James Paul Mitchell

Guitar, Pedal Steel, Dobro

42 Reviews (35 Verified)
James Paul Mitchell on SoundBetter

I make guitar, slide guitar, pedal steel, lap steel, dobro, and mandolin noises! I specialize in indie rock and Americana. In addition to guitars and slide instruments, I love to create loops to bring ambient and soundscape elements into roots based music. Do you want to take your material to a more etherial and esoteric place? I'm your guy!

I'm Nashville based touring/session guitarist, producer, pedal and lap steel guitarist, and general slider of things. Ambient loops to add an extra layer on your track, blues-based slide guitar, a silky pedal steel backing up a singer/songwriter, a San Fransisco vibe, hints of North Indian music, Sonic Youth open-tuned attacks, tinges of African highlife, or David Lindley inspired melodic lap steel lines, you’ll find it here. Focusing on steel, I love bringing it to places it doesn't ordinarily live, and doing that without putting a cowboy hat on the track. This means ambient options and gritty, effects laden tracks. I also love to lay down loops, background pads, and atmospheric textures - with beds of feedback, looping, and tape recorders.

I've been touring and recording for the last decade, playing rock, reggae, jam-band, folk, indie, country, bluegrass, Americana, etc. Since moving to Nashville, I've recorded and toured with indie, country, and Americana bands around the world, playing both guitar and pedal steel. I record from my home studio where I can give you as many options as you need for your track.

Influences = Jimi Hendrix, Grateful Dead, My Bloody Valentine, Washed Out, Ry Cooder, Buck Owens, Sun Kil Moon, Radiohead, Led Zeppelin, Tony Rice, Bill Frisell, Greg Leisz, Clarence White.

Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.


Discogs verified credits for James Paul Mitchell
  • Kristina Murray
  • The Jones Thing
  • Historian
  • Lauren Balthrop

42 Reviews - 8 Repeat Clients

Endorse James Paul Mitchell
  1. Review by Pete C.

    After some amazing guitar work on some of my tracks I reached out to James about mixing and mastering and lucky for me he is as talented behind the scenes as he is front and center with his guitar. He is a steal for the price he offered. Great ear, great work ethic, and pleasant to communicate with. Will use again.

  2. Review by Pete C.

    I had used James in the past for his amazing slide guitar work and decided to reach out to him about mixing some songs. Just as with his guitar playing he has a great ear for mixing a song and finding the right balance of all the moving parts. Very receptive to feedback and works in a timely manner. Will use again.

  3. Review by Patrick M.

    James is a genius. He knew exactly what to do. His guitar tracks were just perfect for what I needed. Super professional and efficient. Highly recommended!

  4. Review by Chris K.

    I have worked with James several times and he will continue to be my go-to for pedal steel. He always plays to what the song is calling for. Highly recommended!

  5. Review by Garrett R.

    James is amazing to work with! Extremely professional, great communication, and fantastic parts! Can't wait to have him work on additional projects. Thank you James!

  6. Review by Pete C.

    Great slide guitarist. Easy to work and communicate with. Highly recommend

  7. Review by Torben M.

    I had a great experience working with James.
    James delivered some top notch sounding pedal steel to one of my tracks. Great player

  8. Review by Nicole Simone

    Outstanding player

  9. Review by Nicole Simone

    JPM went above and beyond for this track providing me with a lot of amazing variations of the exact sound and style i wanted. 10/10 guitarist!

  10. Review by Mark L.

    Great player and a pleasure to work with. I needed electric guitar for an Americana song on the quiet and moody side. Tone, timing, invention, feeling--James' track had everything. Really lifted the enterprise. I wasn't in a hurry but he got me the track the next day anyway. Total pro.

  11. Review by Nicole Simone

    Super fast and very creative. Professional, and gave me the exact parts that I wanted! Very pleased with his work.

  12. Review by Robert B.

    James is great. I needed electric guitar lead and background for an acoustic driven indie song. His additions to my song are masterful, way better than anything I could do (and I play guitar myself). Glad I found him and glad to recommend him.

