Hawaiian Steel Guitar Association... encouraging the study, teaching and performance of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar
Music by Chuck Lettes

Chuck Lettes

Chuck Lettes
Englewood, Colorado, US

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Scroll through Chuck's Song Notes while you enjoy his music...
My Little Grass Shack
Nov 2016 - Hope you enjoy!
Blue Hawaii April 2016 - Like many, I was surprised that the first version of "Blue Hawaii" was recorded not by Elvis Presley, but by Bing Crosby for the l937 movie "Waikiki Wedding." I had plenty of time to coax the warm melodies out of my 6 string lap steel, especially after all of the recent snow here in Denver. Download the TAB for Chuck's seminar at the HSGA Steel Guitar Festival September 22-24, 2016
Indian Love Call Feb 2016 - Indian Love Call has been recorded by diverse musicians like Artie Shaw and Jerry Byrd. I like how the haunting melody (based on a 6 chord) plays out on my 6 string lap steel (highest -GECAGF).
Beyond the Reef July 2015 - I recently was at the HSGA show in Ft.Collins and heard a very soulful version of Beyond the Reef. When I got home, I took out my six string lap steel and this arrangement just flowed out. I'm using my C6th's high G tuning for this one. Hope you enjoy it.
Let It Be Me Jan 2014 - Like so many, I felt a sense of loss with Phil Everly's passing. The Everly Brothers' music was an essential part of my childhood and of my love for music. I decided to revisit one of my favorite tunes of theirs, "Let It Be Me." I'm using my six string lap steel's C6th high G tuning for this arrangement, hope you like it.
Autumn Leaves
Feb 2011 - I decided to revisit Autumn Leaves on the lap steel. I have always loved Eva Cassidy's version, so I wanted to capture some of her sense of melody. The tune is in the key of Bbm, not the most friendly key for my 6 string C6th tuning. However, I discovered some open strings and hammer-ons that kept me interested. I'm using my Ricky Frypan and a newer version of Band in a Box, recording and mixing with Cool Edit Pro (Adobe Audition).
Amarillo by Morning
Over the years I've played "Amarillo By  Morning" too many times to count, but I thought I might revisit it with the tenor sax (Horns of Plenty) and the lap steel. Hope you enjoy the arrangement.
I have always loved revisiting the songs that I listened to as a teenager.  Here's an old Dave Clark 5 tune. I wasn't sure what steel guitar/tuning to use for my arrangement, so I split the difference and plucked my lap steel for the first part and then switched over to the E9th neck of my pedal steel. This way I can really hear the difference between the two instruments.
I've played many different arrangements of "Crazy," but I always loved Patsy Cline's definitive version.  I wanted to try this rendition on my 6 string lap steel since I usually perform this tune on the pedal steel.  Having just six strings instead of ten limits my choice of notes, but I love the tone of the lap steel.
I always loved "Dream" by the Everly Brothers (from Shenandoah, Iowa). I decided to work it up, mostly on the Frypan with a bit of my pedal steel.
Everybody's Talkin' July 2011 - I just finished watching a documentary on Harry Nilsson, the singer-songwriter popular in the l960-70s. Although he wrote hits for other acts, he won a Grammy for his version of Fred Neil's "Everybody's Talkin'" from the movie, Midnight Cowboy. I immediately remembered the tune and Nilsson's great vocals and decided to try it out on my Frypan. Hope you enjoy the arrangement. Chuck
I Can't Help It Nov 2012 - Here is a lap steel arrangement I worked up this morning. Got to love the old Hank Williams tunes. I'm looking forward to doing this song as a duet with Scotty (of St. Louis Fame) at the SWSGA show in Phoenix. I even added some Scotty/ Jerry Byrd harmonics.
Poor Man's Roses Sept 2011 - I'll be doing another Patsy Cline theater tribute for a few shows in December, so I'm in a Patsy mood. Like most musicians, I love playing around in my home studio.  I always enjoy turning vocal tunes into instrumentals (blame it on the Ventures), so I had some fun on my six string lap steel with my version of  Poor Man's Roses.
Sleepy Lagoon May 2013 - Although Sleepy Lagoon was originally done by Harry James, I was inspired years ago after listening to Sneaky Pete's steel guitar version. I'm using my MSA steel and tenor sax for this one.
Sweet Someone
I have always loved Jerry Byrd's version of Sweet Someone from his recording, Byrd in Hawaii.  I'm using my Ricky Frypan tuned to a modified C6th-(highest string) GECAGF (lowest).  There's a lot of music to be made with six strings.
Till There Was You Jan 2012 - Here's a lap steel/ saxophone duet arrangement of Till There Was You. Although I hear the Beatles' version when I worked up this rendition, the song was originally a featured number in the musical, the Music Man.
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