketmaster locations.
"My home is in Nashville with my family, my home is on the road with our fans and my home is definitely in country music," said Bentley. "This album is more than a year's worth of writing, recording and testing out material on the road in front of our hard core fans.  The end result is an album that runs through all the types of country songs and sounds I enjoy singing and playing. I can't wait to share it with the fans!"

Bentley will perform “Home” on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon this Thurs., Nov. 17 at 11:35P CT/12:35P ET. The inspiring track continues to garner the attention of critics across the country, most recently described by AOL as “sure to resonate with Americans facing challenges today.”
“The lyrics paint a picturesque portrait of our country’s beauty and strength, while the melody wraps around the listener like an autumn sunset…Bentley has crafted a song that acknowledges the nation’s struggles, yet resonates with hopeful optimism about the future.”    Billboard

Bentley will wrap the first leg of his headlining COUNTRY & COLD CANS Tour this weekend with shows in Nampa, ID (11/16), Bozeman, MT (11/17), Rapid City, SD (11/18) and Denver, CO (11/19). The tour will pick up in Feb. 2012 with dates already scheduled in Canada and Australia. For more information and a full list of tour dates, visit 

Michael Martin Murphey's Christmas Tour

october 2011
Michael Martin Murphey starts his 19th Cowboy Christmas Tour on November 25: ‘The Cowboy Christmas Ball is steeped in everything I hold dear of growing up in Texas at Christmas time.’

‘This is my favorite season of the year…’

Murph Saddles Up for 19th Cowboy Christmas Tour

Ebenezer Scrooge is not the only person who knows how to keep Christmas well. Mr. Scrooge, however, is a completely fictional character. Michael Martin Murphey—honored not once, not twice but three times on the cover of this publication—is a flesh-and-blood human being who knows better than most how to keep Christmas well. In fact, he’s been keeping Christmas well for the past 19 years, by way of his Cowboy Christmas Ball.
2011 is no different: Murph’s Cowboy Christmas Tour, recreating the sprit of the original Cowboy Christmas Ball, begins Friday, November 25 and continues through 18 cities before Christmas. (See itinerary below.)
William Lawrence Chittendon
Being a student of history, Murph has fashioned his Christmas show after the Cowboy Christmas Ball of 1885 held in Anson, Texas, and soon immortalized in the famous cowboy recitation “The Cowboys’ Christmas Ball” by an Eastern newspaper reporter named William Lawrence Chittendon, who became known as the “Poet-Ranchman of Texas” after relocating to the Lone Star State from his native New York City. In Chittendon’s time, dancers in costume would come from hundreds of miles away to celebrate the Yuletide in true Texas fashion. The tradition went dormant for many years, but was revived in Anson in 1934 and has been going strong ever since. When Murph ventured to his first Cowboy Christmas Ball in Anson, he was impressed with the locals’ efforts at keeping the tradition alive.
"I was floored that the community had worked so hard to keep it going," Murphey says. "I fell in love watching the older couples dance and the dances being passed on to the younger people. It reconnected me to the tradition."
Modeling a show after the annual Anson event, Murphey took the celebration on the road, and has over the past two decades, performed the ball in such prestigious venues as Bass Hall (Ft. Worth, TX), The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum (Oklahoma City, OK), the National Hispanic Cultural Center Journal Theater (Albuquerque, NM) and The Performing Arts Center at Texas A&M University (Austin, TX).

The 2006 ‘Cowboy Christmas Ball’ performance by Michael Martin Murphey and the Texas State Symphony Orchestra at Texas State University.
"The Cowboy Christmas Ball is steeped in everything I hold dear of growing up in Texas at Christmas time," Murphey says. "All the old dances are here...the waltzes, the mazurkas, the Paul Jones, the Virginia Reel...all these dances are still done here. The women make their own costumes and clothes and the men still wear string ties and frock coats. It's a family reunion of friends.
"This is my favorite season of the year," he adds. "We remember our fathers and mothers. We celebrate our children and we treasure our friends and the many blessing given by our Lord. It really brings out the very best in all of us."
Murph has been a major part of America's musical landscape for four decades. His hits include "Wildfire," "Carolina In The Pines," "Long Line of Love," "What's Forever For," "Geronimo's Cadillac" and "Cowboy Logic." A multiple Grammy nominee and an inductee into the Western Music Hall of Fame, the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame and winner of the Texas Music Award for Best Album, his most recent release, Tall Grass and Cool Water, is the third in a series of his exploration into the similarities between American cowboy music and bluegrass music, called "Buckaroo Bluegrass.” His previous releases in that series are Buckaroo Blue Grass II: Riding Song, the 2009 Grammy nominated release, Buckaroo Blue Grass. He has released three Christmas-themed albums, the most recent being Acoustic Christmas Carols: Cowboy Christmas II on Rural Rhythm Records. He has been inducted into the Western Music Hall of Fame, the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame, the Nebraska Country Music Hall of Fame and the Colorado Country Music Hall of Fame. He is the world’s best selling cowboy music artist.
Michael Martin Murphey’s Acoustic Christmas Carols: Cowboy Christmas II is available at

Michael Martin Murphey Cowboy Christmas Tour

Friday, November 25
Greeley, Colorado
Union Colony Civic Center, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 26
Amarillo, TX
Kwahadi Museum
Sunday, November 27
Kerrville, TX
Cailloux Theater, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, November 29
Austin, TX
Paramount Theater, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, November 20
Hallsville, TX
Heartlight Conference Center
8 p.m.
Thursday, December 1
Longview, TX
Belcher Performing Arts, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, December 2
Plano, TX
Love & War in Texas
Saturday, December 3
Roswell, NM
Pearson Auditorium, 7 p.m.
Sunday, December 4
Lubbock, TX
Cactus Theater, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, December 6
Corpus Christi, TX
Saturday, December 10
Belton, TX
Bell County Expo Center, 8 pm
Monday, December 12
Fort Worth TX
Bass Performance Hall, 7 pm
Tuesday, December 13
Odessa, TX
Thursday, December 15
Anson TX
Pioneer Hall, 8 p.m.
Friday, December 16
Oklahoma City OK
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, 8 pm
Saturday, December 17
Canadian Texas
Texas Crown Performance Hall, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, December 20
Conroe, TX
Historic Crighton Theatre, 8 p.m.
Friday, December 23
Grand Junction, CO
Avalon Theatre, 8 p.m.
Founder/Publisher/Editor: David McGee
Contributing Editors: Billy Altman, Laura Fissinger, Christopher Hill, Derk Richardson
Logo Design: John Mendelsohn (
Website Design: Kieran McGee (
Staff Photographers: Audrey Harrod (Louisville, KY;, Alicia Zappier (New York)
Mailing Address: David McGee, 201 W. 85 St.—5B, New York, NY 10024
Copyright © 2011

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