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Thread: Backup Band and Additional Musicians

  1. #351
    Stuck on the Border Delilah's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backup Band and Additional Musicians

    Quote Originally Posted by Scamp View Post
    I have a question about Stuart. Has anybody heard him sing? I've looked for YouTube with him singing, even backup, and can't find anything. expect guitar of course. He's played with so many others but just no singing. Just wondering what he sounds like and where he fits in the Eagles harmony. I noticed in the Forum Concert he didn't sing as much. Usually he sings on most all the songs, in fact Joe seemed to sing more than Stuart.
    I love him and him and Joe on the talk box in "Those Shoes" I wish Joe would take Stuart on tour with him they look like they really like playing together. Joe really likes having another player to bounce off of. They complement each other so well.


    I going to take some flack for this but I think Stuart is just as good if not better than Don. While Don is a great guitar player, he songs he writes seemed to involve guitar solos as the primary and singing as the secondary. Stuart, like Joe, is a musician who plays guitar. He understands how a band works and everybody has different part to play in the band.
    I have theorized that Steuart may have contributed vocals on the Long Road of Eden album. Given how much he was singing on stage, it would make sense to use him as back up on the album; why not? But it’s just a theory, I can’t say I can make out that it’s actually his voice I’m hearing on some of the songs, like “Waiting in the Weeds.”

    I don’t think he sang as much in the Forum show b/c the addition of Vince made it unnecessary, plus Deacon tends to harmonize with Vince, adding another layer of strong vocals.

    As far as being better than Don, better at what? Steuart can certainly play and has made some nice contributions to their last album, but I don’t believe he’s written anything as iconic as “Hotel California” or the bassline to “One of These Nights.” Being a team player is great, but that’s generally not the main way hit records are made.

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  2. #352
    Stuck on the Border WalshFan88's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backup Band and Additional Musicians

    I think Scamp means in terms of technical ability he is "better". In which he may be right as far as technicality. Steuart is a slightly more versatile player I would say.

    However, I really don't like equating being more technical = better. I mean I think it means they are more advanced but that doesn't mean someone who wants to play like Keith Richards is bad. Actually its usually the more simple parts that make their way onto hit records and into brains. I hate comparisons in general and trying to make it competitive.

    While the business of music is competitive and cut throat, the artistry is subjective not objective and I feel competition stifles creation and can lead to many talented people getting pushed aside in a popularity contest or in terms of technical ability. I'd rather hear Keith Richards than Joe Satriani anyway. Does that mean technicality = bad, no. But I see them as equally worthy of respect. I prefer more reckless rock abandon in my music. I feel like completion and art, while they frequently go hand in hand, really shouldn't. I feel like for every Mona Lisa, we need the kid who put his heart and soul into a finger-painting in kindergarten and should treat them with respect and admiration. I'm usually alone in this, but it's a hill I'm very comfortable dying on. Some would whine about participation trophies but I feel we should build each other up. Constructive criticism should always be focused on the piece presented, not the ability or quality of the artist providing it. For everyone who likes a Louis Vuitton handbag, someone hates it and likes their off brand they got from Walmart. There is room for all of it. Whether or not you are successful a lot of the times is at least 50 percent out of your hands in modern times. It's harder to get your music noticed let alone get a deal or make it big. There is a lot of shallowness in the industry that wants someone to look as good as they sound now.

    In terms of a team player - I'd argue the fact Felder wasn't one is largely why he was fired, but that's for another thread another day. I don't think at this stage of the band, even when Glenn was still alive, they were looking to have another Felder type character to write with. That was largely past them, I'd say The Long Run was their last hurrah. I appreciate LROOE, and it has nothing to do with Felder not being there but rather after the HFO reunion I think they knew their remaining gifts to be shared was play music live. It wouldn't have mattered anyway. That creative youthful spark was long gone, largely since Hotel California IMO. But there is a reason their 70s output is still so played now.

    So, because of that, I dare say the fact Stu is a team player is not a hinderance but a highlight. There is nothing wrong with being a team player. There is also nothing wrong with realizing what Glenn himself said in HOTE - you can't do it without the other guys but not everyone gets to touch the ball all the time aka run the band. There can't be that many leaders. Hence why Eagles LTD as it was, was foolish. It was Glenn and Don's band. They couldn't do it without Felder, Meisner, Walsh, Leadon, etc. But make no mistake they were the Lennon and McCartney. Does that make Harrison and Starr useless? Heck no! But don't get it wrong, the other two will always be out front more running the ship. The two leaders will always find their way to the top. Especially if the band was pieced together over time by one or two members slowly adding and removing members to get the musical stew just right. Glenn asked Don, so the ball started with Glenn and Don would tell you it was Glenn's band. But those two then sought out the rest. Were they essential for their eras, absolutely. But GF/DH's partnership lead the band and thus seen as the primary songwriting geniuses behind the bulk of the band's creative output - right, wrong, or indifferent. I wish it wasn't a hierarchical system. I really do. It goes back to my art and competition thing. But the business of music is a different animal than measuring talent or art created. The music business is nasty. Always has been. But the band for better or worse has survived it. And Glenn and Don made the right decisions.

