Cindy Cashdollar is a nonpedal steel guitar and Dobro artist. She grew up in Woodstock, New York where she perfected her skills by playing with bluegrass musician John Herald, blues musician Paul Butterfield, and Levon Helm and Rick Danko of The Band. After residing in Austin, Texas for 23 years, she has now returned to her hometown of Woodstock, New York.
Cashdollar received five Grammy awards while playing for eight years with Asleep at the Wheel, and has also backed such noted performers as Bob Dylan, Leon Redbone, Redd Volkaert and Ryan Adams as a member of his band The Cardinals. In 2003, the Academy of Western Artists recognized Cashdollar as Instrumentalist of the Year Award in the Western Swing Music genre. She was inducted into The Austin Chronicle Hall of Fame in 2011-12.
She authored a series of instructional videos on her instruments and released her first solo album, Slide Show, in 2004. Cashdollar currently makes guest appearances on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion, conducts workshops nationwide, and plays in a number of musical venues around Austin, Texas.
During the fall of 2004 she was a member of Ryan Adams's band The Cardinals playing the steel guitar live on stage. She also went into the studio with this band and played on the album Cold Roses, although she didn't tour the album with Ryan Adams & The Cardinals and was replaced in 2005 by Jon Graboff.
From 2005 to 2008, Cashdollar played with Elana James, Redd Volkaert, and, sometimes, Nate Rowe, as The High Flyers, appearing on A Prairie Home Companion twice, as well as playing Austin area venues.
In 2006, she toured with Van Morrison promoting his country and western album, Pay the Devil. She also appeared with him at the Austin City Limits Music Festival, on September 15, 2006 (subsequently released on Val Morrison's Live at Austin City Limits Festival limited edition recording), and on the television show Austin City Limits featuring Van Morrison, broadcast in November 2006. Cashdollar plays steel guitar on two of the tracks on Morrison's March 2008 studio album, Keep It Simple. She is also an eponymous member of Dave Alvin's 2009 project, Dave Alvin and the Guilty Women.
Cindy's favorite steel guitar is a double neck Remington 8 string nonpedal. The neck closest to her when she plays is tuned to C6 (A-C-E-G-A-C-E-G, low to high). The other neck is tuned to E13 (E-G#-D-F#-G#-B-C#-E, low to high). This is a custom guitar that Herb Remington made especially for her that is thinner than most console steel guitars, and is made from a lighter wood to keep the weight down. Remington also made special pickups for this guitar that are wound to Fender specifications. She also plays a variety of Fender instruments, and uses Fender amplifiers.