Post by Shark DeVille on Jun 14, 2013 18:43:42 GMT
I took the liberty of creating a new thread out of Archieleach's first post. The country element in Steely Dan music has always fascinated me.
I'm a huge fan of classic country music, as well as the country-flavored rock of bands like The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Bros, The Grateful Dead, and many more. Country-rock was a huge force in popular music by the early 70s, and Steely Dan seemed to embrace the style with several of the tunes from their first few albums.
As a pedal steel guitarist, I'm a big fan of Skunk's work on the instrument and his playing on songs such as Razor Boy and Charlie Freak really pushed the steel into new frontiers, so to speak. The pedal steel was again used to great effect a few years later on the song FM, played by one Cosmo Creek. Many of the great country steel players in Nashville and elsewhere are actually incredibly accomplished jazz players. The foremost would have to be Buddy Emmons who recorded his Steel Guitar Jazz album in NYC back in 1963, featuring Jerome Richardson on tenor and soprano saxophone. As many of you know, Jerome played the sax solos on Dirty Work and Parker's Band.
Getting back to the country-rock sound, it's a shame that the Dan's first single Dallas has never been released in the digital age. Despite Walter's description of the song as "stinko" it's a favorite of mine, as is this little Fagen/Becker ditty from Thomas Jefferson Kaye's First Grade album: Jones. These songs are country-rock at its finest.
Nice article posted by archieleach above. I have always enjoyed Skunk's pedal steel work on the early Dan albums as well. Although I have never been a country fan (I don't dislike it), I do enjoy the sound of the instrument. Pearl of the Quarter has always sounded "country" to me, thanks to Baxter's playing. With A Gun has always sounded "western", or you could say "country western" as the early country music was (or is) termed. I always pictured the scene in Texas, or somewhere like that.