Slidestars 1


  • Ry Cooder – Cherry Ball Blues

  • Derek Trucks Band – Crow Jane (ad at beginning)

  • Ry Cooder & David Lindley – Mercury Blues (live)

  • Sonny Landreth – Broken Hearted Road

This post ressurects a Grooveshark embed from eight years ago. The set of slide guitar mastery reminds me that, although I still might casually sit down and noodle on one of my pedal steels, I have, actually, forged a chilly relationship with the herd of steel guitars. The testament to this is that I have not kept them all in tune all at once since early 2015.

Reverb and Patterns

Cistern from Claudia Esslinger on Vimeo.

The Old School II (2016)
The Old School II (2016)

My art and image making have gobbled all my creative time for a year. (This puts the couple of hundred or so hours of recording activity in 2014 in bittersweet relief.) At the moment the only way to join the two creative urges are to contemplate their meta-integration at the one counterintuitive spot that a bridge is possible.

The bridge, existing right now as a vague complex archetype, integrates reverberation and symmetric pattern.

This Kamelmauz track from 2014 captures what I’m dreaming.

Piscina Mirabilis – Salvatore Carannante in Spare Parts Sound Project. from Salvatore Carannante on Vimeo.

Last year the blog visited The Tank

Zimoun «Sculpting Sound» : The Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, USA, 2011/2012 from ZIMOUN on Vimeo.

musical table & pendulum sound machine live at pola museum annex from kyouei design on Vimeo.

Aspiration and Visualization from kevinballon on Vimeo.

Kamelmauz envisions this bridge in 2012:

Kamelmauz: Glori Selects the Sounds of Kamelmauz

2015 has not been the greatest year for Kamelmauz and his experiments in sound. Two factors have overwhelmed his sonic muse: one, shifting priorities toward challenges in the human sphere, and, two, a very dedicated effort by his alter-ego, Stephen, to finish one hundred visual experiments–fine art–for a virtual show sometime in the next six months.

Everything substantial, such as new complete releases, have been pushed back. However, Duty Free Records has stepped into the breech and pushed back with this new compilation of old music, arranged in tasty medleys, and aimed to bring into sound play the accessible Kamelmauz.

Free until September 1, 2015

liner notes:

(2001) Ancient Sanabad 4:29
(2009) Heldonsket 6:10
(2011) Come Over 2:12
(2011) And Over 2:15
(2012) Wunderbare Momente 8:30
(2000) Turquoise 5:06
(2009) Moon Cave 5:38
(2013) Although Others Weigh In 3:41
(2013) Still Not Final 4:36
(2010) Poor-City 9:56
(2001) No One Knows the Weaver’s Dreams (excerpt 2014) 11:47
Come Over|And Over dedicated to Roger McGuinn
Poor City for Ken
No One Knows the Weaver’s Dreams for Deborah
Kamelmauz: compositions, improvisations, sound design pedal steel guitar, lap steel guitar, synthesizers, keyboards, percussion, sampler, small instruments
This recording is dedicated to Kenneth Warren, 1953-2015
“Kamelmauz is sounding the audible id of Lake Erie’s depths and surroundings.”
Producer: Stephen Calhoun
Produced at noguts noglory studios, Cleveland Heights, Ohio | Cover Design: Hippie Goat
hat tip to Apple Computer, Native Instruments, Leo Fender, Gestrument, Moog Synthesizers,
and all the other audio design toolmakers – KAMELMAUZ.BANDCAMP.COM
special thanks to, as always, Susan

Lost Bayou Ramblers

Because the accordion is intrinsic to zydeco, Andre Michot of the Broussard Louisiana’s Lost Bayou Ramblers doesn’t pick up his lap steel enough for my tastes. But when he does. . . sweet.

Louis Michot – Fiddle & Vocals
Andre Michot – Accordion & Lapsteel
Cavan Carruth – Guitar & Vocals
Eric Heigle – Drums
Korey Richey – Bass

The Flying Burrito Brothers: The Guilded Palace of Sin

The Gilded Palace of Sin isn’t strictly a country rock record. But when Parsons chose to mix the country with whatever else, he did it so well that it drew the ire of the Nashville establishment who felt that Parson’s music was a stain on the wholesomeness of pure country music. A sort of hippie invasion, if you will. Looking back, it’s funny to think about. Not only Nashville’s revulsion at Parson as an unsavory character—because there were no unsavory characters in country music—but also because country rock and country pop now dominate a large section of the consumer music market. That sort of genre blending, the country aesthetic mixed with dance beats or rock riffs, is a flower off the tree of Parson’s Cosmic American Music. Although I’m not so sure he would be happy with the dumb-downed legacy that is the current state of country music. American it is. Cosmic it is not.
Counterbalance No. 153: Flying Burrito Brothers’ ‘The Gilded Palace of Sin’ by Jason Mendelsohn and Eric Klinger

The Guilded Palace of Sin remains for me, after forty-six years, one of my favorite pop records of all time, certainly in the top five.

I put the following compact disc in my car player and listened to it twice.


The hook for me, once again, was Sneaky Pete Kleinow’s pedal steel magic. His playing reinforces my own sense that The Burrito Brothers were a psychedelic country band, with Sneaky’s shapeshifting steel fronting the lead guitar aesthetic with its leaps between swirly chorus-effect and bandsaw fuzz.

