Brisbane Steel Guitar Festival - 2016
Attended the Brisbane Steel Guitar Festival again this year, their 21st festival.
Again, I chose to drive as I wanted to play on my own gear and no, I don't trust the airlines with my equipment. I wasn't alone in this assessment, Ed Bates, another Victorian, was of the same opinion. Jeff Spencer, the president of the Brisbane Steel Club asked me if I could carry his guitar as well as my gear. Sure, no problems. I didn't realise how heavy these instruments were. Ed's pedal steel guitar weighs a wopping 31 Kg!
Two day trip with a stopover at Dubbo. The trip was uneventful except for the weather which was rather damp. From West Wyalong to Millmeran the ground was saturated with pools of water in the fields and along the sides of the roads. At one point the water had come onto the road but had thankfully receded by the time I arrived.
I had planned to travel through Canberra, but the chance of snow put an end to that.
The festival was once again held at the Zillmere/Geebung R.S.L. all Saturday, kicking off at 1:00 and ending up a little after 9:00. Great day.
As I walked in I was reminded by the R.S.L. staff, that I could only wear my hat in the function room, everywhere else it was forbidden.
As usual I played bass in the house band.
The pic is from the combined Jam set.
Drums - Bill Turgeon.
Electric Guitar - Ken Myers.
Piano - Milton Quackenbush.
Fiddle/Mandolin/Guitar - Hughie Curtis.
Me on Bass.
It should be noted that these players know their stuff.
Steel, left to right - Mark Moulynox, Milton Quackenbush, Bob Alloway and Ed Bates.
The Artist line up in performance order was:
I must say Kenny Kitching played some wonderful Dobro parts, a joy to listen to. You could hear the playfullness in his note choice/timing.
An example of the non - competitive comradre between players was when Ed's volume pedal 'died' half way through his set and had fellow players offering their pedals to help him complete his set.
The example continues in that Ed didn't bring an amplifier, one was found for him.
Ken Myers amplifier 'gave up the ghost' in the last song of the night. Good timing.
If you look closely at the picture you will notice curtains taped to the windows. For some reason the R.S.L. doesn't have pull down curtains on these windows, so we had to improvise. Without them the audience gets blinded just before sunset.
Having a bit of fun. As Milton was on steel, I moved across a little to play piano and bass.
Hughie saw this as an oportunity as well and played bass while I played the piano.
This will bring a smile to my face whenever I remember the moment.
On Sunday we moved across to the Church Hall at Wavell Heights for a bit of socialising and playing. The club has a monthly session and I suspect this was an extra one for obvious reasons.
Sausage Sizzle for lunch and afternoon tea and cake. Very civilised. There was a $50 raffle in which I participated but sadly didn't win.
The afternoon usually finishes with a jam and this year it was no different. There were six of us (four Steels and two Dobros) taking turns to play solos over backing tracks. We each played a verse or a chorus and passed on to the next player to our right. A lot of fun.
This year we managed to take a group shot of the attendees.
As usual, I stood out. I was the only one that sang and played Dobro without any backing tracks.
Managed to sell some of my CD's, always a good thing.
President Jeff Spencer offered me a set in next years festival. Wow, of course I accepted. What an honour.
The festival is held in the function room, off the main area. The R.S.L. also has a band that plays in the central area, behind the escalators. There is always a bit of sound leakage between rooms, so we end up closing our doors, but the sound of the band still seeps through. Of course the best music is in 'our' room.