Phil Madeira

*Piano*Hammond *Gtr *Mellotron

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78 Reviews (61 Verified)
Phil Madeira on SoundBetter

"IT'S ALL ABOUT SOUL. From Keyboards and guitar for Emmylou Harris to Keb' Mo' to Garth Brooks and Amy Grant, Phil is an in-demand talent! Writer of Grammy Winning "From This Valley" with the Civil Wars, and production credits include Emmylou Harris, The Civil Wars, Keb' Mo', Mat Kearney, Wood Brothers, Shawn Mullins, and The Band Perry."

I'm grateful! My credit list is long and diverse, from B3 on giant hits like "House of Love" (Amy Grant & Vince Gill) to blues piano and B3 on Grammy winning "Tajmo" (Taj Mahal and Keb' Mo')...

I have been blessed with the ability to PRODUCE records, WRITE songs, and PERFORM on various instruments, most frequently Piano and Hammond organ. Add to that oddities such as Lap Steel and Accordion, as well as your basic Americana guitar, and that's it.

My songwriting leans towards anything rootsy, having written with Emmylou, Civil Wars, The Wood Brothers, Angel Snow, Shawn Mullins, and Keb' Mo', but I have had success in the CCM world (2014 Dove Best Country Song) and cuts with Music Row acts like Garth Brooks and Alison Krauss (both recorded "Maybe") and Toby Keith ("If I Was Jesus".

I can cross a lot of musical boundaries, from traditional jazz and blues to old school country and modern folk to gospel and pop.

I record in my own studio as well as in beautiful rooms like Sound Emporium and Blackbird here in Nashville.

I often get hired as a vocalist by folks looking for "character" in the same vein as Randy Newman or Tom Waits. My voice has a story telling, smokey, bluesy quality to it.

I'm happy to help finish a song or a track, or build something from the ground up.

Would love to hear from you. Click the contact button above to get in touch.

Languages

  • English

78 Reviews - 12 Repeat Clients

Endorse Phil Madeira
  1. Review by David
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    by David
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    What can I say other than - Phil is an amazing and insightful professional who has elevated my productions to an entirely new level. Sincerely grateful for his contributions.

    That and one hell of nice guy. Couldn't recommend Phil more highly.

  2. Review by Per H.
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    by Per H.
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    Phil gave me an intro Wurlitzer hook that sounds like a classic from an album you've loved your whole life. The rest of the track is great too. I only wish my song could live up to what he gave me! Of course, that's a problem we all want to have when working with other musicians. Thank you, Phil.

  3. Review by "Hoggs"
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    Phil was absolutely great to work with, a total dream. Not only did he create beautiful B3 and piano tracks that are dripping with emotion, but he did so in an astonishingly short timeframe. A consummate professional, I highly recommend this guy!

  4. Review by Bob A.
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    by Bob A.
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    Phil is a huge talent and great fun to work with. Trust me, you are in good hands with this guy.

  5. Review by David
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    Phil is remarkable. A true professional. His playing has elevated my production to the next level and for that I am sincerely grateful. Was a pleasure to work with - thank you!

  6. Review by Mike
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    by Mike
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    Phil is so fast and accurate. One talented musician!

  7. Review by Gillham M.
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    Phil 'got' my song completely and created such a beautiful part, full of texture and harmony, yet so groovy and sympathetic to the track. In nearly 40 years of playing he is one of the best musicians, I have ever come across. If you are lucky enough to have him play for you then you are in for a real treat. He is also a true gentleman and a consummate professional. I am totally delighted!

  8. Review by vanishingshores
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    Brilliant musicianship, communication, and passion. Highly recommended.

  9. Review by Mike
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    Phil was efficient beyond expectations and has added some wonderful magic with his piano.... Mike

  10. Review by Bob Aristarco
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    Just worked with Phil for the first time. He's a total pro with a great ear for the possibilities hidden in a basic demo track. Great communication. Super quick turnaround. Highest recommendation.

  11. Review by Kevin Bianchi
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    Phil is such an inspiration and full of limitless creativity. He continually amazes me. Highly recommended.

  12. Review by Kitt Wakeley
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    Couldn't be more appreciative! Great at helping me get a quick and easy piano part! Thank you so much for squeezing me in!!!

  13. Review by Kevin Bianchi
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    Phil has such a gift for adding beauty and emotion to each song he plays on. Deeply grateful. I highly recommend him for any project.

  14. Review by Raimond Dagfjäll / RN Music
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    It’s very cool and an honor to have the opportunity to collaborate with such an experienced musician as Phil. Good communication and he quickly delivered great tracks to my project.

