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‘D for Dobro’ Chris Eaton

On streaming platforms from 1st February 2024.


Following hot on the heels of 2023’s ‘The UK & Ireland Dobro Celebration’, comes ‘D for Dobro’. 

Whereas the ‘Celebration’ album featured a collection of Dobro players from around the British Isles (compiled, produced and played on by Chris) ‘D for Dobro’ is a solo album, in every sense of the word. ‘I’ve always loved the sound of solo, unaccompanied Dobro’, says Chris. ‘I had these arrangements, which I’d been playing for ages, and felt it was time to record them’.


Conventionally, a square neck resonator (Dobro) is tuned to High Bass G tuning, similar to a banjo. It’s the standard tuning for bluegrass Dobro. However, some players also use Open D tuning which, with its lower register, is especially good for solo performances. Players of lap slide Weissenborn type guitars often use Open D too.


‘I came to lap style Dobro after playing bottleneck slide for many years, so I was familiar with Open D tuning, which is common for bottleneck’. ‘I used it as a way to learn the Dobro and subsequently started arranging well known songs as solo pieces’. ‘Open D is actually an easier tuning to start in, but if you want to play bluegrass and join jam sessions, the G tuning is required’. ‘I learnt that in Nashville, where I went to study Dobro’. ‘I wasn’t familiar with High Bass G tuning at the time and found it tricky to jam along, as I didn’t know the standard Dobro repertoire, which is predominantly bluegrass based’. ‘Nowadays I run a bluegrass jam in Brighton, featuring players I’ve met locally’. ‘Thanks to the British Bluegrass Music Association and Facebook groups, I’ve also discovered other jam sessions in the South East, which I love to attend as often as possible’.


Chris is a professional musician with a portfolio career comprising of: composing, recording, writing, teaching and performing. His Dobro compositions have been used worldwide on TV shows and he has written for various UK guitar magazines, including interviewing Dobro legend Jerry Douglas. Last summer he ran Dobro workshops at four of the biggest bluegrass/Americana festivals in the UK, as well as teaching at Sore Fingers bluegrass school during their Autumn weekend event.


‘Being asked to teach at Sore Fingers was a career highlight for me’. 'Plus, the fact that Ron Block from Alison Krauss & Union Station was teaching banjo that same weekend’. ‘I got to hang with him and play together on stage, it was amazing’. ‘Getting to know the UK bluegrass scene has been great fun’. ‘It’s very satisfying to find a scene where the Dobro fits in naturally’. ‘Nobody’s asking me why I’m holding my guitar the wrong way, ha-ha, they know what it’s called and what it’s role is’. ‘For a musician, being part of a scene is important, it helps clarify your identity and develop your profile’.


Tuition videos and TAB available from:


The trademark ‘Dobro’ is used with permission from Gibson Guitars (2024)

D for Dobro

A Collection of Solo Arrangements Using Open D Tuning

  1. Be Thou My Vision (Trad)

  2. The Tennessee Waltz (Patti Page)

  3. Midnight Rider (The Allman Brothers)

  4. Carolina in my Mind (James Taylor)

  5. Key to the Highway (Big Bill Broonzy)

  6. Ho Hey (The Lumineers)

  7. The Leaving of Liverpool (Trad)

  8. Always on my Mind (Elvis)

  9. Shenandoah (Trad)


Streaming online at the usual platforms from 16th June 2023. 

CD's available for £12 GBP + £2 p&p. Payment via PayPal, ref:

The UK & Ireland Dobro Celebration

1. David Currie – Pig Foot Clinch (Trad)

2. CJ Hillman – CJ’s Bounce

3. Chris Eaton – Salt Creek/Cherokee Shuffle (Trad)

4. Martin Harley – Cowboys in Hawaii

5. Michael Messer & Pete Webber – Chimes (Trad)

6. Noel Dashwood – Spraying Mud

7. Henry Senior – The Effra Coffin

8. Darren Jones – Give Me Some Reasons

9. Phillip Henry – Domino Road

10.Bruno Pichler with Lewis Cohen – Come Down Jehovah (Chris Wood)

11.Colin Henry - Imperfection

12.John Gleeson - Both Sides Now (Joni Mitchell)

13.Ted Ponsonby - Snowy Breasted Pearl (Trad) Twixt Cup & Lip


Produced/compiled by Chris Eaton.

Mastered by Red Red Paw.

All songs are original compositions, unless otherwise credited.

The trademark ‘Dobro’ is used with permission from Gibson Guitars.

© 2023

This album is a celebration of acoustic lap steel resonator guitars, played with a steel bar. Within the country/bluegrass music scene this instrument is known as a Dobro.

The word ‘Dobro’ is a blending of Dopyera brothers. This Slovakian family invented and manufactured the instrument in the 1920/30s, in an attempt to increase the volume of acoustic guitars through the use of a resonator system. They succeeded.

The word is now a trademark owned by Gibson Guitars and is often used as a generic name to describe any resonator guitar, but as I said; this collection showcases lap steels, not regular slide or fretted resonators.


In November 2022 I visited Nashville to attend Reso Summit Slide Fest. This experience inspired me to try and bring together some of the best lap steel guitarists from the UK and Ireland. Each artist submitted a track, most of them recorded especially for this compilation. There’s a wide range of styles on offer, providing a snapshot of the different Dobro tones and techniques in the British Isles. Enjoy.


Chris Eaton, April 2023.

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