Welcome to Planet Dobro
March 26, 2002 10:59 PM   Subscribe

Welcome to Planet Dobro! – The origins of bottleneck blues, bluegrass dobro and the pedal steel guitar all begin in Hawaiian steel guitar, popularized by the Panama-Pacific Exposition of 1915, the 78 rpm record and the introduction of the National, and later Dobro guitars, invented by two wild and crazy Czechoslovakian brothers. But wait—the mystery deepens! Is there a Hindustani connection involving a Portuguese-Indian sailor? The arcane story of the first World music and how it changed American vernacular musics. Details within, along with tunings, tabs and the universe of resophonic, lap and pedal steel guitars…
posted by y2karl (10 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A timeline, two theories of the origins of Hawaiian steel guitar—the nativist and the Hindustani connection. They’re still big in India

Visit Brad’s Page of Steel. It’s Linkeriffic! . See Ry Cooder play Vigilante Man! Next, read the tab! More cool slide guitar tabs from that krazy kraut Kay-Uwe Graw at the Sliding Zone! --including Dark Was The Night—Cold Was The Ground, one of the deepest and otherworldly recordings ever made, Muddy Waters’ I Can’t Be Satisfied and Mississippi Fred MacDowell’s You Got To Move—all coincidentally available for your listening coughvintageblueshowcough edutainment, along with yet more tabs, Now! Only two clicks away! Offer Ends Soon!—along with your basic chart of tunings for slide, Dobro and pedal steel, beginners and advanced. We’ve got more tabs on the lot! This guy’s tab crazy! And this guy, he’s out of controlhe’s got pedal steel steel breaks by the truckloads! We’ve got pictures—look mom, my guitar! Folks, we’re cutting prices, we’re overstocked, we have to move ‘em out this week—we’ve got steel guitars coming out the wazoo!
posted by y2karl at 11:00 PM on March 26, 2002

Great Post and linkages, y2karl! This is some of my favorite sounds, and one of my favorite albums is the 1993 Grammy winner A Meeting by the River: Ry Cooder and Hindustani guitarist Vishwa Mohan Bhatt;can be found at Waterlily Acoustics.
posted by Mack Twain at 11:59 PM on March 26, 2002

What do you say when you really like a post, but can't possibly add anything?
posted by canoeguide at 1:15 AM on March 27, 2002

Ditto! :)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:11 AM on March 27, 2002

I picked up a 45 by Hogia Bryngwran at Swansea car boot last Saturday. Four part harmonies, in Welsh, with laptop steel guitar and yodelling. Yes friends, yodelling.
posted by ceiriog at 5:21 AM on March 27, 2002

Double-ditto. Thanks!!!
posted by groundhog at 5:51 AM on March 27, 2002

ceiriog, that sounds awesome. I would give you a big *cwtsh* is you could upload it somehow.
posted by rodii at 6:22 AM on March 27, 2002

Dude, check out the knitwear.

Alas, I am lacking in the hardware department. If anyone can make an MP3 out of a scratchy old 45, get in touch.
posted by ceiriog at 7:33 AM on March 27, 2002

I always liked the sound of a Dobro, but I never realized before that there were Dobro bass guitars. Now I want one! Anybody out there ever play one?
posted by tdismukes at 7:54 AM on March 27, 2002

Where's Disco Tex creator of the immortal "Disco Dobro"?

Just kidding. Once agin you have out done yourself, y2karl. I always loved the sound of a dobro, too and these are some of the most comprehensive sites I've ever seen.

The resurgence of Sacred Steel gospel-blues is a great development, too. John Medeski and the guys in the North Mississippi All Stars became such fans of this style that they hooked up with young Sacred Steel Player Robert Randolph and recorded The Word a truly amazing album of gospel-blues jams.(audio samples here).

When I lived in Florida, I had one buddy who played dobro and another who custom ordered a theremin and learned to play. I always kindo hoped they'd duet, but it never happened.

What a great post to wake up to.(I know it's late. I'm on vacation)
posted by jonmc at 8:33 AM on March 27, 2002

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