  15. Review by Kevin Bianchi
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    Phil’s incredible ‘ear’ and sensitivity to the music always adds the emotive beauty each track needs! So very grateful to him and enthusiastically recommend!

  16. Review by Gregg Leonard
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    Everything about the experience of working with Phil was fantastic, He is a true pro, the turn around was quick and focused and everything he delivered was full of a musicality that only a superb and seasoned musician could deliver. I cant recommend Phil highly enough

  17. Review by Kevin Bianchi
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    Phil was absolutely incredible to work with on my song. Great communication. Great turnaround time. He brought such beauty and emotion to my track, instinctively knowing just what it needed. I can’t recommend him highly enough!

  18. Review by Michael Goldberg
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    Phil's production, playing keys and musical direction is first class and second to none....Highly recommend!

  19. Review by Jenny Littleton
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    Phil is so easy to work with, open to my ideas and so encouraging! The song was great, total pop-rock bliss; and I loved singing on it. This was my first Soundbetter Session, and I loved it.

  20. Review by Mark Coles Smith
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    The entire process of collaborating with Phil was a joy from the start, he is an accomplished musician and creative who is able to precisely articulate the vision of a work and take it even further. Would absolutely recommend for all things keys.

  21. Review by Ruckus Skye
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    Great player! Easy to work with. Tasty parts. Plays for the song. Fast delivery. Great communication. Recommended!

  22. Review by Mark
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    by Mark
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    Phil is always fantastic to work with - he intuits precisely the part your song needs to make it shine, and delivers it (with alternate versions from which to choose!) very quickly; he is also excellent to communicate with. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

  23. Review by michael s.
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    Classy and soulful, Phil always delivers!

  24. Review by Andy McCutcheon
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    Phil is an amazing musician. He's able to hear exactly what a song needs and brings his formidable writing and performance chops to facilitate the occasion! Did I mention he's a consummate professional? I highly recommend Phil for all your piano, Hammond, and Mellotron needs. I went for all three and couldn't be happier. I look forward to working with Phil again soon.

  25. Review by Francis L.
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    Phil will always be my go to funkateer for clavinet and organ. He has always been able to find a nice space in my music. I love his creativity and communication!

  26. Review by Mark
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    by Mark
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    Phil is FANTASTIC to work with, delivering not one but 3 organ performances to work with for my current track. His playing sounds BEAUTIFUL in the mix and his Hammond work was precisely the ingredient my song was calling out for. Importantly, Phil is also a fast, friendly, and professional communicator. I am extremely happy with his work, and very grateful. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!

  27. Review by Ludvig I.
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    Phil is an absolute professional. Great to work with, supportive and kind - and of course extremely talented. He’s got the ear and playing you need.

  28. Review by Jeff May
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    Once again Phil found the pocket. An honor to have him play on my songs. And a nice guy. Cheers!

  29. Review by Jeff May
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    Musicians like Phil are the reason I use soundbetter
    We”re lucky to be able to use such great talent on out little songs.

  30. Review by Michael Goldberg
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    Phil is a master....another great track ... HIGHLY Recommend!!

  31. Review by Michael Goldberg
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    Phil is always a pleasure and professional delivery a first class product. HIGHLY RECOMMEND

  32. Review by Dennis J.
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    Great communication and the track grooved!

  33. Review by Michael Goldberg
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    Phil is a treasure... his playing, his taste, his influence. We were in sync right from the start and the B3 parts he sent were spot on...I cannot recommend Phil enough to those that want to gain from his vast experience and playing skills and even better his vast instrumentation skills on various instruments...a great addition to your track!!!

  34. Review by Francis L.
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    Please don't be fooled by the hat, as cool as it is - because underneath it, this man is hiding some serious chops! Give him the opportunity and he will pull out some tricks for your song. He did that for me. He made this song funkier than I ever thought it could be! Thank you Phil, I had a great time. Look forward to next jam.

  35. Review by Luke E
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    by Luke E
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    Phil is a true pro across the board. His playing is amazing and his creativity and musicianship is next level. He performed on a song for me and laid in just the right textures and instruments that it needed. I'm blown away and look forward to working with him again in the future.

  36. Review by Jalal Y.
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    Phil is great to work with. He is an excellent musician, informative, generous with ideas and very punctual on delivery.

  37. Review by Dennis Holt
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    Phil is such a talented writer and player! I'm always impressed by the tracks he sends me... so creative and fun! Cheers!

  38. Review by Dennis Holt
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    I love playing for Phil! Always cool, groovy songs! Well played and recorded! what a treat!

  39. Review by earlrobbins
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    Phil is an extremely talented musician and gave us a great organ track for our song. You'll like working with him. Highly recommend.

