the online blues mall gets a face lift

Come check out the new

I spent a whole week re-skinning it and adding all kinds of cool new features.

Buy some Blues t-shirts and Blues folk art while you are there!

Gig this Week – Saturday Sept. 22nd – sams town point

Sams Town Point in South Austin – 9pm – 1 am – 4 hours of rockin and rollin with the freight train troubadours. New material this gig…4 new original, so show up early and say you saw them first! No cover

Rants about Lap Steel prices and availability

There are simply not enough choices in the current market, in my opinion, for Lap Steel purchases. Fender makes one, then the Gretsch retro looking model…Chandler was making one for a while…there are some junky low-end models ( Artisan, Galveston ) and the Morrell models are solid but bore me to tears.

Goldtone has remade my steel – the Oahu Tonemaster – although I haven’t played one, they sure look the same.

I have emailed Eastwood guitars, the retro remake company
about coming out with a new retro styled Steel – especially if they could keep it in the $200 range.

I would like to see Jay Turser come out with one and push the envelope a bit…they make very solid entry level instruments
and I believe they could make a killer lap steel.

What happened to the days of the National, the Supro’s, The Rickenbackers…not to mention Guyatones, Valco’s, Silvertones and the like….when these dubious quality instruments do show up on Ebay they are selling for premium prices. These prices reflect a shortage of available NEW lap steels – not a shortage
of elderly clunkers. I am a huge fan of vintage instruments- so don’t get me wrong – I just feel a few well made modern lap steels would be nice. There are some great luthiers out there making steels today, but they are pricey. Worth it, but pricey.

Upcoming Gig Alert – July 28th

STP poster july 28th 2007

Upcoming gig alert!!
Sams Town point – Saturday july 28th 9-1am – no cover

My Gear set-up

My main steel is a Oahu Tonemaster – there is a review of it
in the Review section of this blog. I also have a back-up steel – a late 60’s Guyatone – which is my travel steel…it’s been to Mexico
and on stage a few times. Not my favorite, but it works. One pickup, and it’s a bit nasaly…not a fat wide tone like the Oahu.
I need some effects to make it sound the way I like.

My amp, I am almost ashamed to admit is Digital.
The Line 6 spider 2…..70 watts of Juice and some very nice sounding digital presets…I kid you not. I use the Blues setting
( the second one, with the green light ) and thats it. Sounds great loud or soft. I realize I should be a tube snob – but this thing is
reliable, loud and the price was right – under $200.

Effects – TS10 tube screamer….just a hint.
I occasionally use a Morley Little Alligator volume pedal
and if I am playing thru the PA, I have a Danelectro reverb
pedal that just barely does the job – it took forever to find the right setting, but I have it figured out now….I use this more with the back up steel.

I also play lead guitar here and there,with a 87 Fender custom shop Strat built by master builer Michael Stevens – co-founder of the Fender Custom Shop. This used to belong to David Grissom of Storyville, Joe Ely, John Mellencamp, etc.

Acoustic I have a Regal squareneck with a lace sensor pickup, a Seagull s6+ cutaway and a f-hole metallic navy blue Dobro.

I also haul around a great custom built Steelseat from – I highly recommend these for gear storage
and comfort – plus they look great!

What kind of Slide?

There are a ton of choices. Tone bars, with the finger groove on the top….metal round bars, Solid glass bars, spark plug sockets…you name it.

I use none of these, but instead opt for the lightweight thick walled dunlop PYREX hollow slide….yep – fits on your finger for standard slide playing.

Why? I like ’em light…I also like to be able to see thru the slide. Acoustic you can’t get the same tone as you can with a heavy bar – but I find playing electric, I prefer the pyrex.


I play bare fingered when I can – I like the freedom – but if I am just playing the Dobro on the Mic, I need the picks to amplify the sound…I use these:

Propik Nickel Fingertone Fingerpicks

You can order them at Elderly Instruments – they have a cool cutaway so you can feel the string, as opposed to bouncing on top of it. Very Organic, very comfortable – Two thumbs up.