This month we feature an interview with John McClung, a noted pedal steel player and teacher (in fact, he’s been nicknamed both “Mr. Twang” and “Professor Twang” depending on who’s asking). His credits include recording work with Connie Stevens; touring with Freddy Fender; playing (with 7 other LA steelers) on the Man of Steel soundtrack for the 2012 film scored by Hans Zimmer; several appearances on the show for the SWSGA (Southwest Steel Guitar Association), and live and recording dates with many local LA country bands and singers. John offers in-person (near Olympia, WA) and Skype pedal steel lessons through his website, http://steelguitarlessons.com/.
Our guest this month is Paul Brainard, a veteran of the Alt-Country and Americana scene, playing and recording with many top names over the last decade and beyond. He specializes in all forms of Steel Guitar—pedal, non-pedal, Dobro—as well as guitar and trumpet. He is further noted for his producing skills and his instrumental arrangements of strings and horns.
Paul is currently a fixture of the local music scene in Portland, Oregon, where he is a much-in-demand sideman and session player. He also leads several ensembles of his own including a jazz organ trio, the Hawaiian-influenced Pu Pu Platters, and hisFun Machine Orchestra. His first self-released CD, Caught Steelin’, was produced in 2007.
Paul and I chat about his musical history, his latest gig, pedal steel mechanics, tuning, gear, and more!
Also featured is a song by Gordon Hartin.
Episode 1 of the Pedal Steel Podcast! We review Riffstation 188.8.131.52 and interview singer/songwriter Matt Buetow, who is also a beginning pedal steel player.
Check out Riffstation and the isolate tool YouTube videos – Jimi Hendrix and The Strokes. For a chance to win a copy of Riffstation, leave us a review on iTunes and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your iTunes username (so I know who you are)! I noticed after recording the review that there is a way to disable the auto-scrolling feature in Riffstation, so that’s a plus – easier to keep the cursor where you want it.
Matt Buetow is a singer/songwriter I’ve been working with for about a year and a half. Recently he picked up pedal steel, so I interviewed Matt about his journey so far, and we discuss some challenges facing beginning players. Song featured – You Won’t. We were trying to remember the name of the steel player who played on Ben Kweller’s Changing Horses – it was Kitt Kitterman. And I’m not sure if I gave the right date for the Portland Steel Jam, but it’s May 3rd.
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Special thanks to Sarah McCarthy for the great idea to do a podcast about pedal steel, and to Jeremy Holmes for all the help setting up the podcast feed!
This blog will serve as the show notes and archive for my brand new podcast, The Pedal Steel Podcast. We’ll be talking about all things pedal steel, from product reviews to player interviews to music features. I’m just getting started here…more to come soon!