We again attended our favorite music event of the year on May 5 & 6, 2006; the Gospel Steel Guitar Show in Indianapolis, Indiana.
This was our 9th show; it was great to see all our old friends and meet new ones. We had a wonderful, inspirational weekend!
The outstanding band included:
Two people who really bring things together and make it work are Stevie and Doug Rolfe; thanks!
A few of the artists in no particular order.
Fred Justice came all the way from Globe, Arizona. And he brought several Rains guitars along with just about anything a steel player needs. He played both days and we all liked his selections.
Jerry Roller is always a crowd-pleaser. He plays on the Little O’ Oprey, a local opry show in Northwestern Arkansas, and is talented in several instruments. This year he also dazzled us with some dobro playing and even sang a couple of humorous songs.
DeWitt "Scotty" Scott is well known in all steel circles. He is the man responsible for starting and continuing the annual International Steel Guitar Convention in St. Louis, MO. It's the big one and draws over 3,000 folks who come to see the best in the business. This was Scotty's first visit to the gospel show. He played a "fry pan" lap steel from the 1930's, which sounded great. A more detailed bio is located on his store page. He also shared his set with the following lady.
Margie Mays is from Mesa, Arizona, and has been playing all around the country for over 30 years. It was also her first visit to the Indy show and we enjoyed her soft touch and great playing. It was just too brief since she shared a set with Scotty.
Austin Stewart is 11 this year and continues to amaze everyone. For the first time anywhere he was given his own full set; prior to this he has always shared the stage with his grandfather, Jerry Newberry. Austin showed that he is becoming a polished showman and impressed us again with his stage presence.
Leonard T. Zinn is an inspiration to us and to everyone he meets. He turned 81 this year, but still manages to play rhythm guitar for all the other players and then does two sets on the steel.
Bill Ferguson did the sound for the show, which is a big, important task. He didn't even bring his guitar, but when there was a last minute cancellation Bill rose to the challenge and played a wonderful set on a Rains steel borrowed from Fred Justice. For those that haven't tried it, playing a strange steel is not something for the faint-of-heart.
Dennis Robison heads up a musical family and can hold his own with the best of players. He does a version of Exodus that makes everyone stop and listen; really dramatic. That's his son, Jay, in the background playing keyboard. Another son, Joe, was on drums with son, Justin, on bass.
Patti Robison is Dennis' wife and does the touching vocals. She also is an inspiration to all. Patti had to miss last year's show due to breast cancer, but her wonderful, positive attitude helped her put it in remission. She said one nice thing was that her hair came back in curly.
David Spires pretty much grew up playing this show, but had to miss last year due to his job as the steel player for Jo Dee Messina. Luckily for us the schedule left room for him to attend this year. His fast playing and abilities are breath-taking. He also is from a musical family and his dad always plays lead guitar for this show and his younger brother, Steven, plays the drums for most of the performers.