Don L Steele: Guitar, Banjo and Mandolin

Presented By

Steele Musical Services

Hi; I hope you enjoy our page. .
here is some information on yours truly,
and how to contact us for guitar,
banjo and mandolin instruction or for
musicians & entertainers we have available.
[Lessons are once a week or once every two weeks]

Don was banjo & guitar soloist with Folk/Dixie band, New York City's "Village Stompers" [worldwide hit "Washington Square"][band track].
They were featured on ABC-TV's Jimmy Dean show (2xs) and Mike Douglas show (2xs), Jazz and Show clubs such as: the Sahara, Las Vegas; Metropole, New York City; London House, Chicago; Theatrical Club, Cleveland; Harvey's, Lake Tahoe, Nevada; Colonial, Toronto. Ravinia Concert Bowl, Chicago, Ohio State Fair and Steel Pier, Atlantic City.
He formed a Bluegrass and Folk band called Truckin' which had many successful engagements at the El Mocambo, Nag's Head, the Golden Nuggett and many other clubs in the GTA [Greater Toronto area]. [band track].
Later, he was Tenor banjo lead & soloist with Dermott Dunn and Mick Croly [from Dublin]. Local hit record in Canada and in Ireland; "Mursheen Durkin", RCA records.
Tenor Banjo featured at: Dooley's Irish Supper Club, Toronto [Solos & Jokes]
As studio musician Don has done 650+ shows on private television plus more than 150 network TV shows, such as: CTV network's "Grand Old Country" (5-String Banjo, backup band, 24 shows), appearing with Ronnie Prophet, Dolly Parton, Mickey Gilley, Charlie Pride, Boots Randolph, Floyd Cramer and others; CBC-TV's "Bob MacLean Show" (featured vocal & guitar);
CTV's "Diamond Lil Show" (backup: tenor banjo, 39 shows); CBC-TV Country Hoedown (lead guitar, backup: 78 shows) with Gordon Lightfoot, Billy Van, Gordie Tapp, Maurice Bolyer, King Ganam, Tommy Common, The Hames Sisters and Tommy Hunter.

He plays seven string instruments, is a very versatile, competent musician and patient teacher for those students who really want to learn, and has a vocal and instrumental trio, quartet or quintet for engagements in the GTA [Greater Toronto Area].

Robert J. Allen, freelance music writer

"The ultimate studio musician". Tom Shilstra: owner and producer, Maple Records
    [backup on record sessions: 5-string banjo, lead guitar and bass guitar]
"His licks made the show".  Brian McKay: lead actor, Stage West, Mississauga.
    [backup on lead guitar and simulated steel guitar]        
"The poet of the banjo".  Duke Niles: owner and producer Village Stompers, New York City
    [rhythm and featured soloist on tenor banjo and guitar]
"The best guitarist I ever heard".  Jeff Healy: blues guitarist, vocalist, bandleader, recording star, Toronto     

Don L says:
My Instrumental Styles are: Bluegrass Folk, Blues, Jazz, and Classical [solo]. On Acoustic and Electric Guitars; and on Plectrum, Tenor and 5-String [solo] Banjos and Mandolin.
I have had many wonderful years in the music business playing many different styles of music and to pass on my experience I teach private lessons, one hour, once per week. My studio is located in the South-West part of Toronto [Etobicoke]. It is easy to get to, even by public transportation, just one bus [#76], south from the Bloor subway, Royal York station. -- Call or Email me for further information.

Musical Instruction
Guitar: pick and/or finger style [Folk and Country Travis style or Flat picking; Classical, Jazz, Bossa Nova, Delta and Jazz Blues];
Banjo: [5-String Bluegrass; Earl Scruggs style, Bill Keith "melodic" style and Jazz.] Tenor or Plectrum [Dixie, Jazz, Ragtime, Oldies, Celtic]
Mandolin: flat pick style [Bluegrass, Irish and Scots fiddle tunes, Folk, Swing and Jazz improvisation]
Vocal Styles: [with Guitar, Banjo or Mandolin accompanment only]- Folk, Bluegrass, Blues, Jazz Standards and '50's,'60's,'70's Rock and Pop.


