Steel Is Real


When I saw the CD cover of the Steel Is Real album from The Joel Paterson Trio I had to look twice. Surely this album wasn’t made in the 2000’s! But it was and complete with period piece artwork, Paterson and company make instrumental guitar music that crosses musical eras music with ease. The cover of Paterson’s 2008 trio CD, Steel Is Real may copy those classic album jackets of the ‘60s but the music puts a cool new spin on instrumental steel guitar music made popular by giants like Jerry Byrd and Buddy Emmons back in the '60s. Featuring Paterson on pedal steel, lap steel and electric guitar and backed up by Beau Sample (string bass) and Alex Hall (drums), the 17 cut, all instrumental Steel Is Real combines Les Paul hot jazz, western swing, rockabilly, blues and every other imaginable guitar sound. Much the same could be said about Paterson’s latest release with his group The Modern Sounds!—a 2009, 29 cut, double CD set on Ventrella Records. Hold It Fellas....The Rockin’ Side Of The Modern Sounds features more of Paterson’s retro guitar sounds, this time with Paterson’s vocals coming to the fore. Disc 2 of the double set, Stomp Stomp! The Swingin’ Side Of The Modern Sounds continues on in the realm of guitar music explored on Steel Is Real with more tracks featuring Paterson’s vocals. Fans of instrumental guitar music from the ‘50s and early ‘60s, should give a listen to Paterson’s wild ride back to the heyday of hot jazz, swing guitar and rockabilly. Music fans looking for a new thrill should pick up on Paterson—not just for his brilliant guitar music but also for that great CD artwork and packaging! Les Paul would love Paterson’s nifty guitar work on the Stomp Stomp! instro cover of “Caravan.” Instro guitar fans start with Steel Is Real while retro rockabilly and western swing fans should start with the Modern Sounds ‘09 two CD set.


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