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: All for the Hall: thanks to Harris, Gill, no ordinary guitar pull
This all-star benefit concert for the Country Music Hall Of Fame may have been likened to a Nashville living room guitar pull, but this was certainly no ordinary guitar pull. The evening's acoustic show featured Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris Jason Mraz and Heart. It amounted to a wonderful evening of stories and songs.
Although actress Rita Wilson... »»»
Concert Review: Lone Star Staters fortunately go beyond state lines
The idea of a Boston/Austin connection about friendships has developed over the years, but somehow it didn't seem to apply to country music.
But with the Randy Rogers Band, Wade Bowen, Stoney Larue and the Josh Abbott Band heading up from Texas (okay, not necessarily Austin) on the so-called Four on the Floor trek for two weeks, this was a rare... »»»
Country News Digest
Elsewhere in the news
Currently at the CST blogs
To take a page from Judy Collins' notebook, Lydia Loveless has seen life from both sides now. After a childhood in tiny Coshocton, Ohio, a move to Columbus and a gig playing bass in her family's new wave/rock band as a teenager, Loveless set out on her own musical path at the age of 17. In 2010, the 20-year-old Loveless released her debut album, "The Only Man," which was critically acclaimed but just barely heard by the general public.... »»»
Mary Chapin Carpenter's songs have always transcended the mundane, whether through the introspective songs about life and death on albums like "The Age of Miracles" or "The Calling" or in the humorous ways she laughs at fate in songs such as I Feel Lucky
or The Bug
in order to show the chinks in our mortal facades. Her music has often helped us get beyond ourselves to see the places where real meaning lies, whether we decide to embrace such meaning or not.... »»»
It's the Voice. Rhonda Vincent has been wrapping her soaring, golden-throated vocals around bluegrass tunes for a couple of decades now. The International Bluegrass Association named her Female Vocalist of the Year seven years running (2000-2006), and named her IBMA Entertained of the Year in 2001. From 2002-2006, Vincent carried home the Entertainer of the Year award from The Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass (SPBGMA). Early in her career, Vincent also recorded a couple of country albums, before returning to bluegrass. Yet, it was always her voice that gave every project its power, beauty, and character.... »»»