florida steel guitar club
… a place for us snowbirds.
The picture was taken May 13, 2015 – at the last jam before the
summer break, and shows three of the six steel players who played at that jam lined up in
front of the stage:
Don Sulesky – Jack Dougherty – Jack Stoner.
As usual, the turnout for the May jam was small, as most snowbirds had gone North again for the summer by now. Gunlaug and I was in the audience though, and we enjoyed the music and good atmosphere.
Usually there is a full band with drummer, bass, rhytm and lead guitar, so this last evening for the season the two who was there had a really busy time providing backing for the steel players.
These two – George Hawkins on Lead Guitar and Butch Ramsey on Bass – was presented
with “Appreciation Awards” for their work for the club over the years.
Mark Hayes was also given an “Appreciation Award”, for his MC and jam coordinator help. Well deserved all.
That we steel players have a proper band to back us up, is great. No “band-in-a-box” or similar can replace a live band, and such “box'ed backing” isn't allowed either at the Florida Steel Guitar Club.
glimpses from my photo archives…
photos above are from the 2014-2015 season
photos below are from the 2012-2013 season
Photos taken during the 2014-2015 and the 2012-2013 winter seasons. Not all of the players seen in the earlier photos are around today.
watering hole for steel players…
The monthly jams are about as relaxed as they can be while still having perfect order. It is all about having fun playing and listening to music together, and there is absolutely no discrimination. New steel players, would-be steel players, and out-of-practice players like myself, can come and sit in alongside the more seasoned steel players.
The only rules that should not be broken, are the one of “not playing too loud”
– not all dinner guests in the adjacent restaurant have ordered music with their meals,
and the one of “not playing out of order” – the players take turns as
directed by the jam coordinator.
I go to these monthly jams when I can, but have only played there a couple of times.
The first time I played there – in 2013, I chose to stay out of
the round-robin tunes I didn't know. No problem.
A little worse that I had no idea what key I was going to play a tune in – have forgotten lots of theory-stuff since I quit playing in bands back in the early -90s. Oh well, we solved that little problem too of course.
It was pure joy to play steel outside my own home again, and playing with a good band in
front of an audience brought back memories. Am looking forward to play there again, when my left leg allows for proper pedal-pushing.
and then another musical evening is over…
While driving home from the jam now in May, we got to see the setting sun create these
light-displays in the clouds over the highway.
Mighty pretty when this happens, and the fact that those darker clouds indicate rain doesn't spoil the view.
Weeki Wachee 15.may.2015
16.may.2015 - corrected typos and "decorated" page some
17.may.2015 - corrected typos and modified 'fsgc logo' lineup slightly
19.may.2015 - modified 'headline-img' and 'fsgc logo' lineup slightly. Added img of 'Mark Hayes'
07.feb.2017 - updated links as 'floridasteelguitar.com' site disappears. last rev: 07.feb.2017