Paul Franklin & Friends held an immersive, two-day, three-night steel guitar camp, August 13-15 2021.
Attendees got up-close and personal access, and learned from the best via a mix of group instruction, workshops, live performances, Q&As, meet-and-greets and more - all day and into the night!
Paul's guests included steel guitar legends Bruce Bouton, Dan Dugmore, Sonny Garrish, Lloyd Green, Doug Jernigan, JayDee Maness, Russ Pahl, Larry Sasser, Jim Vest, & Tommy White.
Located in a beautiful Tennessee State Park,
The Lodge at Montgomery Bell was the perfect setting to get away from it all and be surrounded with "all things steel guitar".
Only a short drive from Nashville, the newly remodeled The Lodge had 117 rooms available. 50 special group-rate rooms were reserved for us Other lodging options were obtained at local hotels (see below).
Those who brought the family had them hiking, boating and golfing while they were at the Camp sessions.
I’ve been wanting to do something like this for several years, and the combination of pandemic-reduced schedules and just good fortune made it all come together this year. What a treat!
The Nashville Steel Guitar Camp will be an annual event, with a different theme and a different roster each year. I think the pedal steel guitar community deserves a camp where teaching and mentoring are the focus. I am not at all interested in competing with the many great steel conventions we have, I wanted to do something totally different.
This first year’s theme, if you will, is Learn From The Legends. I wanted to assemble as many of the innovators as I could. A collection of players that have contributed their original sounds and ideas to so many hit records and TV shows that have influenced us all these past several decades.
Check out the credits on AllMusic Guide for these incredible players. It's a Who's Who list of Country, Jazz, Country Rock and Pop artists. Each one has a special place in contributing to the function, the sound, and the popularity of our instrument. If you played pedal steel in a Country or Rock band from about 1965 on, you’ve likely learned the licks and styles that these players created. They are all masters at "backing a singer" on recordings and live shows.
The Camp's emphasis will be on teaching and learning. The instructors will be sharing thoughts, approaches, concepts, stories and philosophies. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to absorb a good portion of the collected knowledge of some of the most recorded, copied and beloved musicians in their field.
In addition to all of the seminars, panels and classes during the day, on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening starting at 7:00pm there will be a 2 hour concert/presentation for everyone to unwind, listen and enjoy.
For those of you attending this year, we’ve got some Special Guests and surprises planned that I’m sure you will enjoy.
I want to personally thank my friends and fellow teachers for taking the time to appear and for helping me put this together. I know this will be a special event for everyone.
Bring an open mind, a learner’s heart and fill your souls up with musical inspiration from this year's historic gathering of mentors.
- Paul Franklin
P.S. You can learn a bit more about the camp in the FAQ section, below on this page.
Paul - "We'll start each morning with a "Coffee Q&A", an opportunity to to ask me anything and get answers to your questions on various aspects of playing.
Then we'll have two morning sessions with various instructors, break for Lunch, and return for more sessions in the afternoon, and break for Dinner.
On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening there will be a 2 hour concert/presentation starting at 7:00pm for everyone to unwind, listen and enjoy.
I will kick it off Friday night with an abbreviated TJ set featuring Wendy Moten, Billy Thomas, Andy Reiss, Dennis Crouch, and Larry Franklin.
On Saturday evening Lloyd Green has something special planned as he holds court.
On Sunday evening Tommy White, Doug Jernigan, JayDee Maness, and I (Paul) will close out the camp. I also expect surprise guests to join in on the fun."
In celebration of the recent launch of Paul's latest Course, "West Coast Country" , all camp attendees will be eligible to win a Little Walter Amplifier!
Nashville Steel Guitar Camp All Event Pass ticket holders will have their names entered into a free Door Prize drawing, one per All Event ticket holder.
The Grand Prize of the drawing is the very amp Paul used on the "Bakersfield" record that served as the basis of the "West Coast Country" course!
Drawing will be held Sunday night, August 15th.
Born in Louisville, KY on January 9 1960, Steel Guitar Hall of Famer Tommy White is considered a pedal steel guitar prodigy.
He received his first pedal steel at age nine, and by the time he was 13 he was appearing at various steel guitar shows, at 15 years old he released his first album, “Tommy White, 100 Proof Steel, Aged 15 Years.
MORE . . .
Lloyd Green was born on October 4, 1937, in Leaf, MS, but moved to Mobile as a young boy and began taking music lessons there. He graduated from high school in 1955 and went on to attend the University of Southern Mississippi. Green landed in Nashville after college and soon found steady work as a road musician supporting artists like Ferlin Husky and Faron Young. . . . MORE
Pedal Steel & Lap
In 1978, Bruce Bouton moved from Vienna VA to Nashville with the dream of being a professional musician.
