Hamilton McKay Belk

Dobro, Pedal Steel Banjo, Bass

128 Reviews (115 Verified)
Hamilton McKay Belk on SoundBetter

Tasteful overdubs for country, folk, indie rock, and experimental projects. Pedal Steel, Dobro, Banjo, Lap Steel Guitar, and Bass. I'm a mixing engineer, too.

Whether it’s finding that perfect, singable hook, ripping a solo, or creating unique ambiences and textures my greatest joy is to serve the song. As a session player, I've recorded on over 100 albums including overdubs for multi-platinum and grammy nominated songwriters and arrangers. I'm steeped in the traditional sounds, and I also love to push the envelope!

I offer professional pedal steel, dobro, banjo, lap steel, bass, and guitar overdubs for your song of any genre recorded with high end amps, mics, and analog preamps. I love developing lustrous melodies with subtleties and nuance, catchy hooks, or lush beds of harmony for pop, country, jazz, americana, folk, indie rock, hip hop, and more. I love to experiment!

I've worked on songs produced or written by:

Thomas Bartlett (Taylor Swift, Norah Jones, Sufjan Stevens, Florence & the Machine)
Jeffery David (Echosmith, Goo Goo Dolls, For King and Country)
Daniel Majic (Flo Rida, One Republic, Kevin Gates, Filmore)
Rich Veltrop (Tom Petty, Taj Mahal, Macy Gray)
Alasdair Roberts (David Byrne, Bonnie Prince Billie, Songs: Ohia)
Scotty Wilbanks (Luke Bryan, Third Day)
Jon Gilbert (Mt Joy, The Kills, Pete Yorn)
Peter Broderick (arr. for She&Him, Sharon Van Etten, Gill Landry)
D James Goodwin (Bonny Light Horseman, Kevin Morby, Bob Weir)
Jonathan Wymann (Pretty Reckless, King Kyote)
Ben Charles (Disney, Universal)

Send me an email through 'Contact' button above and I'll get back to you asap.


AllMusic verified credits for Hamilton Belk
  • Yumi Zouma
  • Brigid Mae Power
  • Last of the Easy Riders
  • Field Guides

128 Reviews - 22 Repeat Clients

Endorse Hamilton McKay Belk
  1. Review by Dakota Girton

    Was a pleasure working with Hamilton. Great communication, quick turnaround, and superb playing. Just an absolute pro. Highly recommend!

  2. Review by Marc S.

    Hamilton rocks. The guy is on fire. Super reliable and a damn good musician. Always a pleasure!

  3. Review by Keegan Ferrell

    Working with Hamilton is easy as it gets. A true professional, great communicator, and heck of a musician! Definitely will be using him whenever I'm needing steel.

  4. Review by Bradley D.

    Hamilton's playing is tasteful and creative. I threw a bit of a curve ball track his way and he hit it out of the park. My 2nd time working with him and it surely won't be the last.

  5. Review by Imua Garza

    He did a great job and aligned with the vision of what I was hoping for and more. Highly recommend.

  6. Review by Kyle D.

    Hamilton always nails it!

  7. Review by Caleb Aldrich

    Hamilton is an amazing pedal steel player and delivers high professionalism in his playing and engineering. I would 100% recommend him to anyone who is wanting pedal steel tracks.

  8. Review by Bradley D.

    Hamilton was a treat to work with. He read my mind and improved upon it. His super tasteful and lyrical pedal steel part added a new dimension to my track.

  9. Review by Keegan Ferrell

    Hamilton was great to work with. Very professional, and followed the vision I had for the song exceptionally well. He gave me great options to choose from, and overall, his tasteful playing is adding a lot to the country song I am producing. As a Nashville producer, I will definitely be coming back to Hamilton for more pedal steel in the future.

  10. Review by Nick Ruffalo (Ruff)

    Hamilton is an incredibly talented multi-instrumentalist who delivered exactly what I needed with a ton of detail and care!

  11. Review by Mike G.

    Hamilton Rocks, awesome collaborator!

  12. Review by Mike G.

    Hamilton is a great collaborator and highly recommend!

  13. Review by Jeffrey B.

    The very best of the best.

  14. Review by Taylor B.

    Hamilton is a monster on pedal steel. He's a top-notch musician, and he worked with me until we got what we were looking for. He's a super nice guy too! Highly recommended.

  15. Review by Charlie W.

    hamilton always does a fantastic job!

  16. Review by Allie
    by Allie

    Hamilton's beautiful pedal steel tracks always elevate our songs and give them such incredible atmosphere. A pleasure to work with!

  17. Review by Jacob L.

    Hamilton is great to work with! Easy communication, quick turnaround, and fantastic sounding tracks. Will definitely hire him again for my next project!

  18. Review by Chad D.

    Hamilton is a pro. Created the perfect Pedal Steel part to take my song to the next level. He is kind, professional and very talented. I could not recommend him more!