  40. Review by John O.
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    Phil is an amazing musician to partner with. Quick and thoughtful response. Wonderful talent and amazing sound. Definitely would work with him again in a red hot minute.

  41. Review by Chris Donohue
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    Aside from being a top-shelf pianist, organist, and guitarist, Phil is at the top of his game as a songwriter and producer. He enriches every project he plays on and brings out the absolute best performances from everyone he works with!

  42. Review by Chris Donohue
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    Phil is a total pleasure to work with! He's well organized, communicative, and exceptionally talented. I'm very grateful to get to contribute to his recordings!

  43. Review by Chris Donohue
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    Phil's songs are the sort that inspire best performances from everyone he works with, engaging the player and listener both lyrically and musically!

  44. Review by michael s.
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    Ability to bring the right tool to the job. Fantastic musician and amazing producer. If you want authenticity, Phil’s your huckleberry.

  45. Review by Dominic K.
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    Phil is an extraordinary talent as a musician and producer. Great communication, fast turnaround, and his playing is top tier with true emotion and musicianship.

  46. Review by michael s.
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    Quality all around. The best!

  47. Review by michael s.
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    Fab! Great ear and mad skill set!!

  48. Review by michael s.
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    Class and Style follows whatever Phil touches

  49. Review by Mark Triffitt
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    Just amazing work, look no further for Americana guitar, soul/blues piano and accordion. Brilliantly proficient at these and much more ... one of the best

  50. Review by Mark Triffitt
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    Enjoy working with Phil immensely. Impeccable music sense and a truly virtuoso performer.

  51. Review by Judy Z.
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    Phil is so professional and talented!!!His work makes my song get better.It's a very nice experience to work with him!

  52. Review by Mark Triffitt
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    Phil's playing is seriously, seriously good. Can't speak highly enough of what he will bring to your project.

  53. Review by Mark Triffitt
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    Phil's playing is beyond superlative. Every phrase and chord progression is a knockout. Effortless to work with, a total professional.

  54. Review by michael s.
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    Class stuff. Elegant and full of soul and heart!

  55. Review by Todd L.
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    Thank you Phil for delivering extraordinary piano tracks for our project. Truly brought our song to life. Looking forward to our next project!

  56. Review by Todd L.
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    Phil has delivered yet again incredible keyboard tracks to my project. World class player out of Nashville and world class person to work with time and time again!

  57. Review by Todd L.
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    Phil just delivered me the most beautiful B3 tracks I have ever heard. He is the best keys player you will find out of Nashville. And yes he is extraordinarily pleasant toward with and will make sure you are 100% happy!

  58. Review by Todd L.
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    Once again Phil has delivered phenomenal tracks to another one of my projects. Once you start working with him, you will never try another keyboard player. B3, piano, Wurlitzer, you name it - he has you covered!

  59. Review by michael s.
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    Smart. Seasoned. Mature. Sophisticated. Pro all the way around.

  60. Review by michael s.
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    Excellence, class and style.

  61. Review by Profile User 309170
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    Once again great chops and a seasoned pro. Quality all around and highly recommended!

  62. Review by Todd L.
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    Always surprising me with his insightful approach to music. Always creative but at the same time always adding to the song. Phil is an incredible musician you can trust your songs are in great hands.

  63. Review by Nick Clark
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    Great experience working with phil, i highly recommend quality work with easy communication

  64. Review by Todd L.
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    Extraordinary talent and equally a pleasure to work with! Went way beyond the mark!

  65. Review by Profile User 309170
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    Great. Tasteful. Experienced. Mature. Thoughtful. Guys the real deal

  66. Review by Dennis Holt
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    Phil always comes up with great pieces of music to play on. He is a fantastic musician and writer... He knows what he wants and just how to convey that!
    Let's do more, Mate!
    cheers!!

  67. Review by Arnaud Taillefer
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    Phil is a very inspired pianist, he also listen a lot...
    I would like rework again with him.
    He has good feelings, vibes,a big experiences too.
    Perfect,merci beaucoup Phil!!

  68. Review by Steve Wilmot
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    A joy to work with! Easy going, great communicator with some great songs. Inspiring!

  69. Review by Joe Dancsak
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    Five stars for Phil! Played awesome honky tonk piano on a country hip hop jam that took the song to a new level. Quick turnaround and great communication, I highly recommend :)

  70. Review by Roar K. Eikli
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    by Roar K. Eikli

    Phil has produced, and played on, two albums for the norwegian band Humming People. When Phil came on board it took things to another level, and I would highly recommend him as both a producer and musician!