Plus, marvels of lip-synch and stand-up pedal steel.

Sneaky Pete also anchored The Flying Burrito Brothers on tour.
Calgary, August 1970

There are some fine audio-only concerts from 1970 on youtube.

Seattle Pop Festival – July 27, 1969

December 6, 1970 – Lyceum Ballroom – London, England

NAMM Aspirational Targets

Roger Linn Linnstrument

Omnisphere 2

Now that Winter 2015 NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) has ended, I add to my very modest gear lust list.



Either one will do:

Simmons Genesis E9 fixed copedent economy/professional

GFI Student E9

Stage One E9 would be okay, too!

Back to a new version of E9

Fender Steels 1969

Fender Steel advertisement, circa 1969. The Sunburst pedal steels depicted here were obsolete. (This didn’t stop Sneaky Pete or Red Rhodes.)

Pedal steel guitar tuning chart, or copedent. Open strings on left, pedal tuning changes on the top row, pedals go from left-to-right, and are played with the left foot, most of the time.

I changed over one of my two 8 string, four pedal Fenders to–yet another–version of E9th. I can’t replicate the standard four foot pedal, 3 knee lever tuning because the guitar lacks all the knee levers and two of the strings (given the standard set-up requires a ten string pedal steel.

Many standard, if not hoary by now, country licks are built on the A & B pedals, and the lower to (E to) D, and raise to F#, and the B to C#, on the no. four string. I’m looking to redeploy some of those augmented/suspended licks in (my decidedly) non-country context.

E9th deconstructed

However, I made some departures from what is termed the standard tuning. I switched the A with B pedal and made these the inside pedals. Then I turned the right-most pedal–no. 4 or the ‘D’ pedal–in a minor chord grip.

My main Fender 400 remains in a B6th; a tuning with more than a hint of the E9th in it anyway, but also keyed to a much lower voiced B6 chord. Whereas the modified E9 loses its lowest pitched stringsand so is a very mid-to-treble kind of tuning.

fender-underside Fender underside, showing the cables connected to the changer flanges. The guitar can be completely set to a new tuning in 15 to 30 minutes, if there are no string changes to also be made. Although its mechanical changer’s design is nowadays obsolete going on fifty years, that it can be set, at once, to a new tuning and to a new set of strings within an hour is the Fender pedal steel guitar’s only world beating feature. Although, in noting as much, these old contraptions stay in tune too.

Susan Alcorn, Visionary

13 Questions With Susan Alcorn

Susan Alcorn Web

From Wikipedia

Soon, she began to combine the techniques of country-western pedal steel with her own extended techniques to form a personal style influenced by free jazz, avant-garde classical music, Indian ragas, Indigenous traditions, and various folk musics of the world. By the early 1990s her music began to show an influence of the holistic and feminist “deep listening” philosophies of Pauline Oliveros.

Although Alcorn is an influence, my own music had lashed together diverse sonic illuminations with the deep listening aesthetic of Pauline Oliveros before I encountered Alcorn’s music. (I’ll speak of Chas Smith in a later post.) Her 2006 record And I Await the Resurrection of the Pedal Steel Guitar is a gem. The Guardian UK called her 2011 date, Concentration, one of the 101 strangest records on Spotify, surely a kudo.

Here’s a dedication to Susan Alcorn, titled Sarte, from my 2011 recordinng, Poor City.

Video: Deep Blue Signal (for Gestrument and eBow prepared Steel Guitar) by Kamelmauz

Deep Blue Signal from Stephen Calhoun on Vimeo.

demonstration of 2xGestrument performance workflow.

Gestrument is a gestural/generative sampler and synthesizer for iPad/IPhone.

Performed by Kamelmauz (

Produced by Stephen Calhoun at noguts noglory studios, Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Here’s the video posted two weeks ago at the new Gestrument web site. It provides a demonstration and some explanation about the live (in the studio) moment showcasing the superb gestural/generative sampler/synth I have been using the past year. Swedish composer Jesper Nordin issued the invite and I was first shocked to be sharing featured space with Jordan Rudess and Richard Devine and several others, and, then really pleased to be described as an “IOS Music Pioneer.”

As far as I know at this point, the two recordings issued on Duty Free Free Records in December, Apparently There’s More, and Apparently Suite remain the only primarily Gestrument-driven recordings. No doubt this will change. Gestrument is is totally congruent with my aesthetic as a composer, im proviser, sound designer, and ambient audionaut.

Kamelmauz Rearranges the Shack

Kamelmauz Infinity

Kamelmauz-soundz at Bandcamp used to just be the net that captured sonics tossed over the rail. However, following from a brilliant idea by Dave Stafford, I’m now sticking the strays into a single recording that will continue to grow as long as I send some of my children its way.

The endless recording is titled: Infinity. $2. Forever. Kamelmauz-soundz

Unity, on the other hand, collects together the strays once scatters about kamelmauz-soundz. It also is the sixth Kamelmauz recording.

Then there’s a Kamelmauz on Soundcloud, that puts there odds and ends taken from various recordings, and stuff always also available on Bandcamp, either at soundz or the main site. At Soundcloud the emphasis will be on recordings that use the iPad/IOS music-making paradigm.