Skip to main content

Watch Pedal Steel Guitar Ace Roosevelt Collier Channel Jimi Hendrix on "Spike"

Roosevelt Collier's new album, 'Exit 16,' will be released March 9.

Roosevelt Collier's new album, 'Exit 16,' will be released March 9. (Image credit: Carlos Topo Maseda)

Today we've teamed up with up-and-coming pedal steel guitarist Roosevelt Collier to premiere his new video, a live-in-the-studio performance of "Spike," which features Snarky Puppy’s Michael League on bass. The song appears on Collier's debut album, Exit 16, which'll be released March 9 via GroundUP Music.

“This record is a record about me,” Collier says. “It’s telling a story of who I am, where I’m from, and where I’m going...I’m rooted in a lot of genres, so I’ve never really had a focus or to buckle down”—which is why Exit 16 features infectious tracks like “Supernatural Encounters" sitting alongside “Spike,” a song that finds Collier shredding in the spirit of Jimi Hendrix, an obvious influence. “I think a song like ‘Spike’ is about my future,” Collier says. “My goal was to see how we can expand this guitar, this steel.”

You can see far he expanded it by pressing "Play" below.

Exit 16 represents a potent mix of blues, gospel, rock and, in Collier's words, “dirty funk swampy grime,” as overseen by League, who produced the disc.

Collier, who was brought up in the House of God Church in Perrine, Florida, built his “sacred steel” guitar prowess alongside his uncles and cousins in the Lee Boys, known for their spirited, soul-shaking live performances. On his own, Collier has become a sought-after talent on record and on stage, performing alongside the Allman Brothers Band, the String Cheese Incident, Buddy Guy, Umphrey's McGee, Los Lobos, Robert Randolph, the Tedeschi-Trucks Band and the Del McCoury Band.

And, despite this story's "pedal steel" headline, Collier also happens to be a transcendent talent on lap steel guitar. He's so proficient, in fact, that he’s affectionately known as “The Dr.”

“My mission is touch and heal people through music,” he says. “That’s always been my mission, whether it’s in the church or in a club. I think people feel better about themselves after I play. That’s powerful, my man! I’ve been blessed to have that going for me. That’s my gift.”

For more about Collier and to see his scheduled shows, visit rooseveltthedr.com and follow along on Facebook.

(Image credit: Carlos Topo Maseda)

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas (opens in new tab), was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron (opens in new tab), a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums (opens in new tab). He now plays in two NYC-area bands.