Steel guitar, dobro, harp and vocals
Bret Billings, a.k.a. the Man of Steel, is a Denver native with an extensive and impressive background in the local country music scene. His parents bought him his first steel guitar while he was a teenager, and he became a student of local steel guitar legend Dick Meis when he was 16. Bret has played locally and regionally since 1977 with the Deperados, Kenny Brent and the Texas Express, Briar Rose, the Red Eye Band and many others.
Bret is the only member of the Hi-Beams to have appeared on stage with Willie Nelson. He was heavily influenced by the California country rock scene of the 70's--the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, Poco, New Riders of the Purple Sage and a little later Emmylou Harris, Gram Parsons, Rodney Crowell, and others. His steel influences included players from that scene--Buddy Cage, Dan Dugmore, Rusty Young, Sneaky Pete, J.D. Maness, Tom Brumley , Ralph Mooney and Lucky Oceans with Asleep at the Wheel.