"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 the Band Perry, 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.
Contact me through the green button above and let's get to work.
123 Reviews - 19 Repeat ClientsEndorse Phil Madeira
It was a real pleasure to work with Phil. Very professional and friendly service, great piano parts. All delivered in a very timely manner. Thanks again Phil!
Phil was supportive and professional from beginning to end! SO glad we were able to work together and I look forward to working on more projects in the future! Can't recommend him enough.
Phil is incredibly talented and experienced. His approach is truly seasoned in the sense that he looks to elevate the song/project and not just to highlight his gifted skills (as many others do). Also, he's a pleasure to work with - I was working on a tight deadline and he did all of his amazing work within hours! A consummate professional and my new go-to :)
What a treasure to work with the man with golden ears and majick hands! Phil what a sweet guy, kept in contact and then delivered some really well and on point parts with two great takes to choose from. Phil is the real deal, you can hear it and you can see it by the impressive list of songwriters/artists in his roster!
As always, very enjoyable working with Phil. Whether on piano or on guitar, the result is invariably high quality pieces with a touch of Phil's unique style.
Phil did an awesome job on my original song, just what I had in mind with B3, curly and lap steel🤩👌
Killer tones from Phil on the B3 to add something nice to one of my songs. Very easy to work with Phil and he makes sure the parts are perfect.
Great working with Phil! He has some awesome B3 sounds.
Phil was professional and easy to deal with. More importantly, he brought the goods with an amazing B3 sound that boosted the song. I wouldn't hesitate recommending Phil.
I love working with Phil! He has provided B3 parts for several of my songs now, and each time he has provided exactly what the song needed, enhancing each tune in nuanced ways that add beautifully to the songs' textures. Add to this that he is always friendly and enthusiastic - a consummate pro! HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!
Phil is an amazing pro that totally gets what is needed on a track. Amazing piano and B3 that brought a rough around the edges song into the light. Highly recommended.
Great job - very talented & tasteful . For sure we come back for more.
LOVED working with Phil. He was as quick and responsive as one could possibly be, and turned around the parts at lightning speed. And most importantly, his playing sounded phenomenal. Soulful, thoughtful, and tasteful. I will definitely reach out to Phil again.
Fantastic player who really knows how to support the song. Super easy and a pleasure to work with! Thank you very much Phil!!!
Phil does great work and has a wonderful musical ear -
This is my second time working with Phil. In addition to great musical ideas, he gives really great feedback. He is generous and encouraging but at the same time very clear and direct. That is a great help to me in developing the work. Highest recommendation.
Great player who gave me soulful recordings and a generous quantity of them! Easy to communicate with, and worked in a timely manner. His Spotify page is chalk full with great songs. If roots, americana, gospel, blues music etc is something you need, reach out to Phil and his B3 organ and brilliant sounding piano!
Phil is a musical genius. He delivered an emotional, high quality take that met our expectations the first time. Would recommend for any song.
It’s awesome when world class talent treats your project with respect and actually care—-with Phil you get years of his experience -and great communication -I couldn’t be happier !!!!
Great player —-even better person to work with
Always great to work with Phil! Pro playing, perfect parts a really nice guy.
Interview with Phil Madeira
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
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.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
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.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
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.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
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.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
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.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I'll do my best to make you happy.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
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.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Why me? Are you sure?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
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.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: A Yamaha C7, a Martin 000-28, and an iphone, a generator and a refrigerator.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
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 ;)
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
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.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I play well with others.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
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.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
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 ;)
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
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.
Q: How would you describe your style?
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.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
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.
Q: What's your typical work process?
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!