Here are the performers at the 5th annual Denver Steel Guitar Show at Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret, June 12, 1-7PM.
Neil Flanz was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec and began playing at age 17. At age 24 he made the move to Nashville where he worked with Charlie Louvin, Jean Shepard, Roy Drusky, The Glaser Brothers and other Grand Ole Opry artists. In 1973 he played a six-week cross country tour with Gram Parsons & The Fallen Angels which culminated in the release of a live recording in Long Island, N.Y. After the tour he returned to Nashville where he worked in local clubs. In 1979 he joined Joe Sun & Shotgun with whom he toured the U.S and Europe. Neil was one of the first to record instructional material for the pedal steel. He continues to play with FingerPistol in Austin, TX.
Bret Billings has been a regular in the Denver music scene for a number of years. Having started his career during the Urban Cowboy era of the late 70s, he currently plays the table steel with Halden Wofford and the Hibeams. In addition, he holds down the dobro and harmonica position in the acoustic bluegrass band, Some Trainyard.
Howard “Happ” Palmer became a lifelong disciple of the pedal steel guitar in the early l970s. His love for country music and dance floors keeps him playing in honkytonks throughout Colorado. Howard currently plays pedal steel guitar and dobro for the Wild Road Band and Last Chance Texaco.
Bob Case has been playing pedal steel since the early 1970s. He took his first lesson from Denver legend Dick Meis. Since then he has played with the Billy Spears Band, Dusty Drapes and the Dusters, Junior Brown, Lynn Morris, Doug Kershaw and in two productions of the Always Patsy Cline show. He is currently filling in with several local bands in the Denver area.
Paul Carestia is a Colorado native and has been playing since age 8 and professionally as a weekend musician since age 14. Now semi-retired, he spends most of his time in Colorado and can be seen and heard playing pedal steel and lap steel for The Country Music Project Band, based in Denver. He always considers it an honor to be invited to perform at the Denver Steel Guitar Show.
Tony Ortega is a native Denver artist. Tony has been playing the pedal steel for many years and has worked with many local and national artists. He has performed with The Kingston Trio, Ricky Skaggs, Mickey Gilley, Pig Robbins, Dewey Knight, Bobby Allison, Cactus Jack, Blackhawk, Crossfire, Rudy Grant and more. Tony loves to play the steel guitar and is looking forward to performing in the Denver Steel Guitar Show.
Del Mullen grew up on a cattle ranch in eastern Colorado. He came from a very musical family, spending as much time as possible listening to country music and the Grand Ole Opry. He decided to build his own guitar for his personal use. He took his experience in machining, research and development and applied this to the Mullen Pedal Steel Guitar. As his professional career as a pedal steel guitarist launched (backing up Reba McIntyre, Leona Williams, Kenny Price, The Hagger Twins, Wanda Jackson and working shows with Ernest Tubb), so did the efforts to build a superior pedal steel guitar. Del is still playing professionally. He appears at Scotty's International Steel Guitar Convention, as well as many other steel guitar shows.
John Macy is a Denver based steel guitarist/producer/engineer who has worked on Gold, Platinum and Grammy winning records. Currently playing with Casey James Prestwood and the Burning Angels, his recording and touring credits include The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Gary Morris and Michael Martin Murphey. John currently owns and operates Macy Sound Studios in Denver.
Daniel Jones grew up in the SF Bay Area and has been playing pedal steel since 1972. In those days he was drawn to the sounds of non-Nashville, country rock steelers like Jerry Garcia, Buddy Cage, Sneaky Pete, and Rusty Young. In the late 1970s Daniel toured with the Norton Buffalo Stampede, performing their own eclectic repertory and opening for the Steve Miller Band on the Fly Like an Eagle tours. Since the 1980s he has played with various Denver-area groups including Runaway Express, Lannie Garrett, the Always Patsy Cline theater production, Reckless Abandon, and Dakota Blonde. Daniel currently teaches musicology classes for the Honors Program at CU Boulder and with Standard Deviations continues pursuing his interests in musics outside the normal country repertory.
Chuck Lettes has shared the stage with many touring artists, including LeRoy Van Dyke, Doug Kershaw and Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown. In addition to musical performances, Chuck has written for The Pedal Steel Guitar Association’s Newsletter since l984 and has earned the magazine’s Reader Appreciation award for his column, “New Instrumentals for the Steel Guitar.” Chuck has presented steel guitar seminars and concerts at many of the steel guitar conventions across the United States.