The Artist & Engineer - A Small Piece of a Big Story
"I was somewhere between 13 and 14 years old, ridin' with my dad in his old pickup truck, listenin' to the radio.
This song came on and somethin' caught my attention....it was Lloyd Green playin' the steel on "Farewell Party".
That's when I knew...I looked at my dad and said "I gotta have me some of that!"
Early on, Steve Palousek established himself as one of the premier pedal steel guitarists in the world. Born and raised in Temple, Texas, Steve began picking at the age of 16. So strong was his passion for the steel guitar, that he drove himself, at age 16, to Jeffran College in Hermitage, Tennessee to take lessons from the late Jeff Newman. He then returned the next year, at age 17, to meet and take lessons from the "godfather" of steel guitar, Buddy Emmons. From there, it didn't take long for him to become one of the most respected performers in the business.
Before his 21st birthday, Steve had become the staff steel guitarist on the Louisiana Hayride. At the age of 23 he received the Texas Steel Guitar Association Rising Star Award; age 24, he received the Texas Steel Guitar Hall of Fame Honorable Mention and at 25, the Player of the Year Award. He toured with Ray Price, Gene Watson, Paulette Carlson, Johnny Bush, Kenny Dale, Fiddlin' Frenchie Burke and the late Gary Stewart. He has appeared on the Grand Old Opry, Austin City Limits, Nashville Now, Church Street Station, The Texas Connection and many other shows.
During this time, Steve added "instructor" to his long list of achievements when he created and produced a series of instructional video courses. Emmons Guitar Company, recognizing the quality and functionality of these courses, purchased the rights to the videos and sold them world-wide. The videos are now available on DVD by direct order. In addition to video instruction, he has appeared as a guest lecturer for various college music courses.
As a sought after session player at various Nashville studios and Sound Masters Houston, Steve broadened his studio knowledge to include engineering, mixing, arranging, composing and production. With these skills sharpened to the highest level, Steve established the first Awesome Works Recording Studio in a metal building in his backyard in Belton TX. After a successful run with several popular recording artists and bands, he realized that the 4 room studio was quickly becoming too small for the growing demand for his expertise. In 2004, Steve purchased an old, historic building in downtown Holland, TX and with the help of some custom carpenters and acoustic designers, he tranformed it into the 8 room recording center in operation today.
Steve has proven his excellence in recording and playing many styles of music including Country, Christian, Gospel, Jazz, Rock, Pop, Blues, Tejano and Polka. He has earned the respect of his peers in the music industry as a result of his skillfulness as an engineer, producer and of course, session musician on steel, electric, acoustic, bass and dobro. Ever the teacher, his clients often leave the studio better musicians and singers than when they arrived, under Steve's advice and direction. A multiple award winning instrumentalist, Steve achieved his playing and recording mastery not only through pure physical, talent, but also from his extensive knowledge of music theory and his remarkable sense of hearing both instrumental and vocal pitch. In 2007, he was voted Best Studio Engineer and Best Instrumentalist by the Music Association of Central Texas (MACT) and received a Groovy Award for each category.
In recent years, Steve has gotten back on the steel guitar show "circuit" performing at shows in St. Louis, Branson, Waterloo, Phoenix and Dallas. He works as a session musician for other studios, as well as for his own client's projects. Weekends often find him playing in local honky tonks with several of the area's more popular country and rock bands. Additionally, he currently works with different associations around the country teaching beginner, intermediate and advanced steel guitar courses.
Steve Palousek's previous albums include "Fly By Night", "The Way We Wanted It", "Jazz and Country" and "Let the Games Begin", which was given it's name by Buddy Emmons.
His latest album, released in September 2015, is with his friend, Larry Toliver from the West Texas Steel Guitar School in Merkel, Texas. They co-produced "Side by Side", a collection of Country and Jazz favorites. Each one chose 5 songs, then both played on every one of the 10 songs. There is an instrumental/vocal album in progress, yet to be titled, featuring Swing, Jazz, Blues and Country. Of course all of those albums, as well as his previous albums, are produced, engineered and mixed by Steve himself.
On March 9, 2013, at the annual Texas Steel Guitar Association Jamboree, in Dallas, Steve was humbled and honored to be inducted into the Texas Steel Guitar Hall of Fame. The recipient of this prestigious award is decided each year by the current Hall of Fame members; being recognized by his peers makes this award that much more special to Steve.
Steve is married to wife Donna and has two "up-and-coming musician" sons, Clayton and Ray. Donna sings, Clayton is a singer/songwriter/guitarist and Ray plays keyboard and drums.
Steve's musical accomplishments are obvious, but there is another "art" he is working to perfect.....The Pitmaster.