Pedal Steel Guitar is one of those instruments that I think gets a bum rap from being associated purely with country songs. But, actually pedal steel can make a really nice sound in a rock setting.
I'm going to discount country rock (Eagles, Flying Burrito Brothers, Poco, Pure Prairie League, and the like). I'm looking for more rock material. But if people want to go there that's OK. Love me some Sneaky Pete.
I know the name Robert Randolph will come up and I love what Robert does but I'm trying to look for more obscure pedal steel work.
Couple of quick examples: Jerry Garcia's work on Sugar Magnolia and the song "Teach Your Children" from Crosby Stills Nash and Young. One of my favorites is the song "The Wheel" from jerry's first solo album.
Also -- Red Rider. Ken Greer's tasty work is a highlight of the songs Light in the Tunner and Human Race.
BTW -- I don't count David Lindley as a pedal steel player -- he played lap steel, a different instrument entirely.
A slightly different issue is raised by Clarence Young, who invented an adaptation of the Telecaster that enabled him to bend the B string like a pedal steel player. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B-Bender
It's unbelievably cool what Clarence could do with the B-bender and a Tele:
I know that kind of violates my thing about country rock, but I thought it was worth it because of the uniqueness of the instrument.
And just FYI, pedal steel is finding a place in jazz. Greg Leisz is phenomenal. And Brian Blades uses a pedal steel player, Dave Easley, in his band. It's a great sound.
I don't follow metal so I don't know if anyone has put pedal steel into a metal songs. Strikes me it could really sound cool. Has anyone done it?
Any other uses of pedal steel in rock y'all think are cool?