Phil Madeira

*Piano*Hammond *Gtr *Mellotron

165 Reviews (147 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."

Phil Madeira's reviews on Soundbetter tell you what you really need to know, but here's the longer story- His 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')... To Jack White, Little Big Town, Mavis Staples and Emmylou Harris; Phil is a first call A Team session player, not just in Nashville, but internationally.

Phil's ability to PRODUCE records, WRITE songs, and PERFORM on various instruments, most frequently Piano and Hammond organ, has created a niche that's all his own. Add to that oddities such as Lap Steel and Accordion, as well as your basic Americana guitar, and that's Phil the session wiz in a nutshell.

Phil can cross a lot of musical boundaries, from traditional jazz and blues to old school country and modern folk to gospel and pop. It doesn't hurt that he's friends with a wide variety of artists from Keb' Mo' to Lana Del Rey to Marcus Mumford! Somehow, Phil Madeira has developed a clientele that is diverse and eclectic- Elvis Costello, Sixpence None The Richer, Buddy Miller, Little Big Town, Garth Brooks, and The Waterboys have all hired Phil.

With numerous instruments to choose from, the best recording gear, and a friendly, welcoming attitude, Phil will do everything possible to make you happy with the work you do together.

Send me an email through 'Contact' button above and I'll get back to you asap.


  • English

165 Reviews - 26 Repeat Clients

Endorse Phil Madeira
  1. Review by Yury E.

    Great communication. Phil is professional and delivers professional product. Excellent keys/synths player.
    Highly recommended!

  2. Review by Daniel
    by Daniel

    It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Phil. Punctual, creative and understanding. What more could you want?

  3. Review by Matt B.

    Phil is a LEGEND. You can’t go wrong with this guy! He’s the best!

  4. Review by Jesse B.

    Consummate pro with fresh ideas, experienced instincts, and can play just about anything you throw at him.
    Super easy to work with and will definitely be using him again.

  5. Review by Chris M.

    Fantastic working with Phil, added perfect piano and organ parts to three songs, great feel for what was required for each song, fast and easy communication, a great experience, top stuff !!

  6. Review by Tim G.
    by Tim G.

    Great to work with. Very quick and talented.

  7. Review by Raphael F.

    A great experience with Phil! the best quality song with a Hammond piano great communication and great musical output highly recommend

  8. Review by Quiana
    by Quiana

    amazing pianist and enjoyed working with him very much. He would be perfect for your project.

  9. Review by Florian B.

    Great work. I'm sure there's a next time

  10. Review by Jay F.
    by Jay F.

    What a lovely experience working with Phil. On top of the obvious musical chops, he's a great communicator and went above and beyond to make sure I was getting exactly what I wanted. Great skill, amazing human, can't get much better than that. Definitely recommend him!

  11. Review by John P.

    Another great contribution from Phil. He is a fantastic professional. I highly recommend his services to any musician looking to Sound Better. Thank you!

  12. Review by Pete C.

    Great piano player. Easy to communicate with and does great work. Would reach out to again for a future project.

  13. Review by Steven O.

    Phil's depth of heart and soul come through in every note. It's really special to have access to his level of musicianship through SoundBetter!

  14. Review by John P.

    Great Mellotron tracks by Phil. He did a fantastic job of creating parts that accented, lifted and glued my song together. Thanks so much!

  15. Review by John P.

    Phil is a great musician and has a lot of really cool ideas to suggest. His parts definitely brought excellent flourishes to my songs. I would definitely hire him again. Thanks so much, Phil!

  16. Review by John P.

    Phil is fantastic to work with. Great tracks and quick turnaround. Great communication. I look forward to booking him again.

  17. Review by Gary D.

    Phil did another awesome job! He was patient with me as we tried a couple of things before landing on a perfect take. I can't wait to work with him again.

  18. Review by Patrick R.

    Phil was great to work with. He brought his own style to the track and made sure to stick with it until the take was perfect. Super fast turnaround and a pleasure to deal with.

  19. Review by Garrett T.

    Phil did an amazing job. He listened to my ideas, had great communication and was lightning fast. He will definitely be my first call! Thank you, Phil.

  20. Review by Joey R.

    Killer Player, responsive and fast.
    Highly recommended

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!

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.

GenresSounds Like
  • Keb' Mo'
  • Randy Newman
  • Mark Knopfler
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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