In the forty some years since then, his lap and steel guitar playing have been heard on the hit records of Garth Brooks, Ricky Skaggs, Brooks and Dunn, Shania Twain, Keith Urban, and Pam Tillis, among many others.
MORE . . .
Doug Jernigan was born in Pensacola Florida. Father bought him his first steel guitar when Doug was 9. By the time he was 14 he was playing on the weekends at VFW and Legion Halls in the Pensacola area. At age 18 he had his first professional job in Ohio, prior to being drafted in 1965 into the US Army.
For his many accomplishments on the steel guitar, Doug was inducted into the International Steel Guitar Hall of Fame in 1994. MORE . . .
Sparked by The Beatles appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, "the hook was sunk". The next day budding folk guitar player Russ took his Silvertone acoustic out to the garage and added knobs to it...no electronics, just knobs.
On Sunday nights, 15 year-old guitarist Russ was gigging in a house band where he heard famous Nashville bands and acts like Tammy Wynette, George Jones, and others.
MORE . . .
Jim Vest is known as a musician, producer, actor, songwriter, publisher, singer, and leader of the world famous "Nashville Cats", immortalized in John Sebastian's hit single with The Lovin' Spoonful.
After leaving Louisville in 1969, Jim moved to Nashville and became the leader of the band at the Western Room in Printer's Alley where he formed the "Nashville Cats", still one of the top country music groups for over 18 years. MORE . . .
Steel guitarist Dan Dugmore translated an interest in country-rock in the late 60s into a career as an A-list Nashville session musician starting in the 1990s.
Born in Southern California, Dan was inspired to take up pedal steel guitar by seeing such country-rock progenitors as the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Poco, & the Flying Burrito Brothers. MORE . . .
JayDee started playing the Steel Guitar at age 10, taking 12 lessons of a 13-week course.
From that point on he was self-taught, learning by listening to country artist like Ernest Tubb, Johnny Cash, Johnny Horton, Skeets McDonald, Lefty Frizzel, Hank Williams and many others.
By the time he was 15 he was playing in small bars around the Fontana/San Bernardino area. At the age of 16 he won a small talent contest in Bloomington, California. . . . MORE . . .
Lap Steel & Dobro
Called “The Dobro’s matchless contemporary master” by The New York Times, three-time CMA Musician of the Year award recipient Jerry Douglas is one of the most innovative recording artists in music.
In addition to performing and recording with a who’s-who of popular music, Douglas is also an accomplished teacher, with an engaging blend of humor and to-the-point practicality that demystifies the instrument. MORE . . .
Growing up in a musical family, steel guitarist Sonny was surrounded by musical ambition at an early age. His father, who wanted to be a professional musician, began using Sonny in his various bands when he was as young as seven. By 15, Sonny was no longer singing with his father, but backing him on steel guitar. MORE. . .
Larry Sasser was born in Gainesville, Georgia on August 19, 1947. Soon after that, his family moved to Conyers, Ga. near Atlanta where they lived in the country, and his Dad raised and trained horses. His dad also played guitar and sang, and Larry spent a lot of time either riding in a horse show or listening to his Dad play music. MORE. . .
Wendy Moten may have launched her career as a pop/R&B artist and taken cool detours into jazz throughout her fascinating career, but her heart clearly belongs to Nashville. Living and immersing in Music City for the past 23 years, the multi-talented vocalist has toured with Faith Hill & Tim McGraw (2005-2018) and Martina McBride (2014-2016) – and since 2016, has been on the road with the legendary Vince Gill. MORE. . .
Little Walter Amps
We are pleased to announce that Phil Bradbury will be joining us, giving a Workshop on "All Things Amps". Be sure to catch a session!
Little Walter Tube Amps
Maintenance and Mechanics
Mike and Wayne will be presenting a Workshop masterclass in understanding pedal steel guitar setup and maintenance. Push-Pull and All-Pull guitars will be covered.
50 group-rate rooms reserved on-site (Call Lodge and mention Code: 1678). Other rooms as available.
Book a room
Double Queen Room
18-Hole Golf Course
Fishing, Boating & Kayaking
Local hotels available as well. Here are 3. Click here for MORE
Welcome Reception and Paul Performance
Seminars & Workshops
Seminars, Workshops, Evening Performances
Seminars & Workshops
Seminars, Workshops, Evening Performances
Paul Franklin & Friends Steel Guitar Camp
NOTE: Event details are subject to change due to artist availability, Federal, State or Local Covid restrictions, etc.
