International Steel Guitar Convention 2011…

a weekend in September.

The annual ISGC is worth a visit at least once, so September 1st 2011 a friend and I checked in at the Millenium hotel in St. Louis for 3 days of music and whatever else we could find there – which was a lot.

Being the 40th. annual ISGC one might have expected a “packed house”. Far from it, mainly as a result of the weak economy all around nowadays, I think.

Nevertheless, more than enough friends and fellow steel guitar players and others to meet, stands and showrooms to visit, and activities to observe.

I was not at all impressed by the sound of steel guitars in the big room — why on earth can't the sound-people get it right on such an event?
Have later learned that inherent acoustics of that big room are really awful. Thus, good sound can only be expected when it is totally packed.

So although I stayed to listen to many good players and took many pictures, I spent more time checking up stands and showrooms. Thus, only one generic picture released by me from the big room.

roaming around.

The Steel Guitar Hall of Fame plaques were all there, and I spent time reading the reasons various players had been honored with one. Interesting stuff.

I also found this old con­trap­tion, a Fender pedal steel guitar, quite interesting. Must be a rare example of Gene Fields' “P.S. 210 Keyless” constructions from late 1960s - early -70s.
Definitely unlike any pedal steel guitar I have ever seen. Wouldn't mind having it in my own music room – as research-object.

Nothing really new on the pedal steel guitar front this year, but while at the ISGC I bought some extra parts for one of my steels, plus some cables, an electronic gismo, a few CDs and some instruction material. Got it all home with me in good condition, so I'm a happy customer.

looking around.

main stage ISGC 2011

Didn't spend much time outside with all that was going on inside, so this picture is selected out of maybe a hundred or so taken during short walks in front of the hotel. Got the main landmark, the arch, lined up in the picture…

Our room was at the 17th floor, so not too bad a view through the window either.

Another reason for not strolling around the block when I didn't have to, was the temperature and humidity at the end of the heat-wave in the area. 104°F (40°C) is a bit above my comfort level.
The temperature dropped significantly when it started raining the day we left, which was OK with me.


One evening the locals celebrated a win at the baseball arena near by. Could see the arena from our hotel room.

I have no idea who played against whom or who won by how much, but the fireworks showing up over the buildings across the street was a nice distraction.

the stay.

Hotel room was OK and the food accept­able. The few drinks I had tasted good too – imported (mainly Irish) liquor of course .

Some of my fellow Scandi­navians did comment negatively on the overly fatty/‍sugary American food, but I have long since found out how to avoid that stuff without going hungry.

I did have an accident during my stay: slipped in the tub while showering and tore down the shower curtain as I fell on my back across the bathroom. Showers without non-slip surface are dangerous.
Avoided serious injuries, but reported the incident so they could repair things and have an official note about it in case I experienced problems later. None so far two weeks later, so guess I was lucky.

getting there.

trip on google maps
Well, it was a long drive all the way up from my place in Florida (see map).
With friends to visit and quite a few hours sightseeing included along the way, we managed to spend 3 nights at various motels along the way up to St.Louis.

For similar reasons it took even longer to drive back down to Florida again. Passing Nashville without visiting Broadway was not really an option.

sincerely  georg; sign

Weeki Wachee 14.sep.2011
29.jul.2012 - minor revision.
14.nov.2013 - minor rewrite.
18.feb.2014 - tuned graphic line-up.
last rev: 18.feb.2014

side notes.

in the Jazz-room were…

1: Russ Wever

2: Doug Jernigan

3: Jim Cohen

4: Jan Jonsson

5: Mike Sweeney

6: Dave Easley

And that completes the list of featured players that made the Jazz-room concert the best musical experience for me at the ISGC-2011.

show­room activi­ties.

Many demo'ed, tested or just plain played the various instruments, amps and gadgets found in the many showrooms.

overall impression.

All due respect and many thanks to DeWitt “Scotty” Scott and associates for running the 40th ISGC show…
 painting of Scotty …but overall I found the ISGC 2011 a tad limited, tame and on-stage performances too predictable and uninspiring.
This may be the price we have to pay for attending such big events. Maybe it will be better another year – we'll see. advice upgrade advice upgrade navigation