the Heywood Henson show…

…at Ramada hotel, Lakeland, Florida, 2013

I try to visit a (for me) new show each time I come over to the US, and this time I timed my arrival to the annual show in Lakeland, Florida – an approx. 90 minutes drive from my place this side of the pond.

Steel guitar players from near and far kept it going from noon till past 11PM this Saturday, much to the enjoyment of a full house of music lovers.

featuring: Joe Wright

Joe Wright and his alter ego: Theopolis, took over the stage for a couple of hours in the evening – ending the show.

Joe Wright is one of the very best pedal steel guitar players today, and as far as I could see everyone stayed to the very end to enjoy Joe's show, singing and distinct playing. I think every single person in the audience got what he/she came for and then some – I know I did.

To top it off I bought a couple of Joe's CDs for my steel guitar collection. Something simplistic and so very peaceful about his “Peaceful Steel“ recordings, that I often miss on many other good players' recordings.


With the many players that switched places on stage, styles of playing changed quite a bit during the show. Some­thing for everybody in the audience, I think.

Varying light conditions made it difficult to take good pictures, but here is a line‐up of the somewhat acceptable ones.

A few more pictures are tucked away in the addendum.

Walking around gave me the opportunity to make the most out of angles to take pictures from. I could of course then also listen to the music from positions it sounded best in.

As I am open to most music and playing styles, watching while listening really gave me something all the way through the show.

Some of the steel players at the show I have met and heard many times before. A few also at the monthly jams organized by Florida Steel Guitar Club, where I am member.

Other players were totally unknown to me up until this day in Lakeland, apart from that I knew names and playing of some from the Steel Guitar Forum, YouTube and various facebook groups.

Someone in the public asked me who I thought was the most advanced steel player at the show, and I had no problems recognizing Joe Wright in that position. Joe certainly was not the only player I enjoyed listening to and watching on stage this day in Lakeland though.

saturday night out – with jetlag

Arrived at my place in Florida late Thursday evening, tired after a long journey, fighting jetlag, and adjusting to the much warmer climate compared to that of Southern Norway this time of year.

Most of all I just wanted to sleep long into the day, do some light house‐cleaning, and relax. I do usually take it slow the first few days here in Weeki Wachee – after all my trips over are all about recreation.

But, this Saturday I just had to get behind the wheel and head south to be at this show. Needless to say I don't regret I did.

sincerely  georg; sign

Weeki Wachee 31.jan.2013
14.nov.2013 - rearranged page.
18.feb.2014 - extended text.
last rev: 18.feb.2014

side notes.

the Ramada hotel

A warm and sunny Saturday in Lakeland, Florida.

Heywood Henson…

…presenting the steel guitar show…
…to a full house of music lovers.

the official list:
  • 12:00 Cory Walker show case with Chet Gibson
  • 12:30 Jack Dougherty
  •   1:00 Jerry Van Hoose
  •   1:30 Bob Strum
  •   2:00 Ollie & Rae Strong
  •   2:30 Fred Thompson
  •   3:00 John King & Shorty Mullins
  •   3:30 Connie Burton
  •   4:00 John LeMaster
  •   4:30 Joe Wright
  •   5:00 Doug Jones
  •   5:30 David Christmas
  •   6:00 Dave O'Brien & friends
  •   6:30 Larry Danley
  •   7:00 ALL STAR JAM
  •   7:30 intermission / dinner
  •   8:00 Chet Gibson / Jerry Tillman
  •   8:30 Joe Wright

As usual: not everything goes exactly to plan at such arrangements, and I did not keep track of things. I don't think the list with times and artists above is too far off though.

playing along

Backing up singers is “business as usual” for steel guitar players. Several singers entered the stage during the show, and the audience liked the various performances.

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