Mica: Don't forget that Stefan Grossman started to play the guitar when he was nine years old and made it his main interest.
Mike: I don't find Grossman as soul-less as you do. I do find that I get tired of listening to him for any length of time, so, given his technical brilliance, there must be something missing. I think part of the reason he seems to have a scratchy sound is because he is too heavy-handed on the bass. The boom-CHICK eventually dominates what you are hearing instead of acting like an accompanyment.
Bob: Is the Steel Guitar Rag actually played with a slide?
Mike and Rick: A lot of the Piedemont style players don't stick to an alternating bass; but sometimes "walk the bass" and sometimes have piano-like bass runs. Since this is "rubbish Stefan Grossman day", I think he loses this effect because of his heavy bass. I have a tape with him playing some of Davis's pieces and then Davis playing them. Quite often you are not even aware of the bass in the Davis version. (although I am sure you would miss it if it wasn't there!)