Renowned Producer Daniel Lanois elevates pedal steel guitar to the stratosphere

Renowned Producer Daniel Lanois elevates pedal steel guitar to the stratosphere
Music falls into uncharted territory on Lanois’ latest album

David A. Graham remarked in an article in The Atlantic that French-Canadian Daniel Lanois’ bilingualism isn’t limited to only speaking; you can hear it just as clearly in his music.

Lanois, famed producer of some of rock music’s greatest albums, is as comfortable with acoustic music as he is electronic.

In an excerpt from the January/February 2017 issue of Guitar Aficionado, Lanois describes how he started learning guitar: a door-to-door salesman was selling music lessons. Lanois’ options were slim, though. The conservatory offered either accordion or slide guitar. So, at age nine, he began learning slide guitar. According to the magazine, Lanois still pulls out a slide almost every day, but he uses it now on one of his eight pedal steel guitars (he has four each in LA and Toronto).

Lanois’ work has obviously not gone unnoticed. Several Grammy Awards and JUNOs; inductions into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame, and Canada’s Walk of Fame; and a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award are just a few of the honours he’s received.

For Lanois, music is an unchartered landscape. Yes, it has its deep history, but it also has an unknown frontier. In his latest album, Goodbye to Language, Lanois plays on steel pedal, Rocca DeLuca accompanies on lap pedal, and a few low tones are provided by a Moog Taurus. But recording was only the beginning; next came what Lanois calls his “dub work,” where he extracts part of a track and starts messing around with it before inserting it again.

Check out Lanois’ prowess with sound: This 10-minute video shows him playing first with a slide on a pedal steel and then working the sound board to create a mix right in front of the camera.

Now listen to his music after he’s done all his dub work. This is “Deconstruction,” featuring Rocca DeLuca. As one commenter writes, “Further proving that the studio is an instrument, too.”

For his show at the Centre on November 16, Lanois will be sharing the stage with Kyle Crane on drums and Jim Wilson on bass and vocals. It’ll be a magical night of music with one of the music industry’s most famed and talented producers, and one who’s a gifted musician and songwriter in his own right, too. Don’t miss out on this special opportunity. Get your tickets now.