    And it's been said before but I don't think Steuart Smith had any intentions of taking Felder's place as an Eagle or as a rockstar or a writer. He knew that the band was mostly focused on touring. He wanted to work on LROOE because he's a studio musician and that's his world. But he's not going to be sitting in his beach house in Mailbu snorting coke while coming up with a chord progression. He's truly a hired gun sideman. He just plays Felder's parts just like a newly hired factory worker would build the same parts in the same spot on the assembly line as the guy they fired last week. He's there to complete a task the bosses need to keep the business running. Nothing more nothing less. But he's never tried to be an Eagle or punch above his weight class, and he gets my immediate and full respect for that very reason. Steuart is nothing if not humble. Class act.
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  3. #353
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    Default Re: Backup Band and Additional Musicians

    Glad to be here when other people are actually online. That almost never happens.

    In the videos I've seen of recent Eagles shows, Steuart sings the same lines that he did when Glenn was still alive. i'd imagine that they use him to double Henley's part or Tim's part.

    As for Felder, I won't say anything about his personality because all of them seem very cagey and passive aggressive at their best. What I will say is that Don had a really thick tone that suited most of the Eagles recordings he was on (except at the millennium concert, his guitar sounded like it was underwater for some reason; I don't know why). Steuart does not have this thick tone as he slaps at the strings instead of hitting them solid like Felder did. Steuart also has a lot of compression applied to his tone while Felder doesn't seem to. I also notice that Felder has better timing and can get with a groove better than Steuart can.

    To address their versatility or lack thereof, it may be worth remembering that Felder likely has more irons in the fire than we know about. It's clear that he has a lot of knowledge about how the production side of things works (in several interviews he's discussed recording gear extensively and even stated that he had Pro Tools in the 90s!), and if one examines the guitar solos that he wrote, one can see that there's a variety of different influences that he applies tastefully to different songs. To me that's the most important thing that Don brought to the table as his songwriting is lackluster at best imo.

  4. #354
    Stuck on the Border WalshFan88's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backup Band and Additional Musicians

    Quote Originally Posted by thebagels View Post
    As for Felder, I won't say anything about his personality because all of them seem very cagey and passive aggressive at their best. What I will say is that Don had a really thick tone that suited most of the Eagles recordings he was on (except at the millennium concert, his guitar sounded like it was underwater for some reason; I don't know why). Steuart does not have this thick tone as he slaps at the strings instead of hitting them solid like Felder did. Steuart also has a lot of compression applied to his tone while Felder doesn't seem to. I also notice that Felder has better timing and can get with a groove better than Steuart can.

    This is a stylistic difference, not one of improper technique. Steuart uses his fingers and comes from the country hybrid picking world. He actually uses a thumbpick like Brent Mason and other Nashville-ites do. And using compressor pedals is another Nashville and country music thing. Especially 80s/90s stuff.


    To address their versatility or lack thereof, it may be worth remembering that Felder likely has more irons in the fire than we know about. It's clear that he has a lot of knowledge about how the production side of things works (in several interviews he's discussed recording gear extensively and even stated that he had Pro Tools in the 90s!), and if one examines the guitar solos that he wrote, one can see that there's a variety of different influences that he applies tastefully to different songs. To me that's the most important thing that Don brought to the table as his songwriting is lackluster at best imo.

    I don't doubt Felder has many influences. Steuart however is a chameleon. He's a country player at heart but he can play rock music well and many other genres. As a studio musician, Steuart has to cop many different styles and well. I think there is no denying Steuart is more well rounded than Don. Better, no. But the difference is there. It's just a different approach and way of doing things. Don grew up and wasn't a hired hand type but a band member and rockstar who joined an established band and they wanted him for the style he had and he didn't have to cop anyone's parts. Joe, on the other hand did have to learn some Bernie-isms as he replaced him. Then when Steuart came along he took some of that stuff over as he was better at country licks than Joe was. Don was hired to create parts and play them. He didn't have a predecessor unlike Joe and Steuart. He was brought in to fill out the band and create a sound/parts.
    ....
    -Austin-

    RIP Glenn Frey 1948-2016 - #NOGLENNNOEAGLES
    "People don't run out of dreams, people just run out of time..."



  5. #355
    Border Desperado Scamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backup Band and Additional Musicians

    I think this has been such a great thread. I enjoy hearing what other think, especially when everyone everyone is being so informative in their post. No trash like on other sites, just good positive attitude. Real Eagles fans here. Love it.
    I can't wait for them to return to touring. All this time without live music has been terrible. There's something satisfying about having live concerts. I think Ive about worn out my DVD collection of concerts.
    Stay safe everyone, we're getting through this...Concerts are coming.

    PS I really enjoy the way Joe and Steuart play together and the way they seem to being enjoying it too. Two different styles the complement each other.

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