  19. Review by Mike G.

    Hamilton always delivers great Pedal Steel and added an epic melody to my cheesy love song, thank you!

  20. Review by Allie
    by Allie

    Hauntingly beautiful and creative pedal steel tracks, as always!

Interview with Hamilton McKay Belk

  1. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  2. A: A lot of folks think I play slide, or "slide guitar". The terms pedal steel, lap steel, dobro, and slide guitar get thrown around and misused a lot, but I think they are used in a fairly consistent manner by the folks who play them. To me, slide guitar is when you play a regular ole six string guitar with a slide that goes around your finger. I don't use the term slide guitar when talking about pedal steel, lap steel, or dobro / resonator.

  3. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  4. A: Country, Americana, Indie, and everything else!

  5. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  6. A: Paul Franklin, Lloyd Green, Jerry Douglass to name a few.

  7. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  8. A: Most often, I do pedal steel guitar, banjo, dobro, lap steel, bass, and guitar overdubs in that order of frequency. I'm also a producer and a mix engineer.

  9. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  10. A: I recently worked on a Billie Eilish cover. I got to apply some vocal production techniques to the pedal steel tracks. It was a lot of fun.

  11. Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?

  12. A: I have yet to come across anyone else that I know on here!

  13. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  14. A: I promise to work until you are stoked!

  15. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  16. A: There is no finish line.

  17. Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?

  18. A: I'm often asked how the steel should be processed. I typically send a dry track and a track with the effects that I think sound good.

  19. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  20. A: A tarp, a solar still, a hatchet, fishing tackle, and Moby Dick.

  21. Q: How would you describe your style?

  22. A: This really depends on what I'm working on. I once had a radio show on WBOR Brunswick, ME called Americana Overhaul. I think that's an apt description of what I often do.

  23. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  24. A: I'm working on developing a sample library for pedal steel. I have some friends who are interested. I'm also trying to learn some works by Claude Debussy for steel guitar with the hopes of informing some bass and steel compositions.

  25. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  26. A: I came into a very lucky job working for a sculptor who was adamant about giving me time to work on my art. I worked for him for 4 years and had the time practice, perform, and tour. That all started in 2012. My first tour was with Wesley Hartley and the Traveling Trees in 2013. I was playing bass and lap steel at the time.

  27. Q: What's your typical work process?

  28. A: I usually listen to a song all the way through to get a feel for what I can bring to the table. By the end I have a fairly good idea of how to approach it - which parts require space and which might want thicker harmonies or faster licks. I consider how the existing melodies might play into the ideas I have, and then I just start putting stuff down. After I get something that works, I take a break to give my ears and mind a rest and then I return and if I'm still stoked about what I did than I usually know its good to go. If I'm not, then I have more work to do. I also like to pay attention to the instrumentation. It helps inform what register I will play in. It's all about balance.

  29. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  30. A: If you are operating with a limited budget, digital is clearly the right choice.

  31. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  32. A: Do you have reference tracks? What resolution do you need me to work with?

  33. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  34. A: Do it!

  35. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  36. A: I feel like I already have gotten to do this! I have deep respect and admiration for a lot of people I've been blessed to played with.

  37. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  38. A: I've heard it said that a composition is done when you can no longer remove things without destroying the song. I think this is important. In a lot of cases you start with a granite block and your job is to chip away.

  39. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  40. A: I like to experiment to see what could work. Sometimes unexpected things happen and you stumble onto something unique and exciting. So I'd say my open mind and my respect for negative space and breathing room.

  41. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  42. A: My studio is fairly modern. I mostly work in the box. I built some enormous 7'x6' gobos for a makeshift isolation booth that I can use for drums and vocals. I work out of my living room and the acoustics are something I typically try to remove. I usually try to recreate the room I want via plugins.

  43. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  44. A: I have a good ear for developing a song or complementing a song's feeling.

Pedal Steel 2021

I was the Pedal Steel Guitarist in this production

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    Pedal Steel 2021
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    Banjo 2021
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    Lap Steel 2021
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    Dobro 2021
Terms Of Service

I allow unlimited revisions until you're completely stoked with the results. Turnaround time is typically 3 days.

GenresSounds Like
  • Gram Parsons
  • Buddy Emmons
  • Carol Kaye
Gear Highlights
  • 1982 Emmons Pedal Steel
  • GT MasterTone Dobro
  • GT OB250 Banjo
  • Hofner CS Bass
  • Neve 511
  • UA 4710d
  • Royer 121
  • Rode NT5 Pair
  • Warm Audio Tube EQ
  • RK Lap Steel
  • PT12
  • Apollo Twin
  • Shure SM57
  • SM7
  • Plugins by UA
  • Waves
  • Fabfilter
  • and Soundtoys
More Photos
More Samples
SoundBetter Deal

Unlimited revisions