Southern Illinois Steel Guitar Show 2012…

great picking in a friendly venue.

Mt. Vernon, Illinois, is a long drive from my place in Weeki Wachee, Florida, but attending the Steel Guitar Show in Mt. Vernon in April 2012 was well worth the many hours on the road.

Maybe only these smaller shows can unfold so smoothly in such a relaxed atmos­phere, as in many ways this show far outdid the larger shows I've been at in the US over the last few years. Three days of pure enjoyment at the Holiday Inn in Mt. Vernon. Great work by everyone behind this show.

I won't list steel players, as there were so many and they were all doing a great job perform­ing solo or with singers. The many players that switched on backing up the various steel players and singers, were also top notch, making it all come near perfectly together the entire time.

The overall sound, which to me was/is an important factor, was also much better than I am used to from the larger shows. Not much of ear-piercing highs and rumbling lows forced onto the audience at this show. Just a reasonably well-balanced and for the most part very clear and pleasant sound.

You can check the lead-up to the Southern Illinois Steel Guitar Show and comments afterwards on the Steel Guitar Forum, and a mostly complete and correct list of steel players can be found there also.

On these YouTube videos you can get a feel of the atmosphere, as Jean DeVore and Carl “Lucky” Kilmer was performing You've got me Right In the Palm of your Hands and Invitation to the Blues early at the show.

sales and exhibition.

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Vendor tables was lined up along the back and side walls in the show room, so people could buy artists' recordings and instructional material, new or used instruments, amplifiers and various electronic gizmos along with strings, picks and parts. A steady traffic back there, especially during breaks between artists on stage.

I don't think the two older steels on the pictures were for sale as there was no price-tags on them, and if they were the price would probably be high for such immaculate-looking instruments. Someone's collector items, I think.

I always have a small list of things I need at the back of my mind when going to shows, and found most on that list while walking along the vendor tables. I don't need more steels or amps than I already have, but I did buy some recordings, instruct­ional material and picks, and also a small gizmo that simplifies hooking up my steels in the signal-chain.

Did of course see some gizmos I might want but have no real need for, but did not fall for the temptation to buy any of them. Think maybe I am past the GAS period in my life, and I am definitely tired of pushing unnecessary things I've already gathered around to get to the things I need.

A couple of old guys up on stage in the picture — Ron Elliot and DeWitt “Scotty” Scott. Both these guys are well known by all steel guitar players and associates, and all others who want to know can look them up on the web.

Many players and others of some age on stage on this show as on other shows I have visited over the last few years, but also some young people who are more than ready to take over as the older ones fall off. Shows like this one are not likely to disappear because of lack of recruitment any time soon.

visiting steel guitar shows and jams.

I would like to visit more of the many small steel guitar shows and jams that are not too far from Weeki Wachee, as time permits. Even some of the shows further up and westward may be interesting if the journey to get there and back can be combined with something else and/or the chosen route is scenic. After all, I am a tourist in the US with a base in sunny Florida, and want to see and experience as much as I can of the entire US when I'm over here.

One of my reasons for traveling more or less frequently to the US, is to get ideas and inspiration related to the instrument I love to play. That most steel players, and Americans in general, are very friendly, also helps me get to know new people and see new places. Can't really ask for more.

sincerely  georg; sign

Weeki Wachee 24.apr.2012
26.apr.2012 - added links to YouTube videos
27.apr.2012 - corrected typos
last rev: 27.apr.2012

side notes.

Holiday Inn, Mt. Vernon.

The venue for the Steel Guitar Show was at the Holiday Inn, and room, service, food and bar was fine. Definitely a good choice for such an arrange­ment.

on the road…

Jameson Inn in Gallatin is my preferred place for a stop-over when I'm in or just passing the Nashville area. Apart from providing good service and rooms at a reasonable price, it is located only a five minutes drive from a good friend of mine who I visit whenever I am in the area.

Rest areas along the highways may for the most part not be all that interesting as photo objects, but without these places long distance drives would be tough to endure. I need that little half-hour rest or a nap every few hours when driving, and with rest areas spaced nicely apart that's not a problem.

Some of the rest areas have extra nice buildings and details, like the one I stopped at in Tennessee coming down the I–24. Wondering if the log house is genuinely as old as it looks and just moved to this place, or if it is a replica. advice upgrade advice upgrade navigation