Unique musical instrument presented at the Massena Chamber Concert in the Park series (VIDEO) | Arts and entertainment

MASSENA – The Concerts in the Park series at the Greater Massena of Commerce at Springs Park kicks off Thursday, and one show in particular will feature a unique instrument.

Tracer James will perform for two hours on his steel pedal guitar at 6 p.m. on July 29.

“It’s very rare to see a steel pedal guitar in the north,” he said.

The instrument originated in Hawaii in the 19th century and became popular in the United States during the first half of the 20th century.

“Back then it was six strings,” Mr. James said.

Now, the console-type steel guitar he uses has 10 strings each on two decks, as well as pedals and knee pads that change the pitch of certain strings to allow for more varied and complex music than any design of. previous steel guitar.

“You use both feet, both knees and both hands,” Mr. James said.

Although it is unique in appearance, it is not unique in the music world and is often used in classic country and western music, as well as in new age music. He said the upper deck is used for modern music, while the lower deck is based on jazz or swing music.

It is not the only instrument that Mr. James plays. It is also found on drums, bass and guitar. But, he said, the steel pedal guitar cannot be compared. He started playing it, then switched to guitar full time before returning to steel pedal guitar.

“I signed up for classes years ago. It’s one of the instruments that you can actually play and it doesn’t get boring. He speaks for himself. I read that it was the most difficult string instrument to play, ”he said.

Mr. James arranged about 27 songs and recorded tracks for his two-hour show at Springs Park. He also intends to talk about the evolution of the instrument.

“It’s just me on stage. I’m trying to put together a show where it started and how it grew over the years. I’m curious to see how many will come out, ”he said.

Although he is very proficient in the instrument, he knows there is more to learn, which is why he hopes to attend a three-day steel guitar camp in Nashville, Tenn. He said it was three intensive days and nights of learning the instrument.

“The guys are seasoned pros. The guy who runs it says it’s a once in a lifetime chance, ”said James.

To make this a reality, he created a GoFundMe page at https://gofund.me/6362bb73 which explains why he wants to attend. By mid-afternoon Tuesday, he had raised $ 675 of his goal of $ 1,500.

“My goal has always been to be the best musician I can be and to improve the performance of others,” he said.

The chamber’s Concerts in the Park series begins Thursday at 6 p.m. with Ten Cent Green playing classic country, modern rock and pop. Easy Street takes the stage at 6 p.m. on July 15 to play 1950s country and rock to modern tunes. The July 22 at 6 p.m. show features The Girls, who play 1950s country and rock to modern music.

To round out the season, Mr. James at 6 p.m. on July 29, Jeffrey Pepper Rogers at 6 p.m. on August 5 (folk rock), Undefeated at 6 p.m. on August 12 (rock) and Maria Gillard at 6 p.m. on August 19 (folk rock). ).

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