  71. Review by Sammy Horner (The Sweet Sorrows / Th Electrics)
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    by Sammy Horner (The Sweet Sorrows / Th Electrics)

    Phil has produced four alums for me, two band albums with Celtic Rockers The Electrics, one solo gospel album and one with my latest duo, The Sweet Sorrows. He always delivered for the record labels I was with, (and they can be real picky) but Phil still offers his best on independent recordings so the quality of what you get is never diluted. The man can play any instrument he puts his hands on, really making them sing, then beautifully spins them in to exactly the right place in the mix. Nashville has a lot of talent, but Phil would be my go to guy in music city every time.

  72. Review by Peter Rogan
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    by Peter Rogan

    Phil helped me immensely with my debut CD "Still Tryin' to Believe" released in March 2019.
    Phil and I co-wrote four of the songs, he helped me clean up others and made great suggestions on all facets of the record making process. He also played electric and acoustic guitar, lap steel, piano, and Hammond organ on the CD. His guidance and influence has helped me to really start opening up as a songwriter/musician. And for that I am very grateful. Phil's sense of taste and soulfulness is top shelf. Highly recommended!

  73. Review by Sean Sullivan
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    by Sean Sullivan

    Phil is a wonderful, soulful and original player who can bring a unique style all his own to your music. He’s an equally gifted singer, songwriter, keyboardist, guitar player and producer. I can’t imagine you’d be disappointed hiring Phil to contribute to your project.

  74. Review by Juanita Copeland
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    by Juanita Copeland

    Phil has worked at my studio (Sound Emporium) for decades now and we consider family - not to mention he's a bit of an icon. He's an amazing player and always brings a great vibe to any session, along with his superb guitar skills!! We highly recommend Phil for any project. Consummate professional who plays with heart!!

  75. Review by Paul Mills
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    by Paul Mills

    I've known Phil for over a quarter of a century, and in that time, I've had the pleasure of hearing him shred B3 Organ on many of my productions, as well as accordion, piano and a myriad of six and four stringed instruments. Always has the vibe, always wants to enhance the project, and just simply one of the best and gentle good hearts I know on this planet. If you need to create real music, get in contact with Phil Madeira post haste!

  76. Review by Rolff
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    by Rolff

    I have known Phil for well over 20 years and he's always been a class act professional. Playing live, sessions, touring, he's spot on as a player in a wide variety of music, no matter the genre, and as a human. We've also had him with his band and assorted other artists and musicians at The Blackbird Academy on several student sessions in the studios, so he's also adept in a teaching environment. His resume and work history speak for themselves. Thanks Phil!

  77. Review by Steve Gilreath
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    by Steve Gilreath

    Phil brings a cool dimension to whatever project he’s emerged in. He can find a vibe, a twist, a phrase- whatever’s needed that may be unexpected but always takes the moment to a better place, musically. And if things get slow, he’s always got a story!

  78. Review by Chris Harbach
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    by Chris Harbach

    I have been to one of Phil’s Mercyland retreats and I have been privileged to have 2 private writing sessions with him and am about to have 4 songs produced by him at Nashville’s Blackbird studio. He is an EXTRAORDINARY talent, teacher and person. I wouldn’t consider continuing down this path if he weren’t in my court!

Interview with Phil Madeira

  1. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  2. A: I was in two bands in the '70s which traveled nationally. I realized in those days that I probably wasn't going to use my college degree in a literal way. Eventually, I moved to Nashville and enjoyed great success as a songwriter and Hammond Organ player. Buddy Miller hiring me really opened up the Americana scene for me, and that led to playing with Emmylou Harris. My resume shocks me. I have been blessed to work with so many amazing artists- Neville Brothers, Mavis, Emmylou, Keb' Mo', Julie Miller, Patty Griffin, John Scofield, Little Big Town, etc.

  3. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  4. A: Mercyland: Hymns For The Rest Of Us, Vols 1 & 2 is probably the most important project I've done. It's a multi artist concept (two volumes recorded so far) of spiritual, gospel-ish Americana music that follows redemptive themes like inclusion, peace-making, healing, and reconciliation. The artists involved- Emmylou Harris, John Scofield, Shawn Mullins, The Civil Wars, Red Dirt Boys, Will Kimbrough, The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Buddy Miller, Dan Tyminski, The North Mississippi All Stars, David Crowder, Amy Stroup, Sugar and the Hi Lows, Cindy Morgan, The Lone Bellow, The McCrary Sisters, Phil Madeira, Mat Kearney, The Wood Brothers, Angel Snow, Jason Eskridge, and more! Look for Volume 3 in 2020.

