Deep South Steel Guitar
The Deep South Steel Guitar & Musicians Association was founded the first saturday of June 2002. It started with a formal meeting around 11.00 am. A president (Hal Higgins), a vice-president (Ben O Dell), and a treasurer (Bill Stafford) were elected. After the official program it all continued with a bang of great steel guitar music, BBQ, boiled crawfish etc. in the park outside. Lots of players attended this first meeting.
Among players who attended this first meeting were Jerry Jaye, Autry Rutdledge, Bill Stafford, Ben O Dell, and many more. One month later the second meeting was held. Players from all around visit the association's meetings, even as far as California. Many players play universal. It turns out the DSSG&MA meetings gather most universal players at one place. More than other clubs/associations do. Although this is not the main target of the association. Fun, playing music, steel guitar (also Hawaiian lap steel players attend these meetings) is what the DSSG&MA is all about.
Association membership is open to all musicians, not only steel guitar players. Everyone who feels related to steel guitar music is welcome. Bassplayers, drummers, guitarists, keyboardplayers and singers, all attend these meetings. And when you do not play any instrument but just love to be there, drop in when there is a meeting planned.
Goal of this association is to expand the musical possibilities of the pedal steel guitar. To beginners and newcomers to get them started on the PSG. To avarage players to advance their abibility of playing. And to veterans on the PSG to jam and get together.
Association meetings are held 6 times per year, on the first saturday of every other month, although since the club is growing rapidly in near future this scedule might be changed to 12 times a year. Meetings are held at the local VFW on Dedeaux Road in Gulfport, Mississippi, USA.
Meetings are announced in the association's website. Click the link to learn more. Also there is a registration form you can print and fill out and mail. The DSSG&MA's registration fee is 25= USD per year. This right moment the association counts 55 members.
Pictures published were taken during the 7th of June 2003 meeting. They show Sarah Buras, R.J. Buras, Ivan Reddington, Ed Clark, Larry Moore and John Heinrich.
Future plans are to invite Louisiana based Jazz musicians to show them the pedal steel guitar is a perfect instrument to add to their music. It seems the DSSG&MA still have many goals to target in its need to promote steel guitar. But that's only a matter of time.
AZ and Bill stafford. July 2003.
all photographs courtesy of Bill Stafford.