The Top 25 Dobro Players

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.

The sound of the resophonic guitar is today ingrained into American music through artists like Earl Scruggs, Johnny Cash, Alison Krauss and Union Station, and even the soundtrack work of T Bone Burnett.  As the resophonic’s popularity has risen, the level of expertise has also risen.  Today, there are quite a few top-notch players.  Here’s a look at the top 20 resophonic players out there:
**UPDATE:  Be sure to check the comments below for more suggested players.

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.
More about Curtis Burch >>

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!

More Resources:

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.