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Bouton, Bruce (1954-Present)

Steel-guitar player who started out his professional career in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1979. Soon thereafter, he was recording with Ricky Skaggs, helping to turn out #1 hits such as “Country Boy”, “Crying My Heart Out Over You”, “Heartbroke” and “Highway 40 Blues”.

His recording sessions number in the thousands and he has appeared on dozens of hit songs.

He is also a songwriter and his material has been covered by Garth Brooks, T. Graham Brown, George Jones, Mindy McCready, and George Strait. Not content to merely write songs, he also has a toe-hold in the publishing business, with his own Slide Bar Music and in collaboration with EMI and Famous Music. He produced “Mama’s Hungry Eyes”, an homage to Merle Haggard, for a Second Harvest Food Bank fundraiser, and a pair of albums by Graeme Connors.

In the 1990s and beyond, he has been extremely busy in the recording studios, laying down tracks with Garth Brooks, Eric Church, Confederate Railroad, Emmylous Harris, Faith Hill, Wynonna Judd, Lady Antebellum, Kathy Mattea, The Mavericks, Tim McGraw, The Oak Ridge Boys, Taylor Swift, Pam Tillis, Randy Travis, Shania Twain, and Keith Urban. He has also been known to tour with Kelly Clarkson, Foster & Lloyd, Reba McEntire, and Mel Tillis.

The Academy of Country Music twice nominated him as Steel Guitar Player of the Year, in 2003 and 2004. He has also won two awards from the Country Music Association, to which he belongs. Other organizations in which he is active include The American Federation of Musicians, ASCAP, The Nashville Songwriters Association International, The National Association of Recording Arts & Sciences, and RMA International, for which he serves as vice president.

He has also released an instructional DVD, simply titled Learning Pedal Steel Guitar.

Ricky Skaggs recordings
Heartbroke (Guy Clark)
Epic 34-03212 ZSS 170542

Here he is on the steel guitar in a performance of “Highway 40 Blues” by Ricky Skaggs….