garth brooks

Bruce Bouton’s credits include Ricky Skaggs and Garth Brooks, plus Emmylou Harris, Keith Urban, Maroon 5, and so, so many others.

Pedal-steel player Bruce Bouton inspires some thoughts on what makes a great musician.

Bruce Bouton is one of those Nashville Cats who does it all—he’s a hit songwriter, producer, and an incredible musician. While in his 20s, his playing on Ricky Skaggs’ albums defined new-traditional pedal steel. Bouton became a first-call session player, recording on tons of albums, including most of Garth Brooks’ work, which led to his induction into the Musicians Hall of Fame. Bruce called me a while ago after he had watched Tom Bukovac’s Rig Rundown. We were talking about how great a musician Buk is, and Bruce summed it up: “Success in the studio, or even live for that matter, all comes down to three things—tuning, tone, and taste.” Let’s explore:

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Takamine Factory Tour

PG's Chris Kies treks to Nakatsugawa, Japan, for a first-hand look at how the acoustic-electric pioneers craft their world-renowned flattops.

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