You can preview the purchase process on this PAGE, or you can save it as a PDF HERE.
Review the Camp's Terms & Conditions anytime, via the link at the bottom of this page.
There really has not been anything in the past that compares one-to-one to this Camp. The amount of access to a dozen legendary teachers/presenters has never been available before in a classroom-emphasis format.
Don't worry about how long you've been playing, there will be valuable insights for every stage of player. You'll be able to ask any questions and will likely come up with many questions you had not considered before as the weekend progresses.
The very first class will cover how to learn without a guitar (no guitars needed in the classrooms). There'll be a 35+ page printed booklet included in your registration packet that is a year's worth of study alone, portions of which Paul will be covering in class.
You'll be learning concepts and approaches: the how and why these players go about looking at the pedal steel ...and what they are thinking about when tasked with playing intros, fills, solos, etc.
It won't be about learning a bunch of licks. Licks will be no doubt be demonstrated to show examples of the thought processes and methods of each player. It's more important to learn the approaches than the end result. Plenty of blank note and TAB paper will be provided if you want to document what is being played.
Three large projector screens will have an overhead camera shot on them during the classroom periods so you can see what is happening from the player's perspective. You can record audio (only) of the classes to refer to later.
Workshops about tube amplifiers from Little Walter Amplifiers guru Phil Bradbury, and tips on guitar setups and maintenance from the great Mike Scaggs and Wayne Dahl will be presented. There's not much those guys don't know about their fields of expertise. Lots to learn from all of them.'
Jerry Douglas will be there to talk about the Dobro and his own multiple Grammy-winning level of musicianship. A chance to pick the brain of a Master like Jerry is a rare occurrence. Even if you don't play Dobro, there's Jerry's style of note choices, phrasing, dynamics, backing a singer and improv concepts to take away and apply to your own instrument.
There will be concerts each night to hear many of the instructor/players perform and showcase their unique styles. After each show there'll be opportunities to talk to the players about the performances. In general it's an historic opportunity to hangout with your peers and learn from a great collection of stylists spanning the past several decades.
A single admission ticket, all-days Pass, is $475. That price already includes required 10.5% TN taxes and fees. Price also includes a non-refundable registration fee portion of $75. After July 21st 2021, the remainder is also not-refundable (unless the event is cancelled). Purchasers of all-days Pass tickets can also buy ($50 each) up to 3 "Performances only" passes (total quantity limited) for any guest(s) they may wish to bring.
Note that meals and accommodations are not included. Staying at The Lodge by itself does get you access into the Steel Camp events. You must also purchase a ticket.
Yes. Players of all skill levels are welcome. There will be something for everyone!
Access to Camp events requires an All Event Pass ticket purchase. UPDATE 6/21/2021 : Based on frequent requests, we have now added a very affordable 'bring a guest' ticket (non-refundable) that will allow the guest(s) to attend the evening performances ONLY - no access to the teaching sessions during the day. Note that these "guest" tickets can ONLY be purchased (limit 3) by someone who has already purchased an All Events Pass camp ticket. Also note that any cancellation of an All Events Pass ticket will automatically cancel any associated "guest" tickets.
Meals are not included in your tuition for the camp. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are offered in the venue's hotel dining room (subject to available staffing), daily. We will have complimentary coffee to start your day at the morning session. No outside food is allowed into the hotel meeting rooms. Link to Nearby Restaurants Link To UberEats Link To GrubHub
We will not have space to accommodate student guitars in the classrooms. Classes will be given lecture style. We will provide blank tablature and note paper and pencils and you can record audio. You can certainly bring your guitar and have it in your room at The Lodge or in whatever hotel you are staying at.
Audio recording is permissible, for personal use only, NO VIDEO recording is allowed. Modern Music Masters has sole discretion over any official video documenting of the event. Photos for sharing on Social Media are allowed and encouraged!
Camp attendee registration begins on-site 3pm Friday. Check-in also available on Saturday and Sunday before 9am.
Average Weather in August in Nashville, Tennessee is daily high temperatures of around 87°F, rarely falling below 80°F or exceeding 96°F. Daily low temperatures 68°F, rarely falling below 61°F or exceeding 76°F. There are normally 8 hours of bright sunshine each day that's 62% - of daylight hours. There are usually 8 days in August with some rain.
The Lodge has wi-fi available. Phone reception will depend on your carrier.
About 45 miles, or approximately 1 hour of driving.
Send us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions about The Lodge, see their website: