From: Mark Tomeo
Date: Tuesday, June 02, 1998 2:05 pm
Like you don't already have enough to do... I took digital pictures of Sherrie Austin's steel player this weekend and he described his unique instrument for me. I'd like to post this description with the photos, but I can't get the photos to import into the bbs window. If you're willing to post this for me, the jpgs are attached and the text follows.
Thanks in advance.
Mark Tomeo
One of the good things about my day job as a health care public relations person is that my company is a Childrens Miracle Network Telethon affiliate. Once a year fun stuff happens, and this year we had a benefit concert featuring Sherrie Austin (for the record, shes a nice kid and was a good sport about autographs and pictures).
Sherrie's steel player, Jeff Surratt, kindly showed me the one-of-a kind steel he built for himself in Duane Marrs Nashville steel shop, where he works.
Its a doubleneck made of highly figured honey blonde birdseye maple with pearl inlay strips featuring a standard 10-string E9 front neck
built from Emmons parts and with a George Ls pickup, and a six-string Marrs Cat Can for a rear neck. It has five pedals, three for the E9 and
two for the Cat Can. The Cat Can has a stop tailpiece; the pedals activate pullers that come through the body and bend the strings behind
the nut.
Jeff tunes the Cat Can: D A F# D B G (high to low). The pedals raise the A to B and the F# to G, which gives him standard dobro G tuning in
addition to pedal bends. He said the Cat Can actually has a cat food can attached under the bridge, which gives it a resophonic sound as well as its name.
It has white decals (Marrs and George Ls) on the apron and a black Marrs decal on the pedal rack.
I didn't see an amp and didn't think to ask. He had some rack stuff with external speaker wedges.
It's a pretty cool steel and Jeff's a real cordial guy. If you gotta work weekends, this is the way to do it.