Pedal steel player Ben Keith dies at 73
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
– Ben Keith, a longtime sideman to Neil Young on pedal steel, died at age 73.
Keith died of a heart attack while on Young's northern California ranch, according to the Los Angeles Times. Young mentioned Keith's death during a concert July 26 in Winnipeg, Canada.
Keith played on Patsy Cline's I Fall to Pieces.
He was born in Fort Riley, Kansas in 1937 and became a session player in Nashville for many years. Among those he played with live or in the studio were Emmylou Harris Willie Nelson, Linda Ronstadt, Waylon Jennings, Ringo Starr and Crosby, Stills & Nash. Keith produced Jewel's 1995 debut, "Pieces of You."
Keith met Young in 1971 during work on his "Harvest" recording because Young needed a pedal steel player. Keith played on more than a dozen albums and tours with Young.
Neil Young News, a blog dedicated to Young, said "Legend has it that Neil asked bassist Tim Drummond if he knew any pedal-steel players in town. Tim contacted Ben, who lived in town and off he went to the studio: "I didn't know who anyone was, so I asked, who's that guy over there?" and was told "that's Neil Young".
More news for Neil Young
CD reviews for Neil Young
It is understandable that fans might anticipate a stripped-down, acoustic guitar-driven affair with plenty of harmonica when they learn that Neil Young's new album is largely a collection of traditional American folk songs. But then you throw in the fact that Young is backed by the powerhouse rock trio Crazy Horse for the first time in nine years, and those expectations go straight out the window.
Young generally recruits the talents of Crazy Horse's three members - Ralph Molina, »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk
When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: No surprise, Jackson and friends still Keepin' It Country
Alan Jackson calling his current tour Keepin' It County reads like one of those 'no duh' statements because the Georgia born singer/songwriter has always kept his music traditional - even in the face of the continuing rock and pop-ization of contemporary country music. But keep it country he did once again for a sold out audience on the... »»»
Concert Review: The Mavericks scorch the night
With temperatures plunging outside to single digits and the streets of downtown wallowing in piles of the omnipotent white stuff, it's a good thing that The Mavericks decided to play inside.
Only it wasn't so much the thermostat that warmed up the night. More like the opening night of The Mavericks' Mono Mundo Tour, which worked on a... »»»
Country News Digest
Elsewhere in the news
Currently at the CST blogs
Some in the mainstream country audience may only know Angaleena Presley as one of the two other
singers in Miranda Lambert's side group, Pistol Annies. But to view Presley in only that limited light would be selling her severely short. For starters, Pistol Annies is a trio of extra strong female country music writers and by no means merely Lambert's side group.... »»»
Jorma Kaukonen has reached that stage in life where any break he takes is well earned and completely deserved. The 74-year-old singer/songwriter is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee for his work with Jefferson Airplane and his solo career has kept him busy - and fans deliriously happy - for an astonishing 41 years when he's not sometimes playing with Hot Tuna.... »»»
The last time Kenny Roby assembled 6 String Drag to record a new studio album, Bill Clinton had just handily secured his second term as president. That album was 1997's acclaimed "High Hat," and within months of its release, 6SD had dissolved, sadly capping a brief Americana/roots rock run that had seemed so promising after their brilliant 1994 self-titled debut...... »»»
The first album by James McMurtry in six years proves that some simply get better with age. And it opens with a gorgeous, deliberate performance, "Copper Canteen," and a line about cleaning his gun before hunting season comes to a close. From there, McMurtry looks back at his youth and the changing world today "before the pension kicks in." »»»