  13. Review by Robert B.

    I asked James to add electric guitars to an acoustic track with a vintage indie folk vibe (which already had drums and bass) and he added three layers of electric guitars, one solo/lead part and two other backing parts - together they fit and boosted my track. This was a really awesome contribution to the song.

  14. Review by Giovanni Traverso

    For my personal taste, and experience as guitarist myself, James Paul Mitchell has the ability to provide in the same artist: unique sound, flexibility to a specific arrangement, well mastered creativity. More over, I found a person able to be part of the music production process, giving useful ideas that do not involve immediately his task. I hope to work again, and again, with him.

  15. Review by Anant B.

    Pleasure working with James..he delivered soulful parts that took the song the another level..highly recommended

  16. Review by Late July

    Amazing talented player, great communicator, would work with again!

  17. Review by Brian Manasco

    Excellent slide playing! Highly recommend James!!

  18. Review by Andy S.

    James did an amazing job, super tasty playing, highly recommended!~

  19. Review by Richard Scobie

    James is an extremely talented musician! Delivered a beautiful performance and sound on the pedal steel, making sure I got what I was looking for! Super easy to work with. I highly recommend him.

  20. Review by David G.

    James is a great musician who gave extra effort on my project and had a very fast turn around. Big thumbs up!

Interview with James Paul Mitchell

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

  2. A: The Strat, Vibrolux, a microphone, an acoustic, and a coffee pot.

  3. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  4. A: In my experience, time and knowing how to use the gear you have is more important than lusting over that next mic, preamp, or guitar.

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

  6. A: These days, I have been focusing on playing steel with singer-songwriters who are looking for a more ambient or space vibe to their material. However, I feel lucky in that I am able to work with music that's all over the map in terms of genre.

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

  8. A: I try to bring a set of fresh ears to any song I work on, in having a wide set of reference points from which to address the material.

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

  10. A: I typically begin by picking out which instrument will best fit that song - whether that's steel, guitar, slide, etc. From there, I decide on a basic approach - am I going to provide the contrast in this song, or reinforce what's already there? After a few passes, I try to hone in on counter-melodies, and anything that will add hooks within the project.

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

  12. A: I produced a record for Denver based folk band King Cardinal, on which I also played pedal steel. I'm very happy with the way that came out - 5 short and tight folk songs, ending with a final 28 minute drone piece. The contrast we were able to bring out between those two worlds is something I am still proud of to this day.

  13. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  14. A: I record overdubs in my home studio. I have a simple setup - a set of condensers, ribbon, and dynamic mics, a UA Apollo, and 1073 preamp. My philosophy is to focus on musical output instead of gear, for me, knowing how to use the gear you have is far more important than having a fancy setup.

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

  16. A: I'm inspired by musicians who known how to impart their own sonic space on a track, without overpowering the song and the vibe created by the recording itself. Musicians like Ry Cooder, David Lindley, Greg Leisz, and Bill Frisell are huge influences on the way that I approach a song. However, I also love the experience of breaking open a track in new ways - bring open tuned guitars and dissonance to what may previously have been a pedestrian arrangement. I try to think like a producer at all times - what's going to catch the year, and best build up this track to it's full potential.

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

  18. A: I typically do remote overdub sessions of guitar and pedal steel from my home studio. My favorite experience is being in the studio with the artist present, but I am also very quick and responsive via phone or email for my remote clients.

James Paul Mitchell 2021 Reel

I was the guitarist and pedal steel-ist in this production

GenresSounds Like
  • Jackson Browne
  • Sonic Youth
  • Ry Cooder
Gear Highlights
  • Townsend Sphere microphone
  • UA Apollo
  • 1963 Fender Vibrolux
  • Tyler Amps PT-14
  • ZumSteel
  • vintage Supro lapsteels
  • 1954 D8 Fender Stringmaster
  • Stratocaster
  • Jazzmaster
  • Gibson 335
  • and a whole pile of pedals.
More Photos
SoundBetter Deal

1/2 off each additional instrument played on a track!