Bryan Daste

Pedal Steel, Banjo, Bass, Mix

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314 Reviews (294 Verified)
Bryan Daste on SoundBetter

Lifelong musician Bryan Daste is maybe best known as a pedal steel guitarist, but also specializes in clawhammer banjo, upright bass, and backing vocals. Also a talented recording engineer and producer, Daste is as skilled as he is versatile. "Bryan Daste seems to be able to play just about anything he wants to" - Joe McSpadden, nodepression.com

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Hi, I'm Bryan Daste.

I've been recording and touring with a wide variety of artists for about 20 years. Highlights include session work on a Grammy-nominated album for Grammy winners Laura and Eric Sullivan, touring Europe with Courtney Marie Andrews (also a Grammy nominee), playing with Joan Osborne and Matt the Electrician in Alaska, sharing the stage with The Head and the Heart as a member of Matt Hopper and the Roman Candles (as well as sitting in with Josiah Johnson on his solo show), countless shows with Emma Hill and Small Souls, and plenty of session work with the likes of Mike Marsh (Avett Brothers, Dashboard Confessional), Jeffrey Martin, Anna Tivel, Evan Phillips, Pretty Gritty, Tyler Fortier, Myrrh Larsen and many others.

As a recording/mix engineer and producer, I've worked on many albums for a wide variety of artists and genres, from Americana to hip hop to opera.

Recording Academy voting member.

"Daste's production adds an ethereal component to proceedings, imbuing what could otherwise be seen as traditional songwriting with unexpected twists and turns of the sonic variety." - Jonathan Frahm, PopMatters

Send me a note through the contact button above.

Credits

AllMusic verified credits for Bryan Daste
  • Yumi Zouma
  • Yumi Zouma
  • Jonathan J. Bower
  • Scotland Barr
  • Scotland Barr
  • Scotland Barr
  • Scotland Barr
  • Scotland Barr
  • Scotland Barr
  • Scotland Barr
  • Scotland Barr
  • Scotland Barr
  • Scotland Barr
  • Scotland Barr
  • Scotland Barr
  • Jacob Golden
  • Mister Cooper
  • Emma Hill
  • Emma Hill
  • Emma Hill
  • Emma Hill
  • Emma Hill
  • Emma Hill
  • Emma Hill
  • Kelli Welli
  • Kelli Welli
  • Kelli Welli
  • Kelli Welli
  • Kelli Welli
  • Kelli Welli
  • Jeffrey Martin
  • Small Souls
  • Small Souls
  • Small Souls
  • Small Souls
  • Small Souls
  • Small Souls
  • Small Souls
  • Small Souls
  • Small Souls
  • Small Souls
  • Small Souls
  • Small Souls
  • The Slow Drags
  • Scotland Barr & the Slow Drags
  • The Slow Drags
  • Scotland Barr & the Slow Drags
  • The Slow Drags
  • Scotland Barr & the Slow Drags
  • The Slow Drags
  • Scotland Barr & the Slow Drags
  • The Slow Drags
  • Scotland Barr & the Slow Drags
  • The Slow Drags
  • Scotland Barr & the Slow Drags
  • The Slow Drags
  • Scotland Barr & the Slow Drags
  • The Slow Drags
  • Scotland Barr & the Slow Drags
  • The Slow Drags
  • Scotland Barr & the Slow Drags
  • The Slow Drags
  • Scotland Barr & the Slow Drags
  • The Slow Drags
  • Scotland Barr & the Slow Drags
  • The Slow Drags
  • Scotland Barr & the Slow Drags
  • John Nilsen
Discogs verified credits for Bryan Daste
  • Emma Hill, Bryan Daste
  • Emma Hill
  • Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags
  • Emma Hill
  • Emma Hill And Her Gentlemen Callers
  • Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags
  • Emma Hill
  • Silver Lake 66
  • Emma Hill
  • Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags
  • Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags
  • Emma Hill
  • Never Come Down
  • Siren Songs (2)
  • Silver Lake 66
  • Buddy System Indeed
  • Drunken Prayer
  • Emma Hill
  • Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags
  • Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags
  • Emma Hill
  • Emma Hill And Her Gentlemen Callers
  • Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags
  • John Nilsen
  • Emma Hill
  • Mike Farmer (10)
  • Jeffrey Martin (3)
  • Emma Hill
  • Never Come Down
  • Steven John Taylor
  • Siren Songs (2)
  • Silver Lake 66
  • Aura Zorba
  • Yumi Zouma

314 Reviews - 61 Repeat Clients

Endorse Bryan Daste
  1. Review by Mike G.
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    Always fun working with Bryan, he really elevates a song, highly recommend!!!

  2. Review by Max Habeck
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    Bryan did an amazing job with a pedal steel guitar part for a song I'm working on. I sent him a rough demo and a reference for what I was going for and within a couple of days, he gave me a well-organized set of takes that fit perfectly! I highly recommend and will reach out again when I need more pedal steel!

  3. Review by Lindsey W.
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    Bryan added a pedal steel and upright bass tracks to one of my original songs. Adding the pedal steel added so much more dimension and I swapped his warmer upright bass with my electric track. First tracks were spot on and he turned around my job quickly. Would recommend and use him again.

  4. Review by Mike Gray
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    Bryan always bring fresh takes to every new idea and even after 50 songs, I am always surprised and delighted each time, highly recommend!!!

