The Top 20 Dobro™ Players
The Dobro™ is a beautiful, lyrical, and haunting instrument. Invented in the 1920’s, the Dobro™ was originally produced by only one company: the Dobro Manufacturing Company.
As the instrument slowly gathered a following, several other companies began to produce them: National Resophonic, Saga Musical Instruments, and Scheerhorn. Gibson guitars now owns the Dobro™ brand name and defends the term “Dobro” for marketing purposes. The term “resophonic” is now used to describe this style of guitar.
Here We Go, The List!
1. Eric Abernathy – Not only a good player, but makes lap steel guitars as well.
2. Johnny Bellar – A brilliant, prolific player; does a lot of session work.
3. Bob Brozman – Resophonic player, producer, and author with an emphasis on world musical influences.
4. Curtis Burch – Was part of the New Grass Revival in the 70’s; also a great guitarist.
5. Billy Cardine – An active session player and producer with a long string of credits.
6. Jerry Douglas – Considered the best resophonic player in the world, he’s definitely the most well-known with 13 Grammy’s and a long list of big name gigs.
7. Ed Gerhard – Actually plays a Weissenborn (slightly different than resophonic), but has such a soulful style that his playing is an inspiration.
8. Martin Gross – Great German reso player.
9. Rob Ickes – A prodigy with an extensive knowledge of bluegrass and jazz; his instructional videos first got me playing reso.
10. Andy Hall – Resophonic player from the Infamous Stringdusters
11. Jimmy Heffermnan – A Nashville session player; also works as a sideman and producer.
12. Naughty Jack – Gives a bluesy edge to the instrument.
13. Orville Johnson – A player, instructor, and author.
14. David Lindley – Worked with Jackson Browne and emphasizes world music.
15. Stacy Philllips -A great resophonic player, fiddle player and instructor.
16. Ivan Rosenberg – An award-winning bluegrass player with numerous songs in TV and film.
17. Tut Taylor – A veteran player; known widely for using a flat pick on the instrument rather than finger picks.
18. Sally Van Meter – A great reso player leading the contemporary bluegrass music scene.
19. Lou Wamp – According to Ivan Rosenberg, “Lou Wamp is the best dobro player you never heard of.”
20. Andrew Winton – An Australian player who excels on a lot of instruments: acoustic guitar, lap slide, resophonic, and seven-string lap guitar and bass. Has won many awards.
While these players are no longer with us, they are some of the greatest players of the instrument:
Josh Graves (1927 – 2006)
Gene Wooten (1953 – 2001)
Mike Auldridge (1938 – 2012)
Pete “Bashful Brother Oswald” Kirby (1911-2002)
Did I miss anyone? Let me know in the comments below!
If you’re just getting into Dobro, Andy Hall has some great lessons available here.
I’ve also written a post on the beginner’s gear that got me started with Dobro. It’ll give you a sense of the basic equipment necessary to get going.