Are we special?

Do you feel somehow special, being a steel guitar player? I kinda thought I was special, after honing my musicianship to a razor sharp level that enabled me to play the Opry and do sessions and work with major artists. Hell, I always thought Hal Rugg and Buddy Emmons were somehow special people, and I mean special in the broadest terms, in that they occupied a prestigious, esteemed sector of the world at large.

But, as it turns out, Hal and Buddy and I are just like everyone else when we’re at Kroger or the Post Office or getting pulled over for speeding. Nobody cares that we play steel guitar. Just being in a band will sometimes engender free drinks or invites to a party, but that’s not because you’re a steel player, it’s just because you’re in the band.

Most artists aren’t especially impressed by you, if you can play something close to what was on their records, and most other musicians are more concerned about what they’re playing than what you’re playing.

But on the upside, steel guitar show attendees (some miniscule percentage of the population) think we all have something going for us that the rest of the world doesn’t. And I did meet a steel guitar groupie once.

Author: Cal Sharp

Nashville pedal steel guitarist for over 30 years. Credits include Stonewall Jackson, Little Jimmy Dickens, Red Sovine, Faron Young, Ernest Tubb, Ray Price, Johnny Russell, George Fox, Vern Gosdin, Del Reeves, Gilley's, the Palomino Club and a few others. Retired from the road, playing sessions and clubs locally. I also develop websites, like this one and other music-related sites. Contact me if you need a website. Email: cal at caligraphics dot net or fill out the contact form.

One thought on “Are we special?”

  1. What you write is so true……..

    Really love this blog…..I check it everyday to read the latest…..

    Keep the stories and words of wisdom coming Cal!!!!!!!

    I’m also a Cubs fan.

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