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The Blanton

'The Blanton'



My friend Donny Johnston owns this lovely pedal steel and I first heard it played by him 35years ago I was impressed with it then and I remain so now it was the first twin neck steel I had ever seen and I was in awe of its possibilities.


Donny bought it back then from a US marine who was returning to the States and as he was coming out of the service it was going to cost him to take it back home

Donny naturally seized the opportunity and the rest is indeed history

Since meeting up with Donny again in recent years
and especially since I put this site up
I have been promising this page

Sorry for the delay Donny!

The guitar has many little features you think are only applied to modern PSGs not so!

We can see under here quick release pedal rack brackets

and quick release pedal rods

a pretty modern style of changer

but with no nylon adjusters or endplate cap screws!

In fact a unique adjustable bellcrank
which Donny says is so easy to adjust when you are used to it,
I have to agree having had the guitar with me for a few days.
Simple turn the thumb screw to raise the adjuster and increase the length

of travel and pitch of the note!


All of the guitars of this era are not terribly light but it is a fair trade off for the build and tonal qualities which people are trying to emulate even now!

In all things we are ships that pass in the night and so often lose the opportunity to renew our acquaintance with these lovely instruments, how many times have you heard a steel player say ‘I wonder where that guitar is .. I wish I had it now’

I hope you enjoyed a closer look

Now for its sound!

Please excuse my playing as it was just to add to this feature
Donny’s set up is all the opposite from mine with the right levers doing what my left do (only the opposite way round) and likewise the left levers.
So you will no doubt spot my knee suddenly trying to jump into action!
As I try to remember or on a couple of notes


That blackbird sounded good at any rate!!

And Now for The Man himself
This is what it should sound like and does when you have been playing it

for 40 years not 40 minutes!

Thanks for the opportunity Donny ...


****  Stop Press!!  ****

A...Unique 'Off Stage' ... 'On Steel' Moment!
Donny picked his guitar up from me today and I managed to get
this little piece of 'rare' personal footage!

A first after forty years!and many 'Steel Miles'

The last remark remains the same!

Class from a Great Guy!