Our Entertainment Company
is called "Steele Musical Services" We book Bands and Musicians [Trios, Quartets]; Christmas Carollers, Musical Shows and other types of entertainment. . 
call [416] 251-5198 or Email Don L:

Considered by some musicians as one of the most versatile banjo and guitar players in Canada, Don plays from Bluegrass to Blues and Jazz to Bach. Born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, he started singing at age 6, in school and at the family gatherings with his older cousin Harold Wood on piano. Around age 9 he started playing guitar with friends and with his father Fred who played the octophone [8 strings, like a 4 string guitar, double stringed]. Fred was a pioneer radio entertainer and had an early radio show on CFCY Charlottetown (later taken over by Don Messer and his Islanders). Don started jamming, learning from records and busking the streets. Age 17 he was hired to play lead guitar with the Wilf Carter show, [continuing with Smilin' Earnie Lindell], travelling across Canada, from Ontario to the Alaska Highway.
    He started playing the 5-string banjo but was hired as lead guitarist on CHCH-TV, Channel 11, Hamilton, Ontario "Jamboree" show and CHML Radio "Main Street Jamboree" where he worked with and was greatly influenced by tenor banjo virtuoso, Maurice Bolyer and violinist Wally Traggott. In his twenties he started singing again and later studied voice with Charles Jordan.   Other musical influences include: Classical guitarists: Andreas Segovia, Christopher Parkening and John Williams. 5-String Banjo soloists: Earl Scruggs, Bill Keith, Bella Fleck, Don Reno and Eric Weisberg [Dueling Banjos]. Finger style guitarists: Merle Travis, Chet Atkins. Jazz guitarists: Django Reinhardt, Tal Farlow, Barney Kessel, Ed Bickert, Johnny Smith and the Beadles George Harrison. Other prominent Jazz artists: Ray Brown, Oscar Peterson, Antonio Carlos Jobim and singers: Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett. Singers: James Taylor, Jim Croce, Harry Chapin, John Allan Cameron, Pete Seeger, the Weavers and many others.

Instruction and Studies:
 Classic guitar- Eli Kassner, RCM.  Theory and harmony- Frank Gay, Art Snider, Tony Bradan and Hank Monis.  Voice- Charles Jordan
 Banjo: 5-String, Tenor, Plectrum- Studies of technique from recordings, books and observation of the great players I had the
  good fortune to play with or see in person especially when there was a lot of TV, Radio, Recording studio gigs, Jamming and steady club work, six nights a week.

I have finished a CD of my favorite songs and previous recordings, featuring vocals and instrumentals.
The CD is called "Eclectic Steele". The instruments are: 1st and 2nd guitars, bass guitar, drum computer and vocal track.
On tracks [1], [2], [4], [7], [8], [9], [10], [11], [12] and [13] I play all instruments and program the drum computer.

The tunes are:

[1]   Accentuate the Positive
     Lyrics & music by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer, 1944. Mercer recorded the tune in 1944 with Paul Weston.
     It was on the Billboard chart [13 weeks] reaching #2.  Also recorded by Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters.
     I recorded the rhythm guitar with the drum computer, I added the bass track then vocal track then lead solo guitar.

[2]   Blue Monk
     Music by Thelonius Monk, 1948; Recorded by Sonny Rollins, Wes Mongomery, Oscar Peterson and many others.
     The tracks were recorded the same as [1] minus the vocal track.

[3]   Bye Bye Blues
     Lyrics & music by Hamm, Bennett, Lown, Gray, 1925; Hit by Les Paul & Mary Ford [1952]. Recorded by many others.  
    Tenor banjo solo I played with Frank Hubbell and the Village Stompers. Live at Old Orchard Centre, Chicago, 1965.

[4]   Come Rain or Come Shine
     Lyrics & music by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer, 1946; Recorded by hundreds of Artists including:
     Tommy Dorsey, Dinah Shore, Frank Sinatra and Margaret Whiting.
  I used the same track recording setup as [1].

