My tip this week is more of a news item. I’m going to be the eyes and ears of every one of you who did not have a chance to attend the Irish Steel Guitar Festival in Drogheda, Ireland, just north of Dublin on the east coast.
I’m sure several of you possibly wondered, as I did before my trip, about the true quality of European players and their ability to see and communciate with each other the way we do in our vast United States. I am here to put all your concerns aside. Believe me, language is no barrier, nor are country boundaries to these players that wish to excel in their craft, playing steel guitar. Nicer people I have never met than the Europeans. Better players would also be hard to find. Why do they play so well, you may ask, not being in the mainstream of what we think the mainstream is, my opinion is there is no mainsteam anymore because of satellite TV and telephones, video tapes being sent all over the world and country music being even more popular in Europe possibly than it is in the United States. The Europeans may have a slight leg up on us Americans.
I am in Nashville, Tennessee, in constant touch with all the players face to face all the time and I talked to many people in Ireland that seem to know as much about the goings on in Nashville as I did. This can only be attributed to modern communication and transportation. One of my biggest surprises was in walking in to the auditorium at showtime and discovering how many members of the audience were customers of mine and had been in my store in Nashville. It just goes to show that no matter where you are in the world, if you love steel guitar and country music, you have access to everything you need.
So I don’t want to hear anymore from you people in Iowa, Idaho, New Hampshire or anyplace that you consider rural, about you not being able to stay in touch in the steel guitar community and be up to date with what’s going on. It seems like everyday someone calls me and says “What am I gonna do, I might as well quit because there’s no one around me who plays steel and no stores around to buy the best equipment.” This is the information age. On the computer you’re looking at right now, you can get information from all over the world. All of you know that I can be reached by phone, email and regular mail and can be seen often at many steel guitar shows, so if you’re isolated, it’s your fault. Of course, this doesn’t have anything to do with my mailing list because you guys and gals definitely are in touch. Just spread the word and tell those that think they are not in touch how to get in touch with me or anyone else.
One of the great ways to improve your playing skills is to study under someone who can convey their hard won knowledge and experience to you. That’s the reason for my many video tapes, CD’s and tab books so here’s a link to the special sale prices for mailing list members …
P.S. Thank you to Ireland and all the European visitors to the great steel guitar show at Drogheda, Ireland and a special God Bless to rural and foreign customers.