  5. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  6. A: I'm doing press and gigs to celebrate the release of "Open Heart", my newest solo record, on Valentines Day 2020. And I'm about to start mixing the follow up project to that.

  7. Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?

  8. A: I'm knocked out by Mary Bragg's singing and songwriting. And drums- the most fantastic drummer on this site that I've worked with is the great Dennis Holt. His sounds are insanely great, top-notch gear, and a diligence to please that is unmatched.

  9. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  10. A: In a format like Soundbetter, digital is really the only plausible platform. But it's fun to record or mix to tape. Most of my gear is warm, tube-y, and vibey, and recording to digital is not going to ruin it.

  11. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  12. A: I'll do my best to make you happy.

  13. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  14. A: In terms of providing music for others, I love the challenge of thinking out of the box, and bringing emotion and wisdom to every track I'm asked to play on.

  15. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  16. A: Why me? Are you sure?

  17. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  18. A: Trust is the key element. We hire people to bring something that we ourselves can't fully provide. It's easy to get myopic about what we did as a demo or what was in our head originally. If you truly don't like what the musician has brought to the table, hopefully you have agreed on retakes, etc. I try and provide at least two takes of a part when I'm doing things virtually.

  19. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  20. A: A Yamaha C7, a Martin 000-28, and an iphone, a generator and a refrigerator.

  21. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  22. A: Eric Clapton. I haven't been overwhelmed by anything he's done since his Unplugged record from years ago. I would love to do a bare bones, real record with him, as I'm such a fan of his character and his playing and singing. His work of the last 20 years seems too careful, which can often squeeze the soul out of a song. So, yes, Eric, give a call ;)

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

  24. A: I'm firmly established in Americana Music, which means roots music. But that's a broad palette which for me includes old school country, gospel, blues, jazz, folk, rock, and so on. As a producer, I think the Americana / Folk worlds are where I shine, but I'm thankfully experienced in many genres. I've played on records by Little Big Town, Amy Grant, The Civil Wars, Taj Mahal, and John Scofield- that's a pretty broad range, but I feel like what people are looking for from me is the attitude that they hear in my playing.

  25. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  26. A: I play well with others.

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

  28. A: The main thing I bring to a song is my full attention, and the wisdom that it ain't about me; it's about the song and the artist's vision for that song. Self-editing, learning to erase the impressive but unnecessary flourish of notes a less mature musician can't bear to let go of, this is what is required of me. The song is not a vehicle for my hot shot riffs.

  29. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  30. A: I have a small home rig from which I do my overdubs, but I also work nearly exclusively at Sound Emporium, an easy walk from my home in Nashville. It depends on what I'm doing- tracking, vocals, and horns- I like to be in a comfortable facility. Guitars, keys, organ, piano, lap steel... even harmonies- I can do those at home via my UA interface, ProTools, a variety of quality mics, a great tube preamp, and my fabulous collection of instruments- a 1930s National guitar for slide, 4 Martin guitars from the 40s and 50s, a Gibson, many keyboards, a lap steel, and accordion... and my mind ;)

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

  32. A: On this site, most of my work is providing instrumental overdubs- piano, Hammond organ, Lap steel, background vocals. I also produce records and tracks. Whatever it is, I generally love being a provider of quality production and delivery.

  33. Q: How would you describe your style?

  34. A: Whether producing, song-writing, or playing an instrument- my style is always about authenticity and emotion. Perfection bores me; I want the human element.

  35. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  36. A: My longtime boss and friend Emmylou Harris has taught me more than anyone else in this business, just about how to "be". But I'm blessed with many- Wayne Kirkpatrick, Brown Bannister, Buddy Miller, Will Kimbrough, Cindy Morgan, Amy Stroup... Musically, I've been inspired by Theolonious Monk, Randy Newman, Joni Mitchell, Ry Cooder, and a long list beyond.

  37. Q: What's your typical work process?

  38. A: Having worked for dozens of artists and producers (check out my allmusic credits- crazy), my process entails whatever process the person hiring me needs. But if I'm steering the ship, I like pre-production, finding keys, tempos, examining the songs with great scrutinty, and then allowing the songs to dictate what happens to them. I love process!

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Madeira Mashup

I was the Producer, keys, guitars, composer in this production

Terms Of Service

Typical turn-around time of 3-5 business days for instrument overdubs; 2 revisions included. Song / album production requires a contract. Songwriting terms are on a song-by-song basis.

Gear Highlights
  • Yamaha C7
  • Kawai upright
  • Hammond B3
  • Mellotron
  • Keyscape library
  • National "O" guitar
  • various Martin guitars from 1932 through the 50s
  • Gibson CF-100 guitar
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