[5]   Romance [Antigua[
     Traditional [composer unknown]. This was one of the first classical compositions I learned from my teacher
     Eli Kassner when he taught at the Royal Conservatory of Music. .
      I recorded this around 1970 on a Korting two-track stereo tape recorder.
     First I recorded the rhythm guitar then I dubbed in the solo guitar. I added the bass track in 2007.

[6]   Sunshine
     Lyrics & Music by Don L. Steele, 1975; Recorded at Sound Canada, 1975:
      Lead Vocal, Lead & Rhythm Guitar, Don L Steele;
     Bass, Don Paveling; Drums, Ted Rosnick; Piano, Matt Pines; Backup Vocals; Marianne Smith and Doris Goode.

[7]   Our Love is Here to Stay
      Music & Lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin, 1938; Recorded by Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra,
      Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald and many other artists.    Same recording setup as [1].

[8]   I Got Rhythm / Cottontail
      Music by George Gershwin / Duke Ellington, [1930's]; I Got Rhythm: Hit for Judy Garland; Recorded by many others.
      Duke Ellington's instrumental Cottontail was based on the same harmonic changes.   Recording setup as [1];

[9]  Teach Me Tonight
      Music by Gene DePaul, Lyrics by Sammy Cahn, 1953; Hit by the DeCastro Sisters in 1954; Sammy Davis Jr. 1965,
      Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, the Mcguire Sisters, Ronnie Milsap and others. . Same recording setup as [1].

[10]  The Preacher
      Music by Horace Silver; A favorite, standard instrumental for both Modern Jazz, Bebop and Dixieland.
       I use the same recording setup as [1].

[11]  Try to Remember
      Music: Harvey Schmidt, Lyrics: Tom Jones, 1960; From the Broadway show "The Fantastiks" sung in the show by
      Jerry Orbach [TV's "Law and Order"] Recorded by Barbra Streisand, Jerry Vale, Harry Belafonte and many more. .
       Again using the same recording setup as [1].

[12]  Smile
      Music by Charlie Chaplin, Lyrics by John Turner & Geoffrey Parsons, 1954; Recorded by Nat King Cole,
      Billboard chart #10 in 1954. Also recorded in 1962 by Ferrante and Teicher.  Same recording setup as [1].

[13]   What Kind of Fool am I
      Lyrics & music by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley, 1962; A major hit by Sammy Davis Jr.,1962.
      Recorded by Frank Sinatra, Marvin Gaye and many others.  One of my favorite ballads. . Same recording setup as [1].

[14]   Lord You Were There
      Lyrics & Music by Don L. Steele, 1975; Recorded at Sound Canada; Vocal, Lead, Rhythm Guitar, Don L Steele;
      Bass, Don Paveling; Drums, Ted Rosnick; Piano, Matt Pines; Backup Vocals, Marianne Smith and Doris Goode.

To Order CD

$16.00 plus $3.50 Shipping and Handling

to: Don L Steele, Faylou Records

122 Wheatfield Road,

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

M8V 2P8

For More Information Email:

CD in the near future: DON L'S SOLO BANJO

A selection of instrumentals from Gershwin, Kern, Porter, Berlin and the other great composers;
Scott Joplin ragtime and Stephen Foster compositions arranged for Plectrum and Tenor Banjos. .


Dan Costello sings the traditional old Irish favorites like Whiskey In The Jar, Orange and the Green, The Wild Rover, The Black Velvet Band, Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya. Plays jigs and reels on the banjo. Tells some jokes and has a great old time. He has appeared with Dermitt Dunn and Mick Croley of Dublin fame, has jammed with Will Millar and the Irish Rovers and also worked with the Carleton Show band on the popular CTV network TV shows in Canada, "Pig and Whistle" and "Diamond Lil".
He does a one hour show as a single or as a duo with his piano player.
For bookings: Don L Steele, Steele Musical Services, Toronto [416] 251-5198.

Email Steele Musical Services: