Hamilton McKay Belk

Pedal Steel, Bass, Lap Steel

11 Reviews (2 Verified)
Hamilton McKay Belk on SoundBetter

Tasteful overdubs for country, folk, indie rock, and experimental projects. Pedal Steel, Lap Steel, and Electric Bass. I'm a mixing engineer, too. IG: @miltonwithers for more samples

My greatest joy is playing steel guitar. I have recorded on over 20 albums with artists from Mexico City to Maine to Brooklyn to Berlin. I have shared the stage with over 30 bands in the US and Canada and have been direct support for acts as disparate as Whitey Morgan, RJD2, Darlingside, Timber, Timbre, Marshall Crenshaw, and some guy from American Idol whose name I don't remember. I don't have a bunch of fancy accolades, like grammys or the nobel prize, but I'm workin' on it :)

I have a blast laying down traditional honky tonk licks in the twangy E9 or jazzy C6 styles, and I absolutely love experimenting with new techniques to apply pedal steel or lap steel in new ways. If you want to get weird, I am all for it! I play steel guitar regularly with two honky tonk bands in Denver and a psych-rocker from Maine. I am a bassist for Jackson Melnick's live band, and I've played guitar, banjo, synthesizers, and drum kit in live and studio settings. I am also a mixing and live sound engineer.

Check out the samples to get a sense of my versatility.

Most importantly, I am not satisfied until my client is 100% stoked. I like to have fun, but I am SERIOUS about your satisfaction. I look forward to working with you!

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

Reviews (11)

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  1. Review by Bill G.

    Wow! Great work from Hamilton on this track. Very professional, great player, easy to work with, and was supportive of a few call back edits. I'm thrilled with the result and am eager to work together again!

  2. Review by Bob S.

    Great tone and soulful playing. He captured my idea without having to explain a lot. Thanks for the recording Hamilton feels good to work with a professional like you. I’m excited to continue working with you on my other tracks.

  3. Review by Jack Gwydion

    I hired McKay to record and produce six demos. He did a great job arranging and recording my guitar and vocals, adding drums, bass, electric and steel guitar, and mixing the songs. He is quick on ProTools. The guy is on point always and so nice to work with! He is not a smarmy musician. He is honest, hardworking, devoted.

  4. Review by Jackson Melnick

    I first contacted McKay to play bass for a number of live shows (Jack Gwydion). He is the kind of musician who showed up for our first rehearsal knowing the songs on my record better than me in a few places. On bass, he is always in the pocket and alive, he also produced super high quality demos for me, really went above and beyond. I wouldn't hesitate to hire him to engineer a studio project.

  5. Review by John Bisbee

    McKay is a master. I threw 12 unknown songs at him in one day and he crushed them all with one or two takes. Sly and hilarious, I have never enjoyed being with somebody in my entire life as I have with Mr. McKay Belk. He can riff on anything, music and otherwise. He is 100% pure sparkle dust fun, and he will explode any song that's lucky enough to have him accompany it.

  6. Review by Benedict Kupstas (Field Guides)

    McKay possesses in spades all my favorite qualities in a musician and collaborator: technical prowess, impeccable instincts, a willingness to approach arrangements from various angles, a generous spirit... It's an absolute delight working with him. His playing is expressive yet full of nuance and restraint; he gave such evocative and ethereal new layers to my music.

  7. Review by Evan Parker

    I've worked with McKay for nearly six years ranging on projects from country music to experimental rock and everything in-between. I always referred to McKay as 'the magic-maker', or 'honey fingers' because he adds so much to the songwriting process, or his ability to polish and bring to life a dull song is pure wizardry. In my opinion McKay's work is priceless, these rates are a steal.

  8. Review by Jeff Beam

    It's a pleasure to work with McKay. He's a steady, calming presence, musically & otherwise. He's both filled with good ideas and able to take direction superbly. He's able to adjust on the fly. He has a great ear. He can lay down a classic steel lick w/ traditional charm, but he's just as much at home running through a Leslie speaker. He is an intangible asset.

  9. Review by Travis Cyr

    " McKays playing is golden, smooth, comforting, delicate, moody, like syrup, like jelly, like nature, like he's inside of your heart. His playing has brought on tears, several times. His commitment to his instrument is inspiring and he is one of the nicest human beings I have ever met. He makes everything that much better.."

    Travis Cyr / travis cyr

  10. Review by Kevin Knight

    Having shared a bill with Mckay a few years back, and seeing what he has been up to lately, I reached out to him about adding pedal steel to a couple of recent tracks. His response was swift, his open ears and collaborative spirit during the overdubbing process were professional and comforting. Exactly what the tracks needed. Laid back and satisfying experience working with him! -Kevin Knight

  11. Review by Jack

    I hired Hamilton for a studio album, he took the songs to a whole other level. His playing is expert, on point. He blends theory and emotion to give tracks just what they need. The way he approches runs is dynamic, creative, expressive, and then he tactfully resolves them into a splendor of sound. He can lead your track or give just that extra edge it needs. https://thejackreedband.bandcamp.co

Interview with Hamilton McKay Belk

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

  2. A: Country and experimental.

  3. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  4. A: I like to experiment to see what could work. Sometimes unexpected things happen and you stumble onto something unique and exciting.

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

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

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

  8. A: Mostly, I do pedal steel guitar overdubs. Occasionally I play guitar and bass and assist with production.

Terms Of Service

I allow unlimited revisions until you're completely stoked with the results. Turnaround time is typically 1 week.

GenresSounds Like
  • Gram Parsons
  • Harold Budd
Gear Highlights
  • Two Great Ears
  • 1982 Emmons D10 Pedal Steel
  • Recording King Lap Steel
  • Pro Tools 12
  • Yamaha CP40 Stage
  • Focusrite SP40
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