audio by artist mike neer

Clinesmith Lap Steel - Buddy's Boogie

2:09 minutes (3.19 MB)

This is one of the great steel guitar tunes, IMO, recorded by the legendary Buddy Emmons with Little Jimmy Dickens.  I recorded my version of it the other night while the rest of the family was in Dreamland.

Todd Clinesmith built this super fine 8 string lap steel out of walnut.  To me, it sounds and plays beautifully.  It's designed based on paul Bigsby's D-8 lap steel that was played by Joaquin Murphey.  Mine is 1/2 of that. I played it through a Fender Princeton Reverb.  The other instruments are Fender Tele, Michael Dunn acoustic guitar, Kay upright bass and a suitcase for a drum.

Speedy West's "Afternoon Of A Swan" played on a Clinesmith lap steel

2:51 minutes (3.92 MB)

This is a very old school sounding recording of a tune by Speedy West that I've always loved--in fact, it's my favorite steel guitar tune ever. Speedy, in addition, to being a great player and a character, was the greatest composer of music for steel guitar. The songs exhibits the kind of beauty that Speedy was able to create, even though he is most widely known for his wild playing and antics. Many steel players I meet tell me they don't care for him because of all that stuff--my goal is to show them otherwise.

On Speedy's recording (from Guitar Spectacular) he played a Fender 800 pedal steel; on my adaptation I played my Clinesmith 8 string tuned to C6. My goal was to incorporate all of Speedy's pedal moves into slants and things like that. I'm currently working on an instructional DVD of all Speedy West tunes, and this is one of them.

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My tribute to the late, great Bud Charleton, "Almost To Tulsa"

2:05 minutes (1.91 MB)

Bud Charleton, pedal steel player extraordinaire passed away a few weeks ago.  He left behind a great legacy of knockout pedal steel playing, both hot and pretty.  I regret never having the opportunity to meet him or listen to him play live.  I sure would have loved a lesson or two with him.  His wife spoke of the kind of man he was, saying the 2 of them did everything together--he wanted to play golf, so he taught her.  He gave music lessons, so she came along and handled the business.  We only know as the incredible who looked so cool in that Western suit and hat.

I recorded this today in my home studio--it's Bud's classic pedal steel tune, "Almost To Tulsa".  I played it on my Clinesmith lap steel and several other instruments I have laying around here.  I also made an instructional video for this song today.

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