Top Ten Songs Featuring a Pedal Steel GuitarThe pedal steel guitar was developed in the 1950s by adding pedals and levers to an ordinary console steel guitar. It's an essential staple of country music and has been used on some occasions outside of the Nashville scene. Note: I am not as dedicated of a country music fan as I am a rock music fan, so a lot of the stuff on this first draft of the list is either country rock stuff or not country at all. Therefore, I encourage all of the real country music fans out there to contribute to this list. Also, the songs on this list can be of any genre. Just make sure it has a pedal steel guitar on it, as opposed to a lap steel. People frequently get the two confused.
The Top Ten
As any dedicated country fan will tell you, this is one of the first country songs to feature a pedal steel guitar. Buddy Isaacs played the solo, being the first to push the pedal while the notes were still sounding.
Jerry Garcia played the pedal steel guitar on this song. He did it in exchange for the members of Crosby, Stills, and Nash teaching the Grateful Dead how to sing in three part harmony.
This was Crosby, Stills and Nash - no Neil Young!
"Sneaky Pete" Kleinow played the pedal steel guitar. He did something different by running it through a fuzz pedal whenever he played a solo.
"Sneaky Pete" - Simply the best!
Session man Al Perkins played on this song. You can hear his pedal steel playing all over the country rock scene of the 70s.
Al Perkins is a country rock legend!
Al Perkins is amazing!
Doesn’t get better than the Stones and Al Perkins.
Jimmy Page played the pedal steel guitar. He also used one on "That's the Way" and "Your Time Is Gonna Come".
Another prominent session musician, Lloyd Green, played the pedal steel guitar riff that keeps recurring throughout the song.
Outside musician John Keane added the pedal steel guitar to this song.
This is my favorite R.E.M. song.
Played by Ben Keith. He's worked with Neil Young for over 40 years.
Really beautiful pedal steel played by Bernie Leadon to go with the beautiful harmonies.
Let's give this song some more votes...
John Sebastian played the steel guitar here. Makes sense, considering that this song is his ode to Nashville musicians.
Because I like the song
Jeff Baxter played pedal steel guitar. Since this song was a cover of a Duke Ellington song (the only cover they ever did), they had Jeff play what would have been the trombone solo on a pedal steel guitar. He played steel guitar on a couple other songs from the Pretzel Logic album; he tried to avoid using overly country sounding licks.
Apologies if this added item isn't correct (I'm not a massive Pink Floyd fan), but I have it on good authority that this song does have a pedal steel guitar featured within. So...
Played by Nashville session musician Pete Drake, who had previously worked with Bob Dylan on Nashville Skyline. George wrote this song as an encouragement to Dylan to get him out of his shell when he stopped performing live.
I did some research, and all the Hank Williams stuff has a steel guitar, but not a pedal steel guitar. Hank passed away before it was even invented. I had no idea.
It's alright. I never realized when exactly the pedal steel was invented either before making this list, so I understand how it goes.
This is one of many songs that Rusty Young played pedal steel on during Poco’s early years. More than any other band, they defined the genre that came to be known as country rock.
Slide guitar played by Duane Allman on Live at the Fillmore East album.
Slide guitar is not the same as a pedal steel guitar. Slide guitar is done with a round slide on a normal six string guitar. A pedal steel guitar is a completely different instrument and is played horizontally with a steel bar.