Steel Guitar Songs I Recorded For You

by David J. Stewart | January 2020 | Updated February 2020

I praise the Lord for giving me the wonderful opportunity to learn, play and record the pedal steel guitar. It is a passion in my life! I haven't recorded any steel guitar for a couple years, but I got ambitious these past couple week for some reason. Someone must be praying for me. THANK YOU! I get depressed often and it stifles my ambition to do anything. My constant neck pain and medications are a major factor. I love you guys—all my faithful web visitors—you know who you are. And to be clear, I love everyone with God's unconditional love, but my web visitors are special to me. Thank you for making my (the Lord's) website ministry so popular.

Regarding the following recordings, I don't choose any specific songs, I just keep my ears open for nice songs to add a steel guitar to. And if I run across one on the internet, that sounds good to begin with but could use a steel guitar, then I try to add one. I enjoy doing that. Here are several songs that I have added a steel guitar to. I hope you like them. On some songs I give you (the listener), options. For example: For In The Garden you may prefer a lesser volume steel guitar (so I increased the vocals). I didn't plan for to make three versions, I just realized that the volume of the guitar was too loud, so I increased the volume of the background vocals. The loudest vocals is the FINAL MIX for In The Garden. But I am sharing the others as well, if you want a louder steel guitar...

In The Garden Louder Vocals Loudest Vocals Original Song (The Statler Brothers)

The same with these three songs. The first mixes were a mistake (left speaker only), so I redid them in stereo...

Faded LoveLeft Speaker Only

His Hand In MineLeft Speaker Only (The Booth Brothers)

Should We Neglect The Cause Left Speaker Only Original Song (The Rochesters)

These are all stereo too...

Back Home Again (John Denver)

He Knows My Name Louder SteelOriginal song (The Rochesters)

God Understands Original song (singer unknown)

Near To The Heart Of God Original song (Ralph Carmichael Orchestra)

In The GardenOriginal Song (Alan Jackson)

Come Unto MeQuieter Steel Guitar Original Song (The Rochesters)

I Want To Stroll Heaven With You (Alan Jackson)

There's A Highway To Heaven Original Song (The Rochesters)

Several Older Pedal Steel Guitar Songs I've Recorded (from my heart to yours)

I'm not a sound engineer, but I do my best. My MixCraft software lets me choose stereo or I can pan the steel guitar. So I did both. I like both, so I am sharing both with you. My old computer monitor got really dark 6 months ago, and I could barely see it. The backlight burned out. I finally got around to buying a new monitor. It's 27 inches, so I can see it really great, which helps me record music, and that is one reason I felt like recording. My son-in-law and youngest daughter gave me their old computer, which is the newest desktop computer I've ever had (which I used to record these songs). They are not perfect recordings, and I wasn't trying to avoid playing over the singer, I was just playing from my heart for you to hear.

For “God Understands” and “Near To The Heart Of God,” I used my 1953 bakelite Rickenbacker S-6 lap steel for most of the song. I used the C#minor tuning (high to low, or 1st to 6th: E, C#, G#, E, B, E), made famous by steel guitar legend Bud Tutmarc (1924-2006). On “Near To The Heart Of God” I tuned string 5 down to to a Bb note, and string 6 down to an F# note for one particular piece in the song, but most of the time I kept it at the earlier tuning I shared with you above. I met Bud in 1993 at a Hawaiian Steel Guitar Convention in Winchester, Indiana. Jerry Byrd was also there that year. What a privilege! For anyone familiar with Bud's music, you'll recognize his influence in my playing, especially his famous “P-Tah” (which I love to play). For a couple places and the end of the song, I used my E9th S-10 pedal steel guitar. You can hear the difference in tone. By lowering the E notes with a knee lever, I get the C6th tuning. For steel guitar enthusiast, if you ever listen to Bud Tutmarc's recordings, you'll hear that he uses the C#minor 95% of the time, but then you'll hear C6th tuning fills in some of his songs. This is obviously done while recording, using overdubs.

What Pastor Jack Hyles is to me spiritually, Lloyd Green is to me musically. Anyone who is familiar with Lloyd's steel guitar artistry will recognize Lloyd's influence in my performances. I love and pray for Lloyd and his family regularly, who is 83 years old this year (born 1937). I thank God for these men and their influence on my life!

Thank you for visiting my website. I won't make any promises, but I'd like to start making more recordings, God willing.

For anyone who wants to know how I recorded the songs. I simply go from my steel guitar through the volume pedal, and then directly into a Lexicon Alpha interface (which converts my 1/4 input guitar jack to USB) to the computer. I use Mixcraft 8.1 recording software, which is really awesome. Mixcraft has a bunch of effects (delay, chorus, reverb, equalizers, flanger and much more). I added a classic reverb and delay (which you can record with and then remove, which is cool). I use MixCraft for sermons and anything with audio. Recording with a computer is the only way to go, because you can see your recordings on screen right in front of you, and have tons of editing capabilities. It makes recording very easy.

We are co-labourers together with God (1st Corinthians 3:9). To God be the glory!!! If as a born-again believer you pray for me and this needful ministry, then you are a part of my labors and can expect some rewards in eternity. Everybody can and ought to be doing something for Christ to further the preaching of the Gospel of free grace!

Thank you for reading this. Kindest regards!

An old photo from the 1990's, when I still had hair...lol

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Mark 1:15, “...repent ye, and believe the gospel.”

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Mark 11:22, And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.


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