JB Arnold: Pedal Steel and Vocals

JB Arnold grew up on Long Island playing guitar in bands and as a solo act before moving to Colorado in 1974. In 1970 he first heard steel guitar that caught his ear on John Sebastian’s first album, as well as from Jerry Garcia with the New Riders of the Purple Sage, and fell in love with the sound.  When he heard Buddy Cage when he took over for Garcia in the Riders he became obsessed with the idea of one day learning to play it.  As Cage would say many years later after the two had formed a strong friendship, “Well if you had bought one back then instead of just dreaming about it you’d be pretty fucking good by now wouldn’t you?”

He started playing steel in the late 90’s while he was still playing guitar in Four Reel Drive.  When that group disbanded, he caught on with Joe Kaus and The Country Touch Band, who agreed to basically let him learn to play on stage with them. (A gig he still has by the way). For quite some time he and Melissa (his niece) had been looking for an opportunity to rock a little harder, in the Cage style, and finally found a like minded soul in  guitarist Larry Warner, who knew the other members of what has become Memo and the Middlemen.

JB (full name John) spent most of his earlier time in studio working on his own and others projects, and is a published songwriter a few times over.  He’s produced live recordings for many of the larger acts of the time, including J Michael Steele, The High Trail Riders, Dusty Drapes and the Dusters, Lisa Coughlin, and Loose Gravel.  Currently he’s a correspondent for the national Steel Guitar newsletter covering the Dallas and Denver steel shows.

 

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