  5. Review by Patrik A.
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    This is my second time ordering from Bryan.
    I sent over a quick demo of a song and let him work.
    I blinked and the files where delivered. This was a really fast turnaround.
    And just as awesome as the previous time. Will order from him again.

  6. Review by Mike G.
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    Bryan is a dream to work with! Always gets the idea immediately and enhances in subtle ways I could not predict, highly recommend!!!

  7. Review by Patrik Antonsen
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    He did an awesome job with the song.
    The slide he provided fit the vibe I wanted, and it helped the song become better.
    Will definitely use Bryan again, and also recommened him to friends.

  8. Review by nathan e.
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    Easy to work with. Quick turnaround. I definitely would recommend Bryan.

  9. Review by Gavriel Music
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    Great job on the lap steel and easy to work with. Sent me three different versions of three different guitar parts on the whole song. Much more than i needed but much appreciated

  10. Review by Mike G.
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    Another great experience, Bryan brings a lot of taste to his parts and will always elevate a song dropping in what the song needs, not forcing ideas. Highly recommended!!!

  11. Review by Xander
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    by Xander
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    Amazing working with Bryan! Very quick and helpful with revisions. His work definitely brought my track to life. Will be working with him again!

  12. Review by Mike G.
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    So much fun working with Bryan! He always adds the the perfect element to my music, thank you!!!

  13. Review by Dustin Paul
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    Bryan is the real deal!! No revisions. One-take talent right here. Highly recommend him!

  14. Review by Jesse Butterworth
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    Total pro and his pedal steel is really impressive.
    Will definitely use Bryan again for future projects.

  15. Review by Johnny Syn
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    Always a pleasure to work with Bryan. He provides A+ tracks in a timely fashion. His ear and musicality shine through with everything he's ever done for me.

  16. Review by Charlie
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    Bryan is an absolute pleasure to work with. Bryan is Professional, courteous and works quickly. I would highly recommend Bryan to anyone looking for a pedal steel player.

  17. Review by Mike G.
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    Nothing but 5 stars for a 5 star Musician!

  18. Review by Paul S.
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    Very nice, and very helpful.

  19. Review by drew h.
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    Second time working with Bryan. A great ear for big-sky vibes with pedal steel! Took our tracks to new places. Highly recommend!

  20. Review by Steve B.
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    Amazing work as usual!

Interview with Bryan Daste

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

  2. A: Yes - Tyler Fortier is a great producer. Kyleen King for strings, Darrell Nutt for drums.

  3. Q: How would you describe your style?

  4. A: Texture-based, designed to move the song forward.

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

  6. A: A lot of my online work consists of playing pedal steel for clients. I also specialize in clawhammer banjo, which is a rhythmic/melodic style that has a warmer, less brash sound than the more typical bluegrass style. Those are my two main touring instruments as well. I've also got upright bass (always loved that sound) in the mix, plus electric bass. I also work as a recording and mixing engineer in Portland and remotely. To put it all under an umbrella, I produce music!

  7. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  8. A: I like a big fat analog front end and the convenience of digital editing! Best of both worlds.

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

  10. A: I promise to listen deeply to both your music and your thoughts about what you want. I hate "one-size-fits-all."

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

  12. A: I love to make things sound cool!

  13. Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?

  14. A: "Where'd you learn that pedal steel thingie?" I took lessons here and there and picked up a lot from my fellow steel players. There's a great community and brotherhood surrounding pedal steel. Also, transcription is a powerful learning tool.

  15. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  16. A: That it's easy! Haha...

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

  18. A: What do you want the (steel, banjo, bass) to achieve in the song? What are the lyrics about? What emotions do you want to convey?

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

  20. A: Have an idea of what you want from the performer beforehand, and be descriptive, but leave room for the player to work his/her magic. That's why you hired them, right? :)

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

  22. A: Well, definitely my Emmons S-12 push/pull pedal steel. That thing is like my best friend. The Millennia mic pre and AKG 414 are both "Swiss Army knife" pieces of gear that are super versatile. Add my Goldtone banjo and Becker upright bass and I'm a happy guy!

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

  24. A: I have a degree in audio engineering from the University of Miami, and I started my professional career in audio post production (TV, radio). When I moved to Portland I transitioned to music full time and never looked back! I split time between the road and the studio. I love both and don't think I could choose if I had to!

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

  26. A: Too many to list! I've always thought The Avett Brothers could use some steel guitar :-)

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

  28. A: Coco Chanel once said "before leaving the house, a lady should look in the mirror and remove one accessory."

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

  30. A: A lot of folk, Americana, and singer/songwriter material, though I do "get weird" every now and then. I've played on psychedelic rock records, aggressive goth-rock, pure country, cosmic country, high energy roots rock...

  31. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  32. A: Supporting the song.

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

  34. A: I really strive to listen with an arranger's ear. Nobody's interested in hearing me play a bunch of stuff "just because I can." The parts I play should really fit the song, and enhance the lyric rather than obscuring it. I try to find the push and release already inherent in the song and enhance it. In fact, that's my motto: "Enhance...enhance...enhance!" "His arrangements on Denali are incredibly intuitive, and the choices he makes underscore his knack for knowing exactly what is needed to best showcase each song. Daste has a light touch, avoiding the temptation to clutter, allowing the tunes to breathe. But his skills don’t stop there; Bryan Daste is an excellent harmony singer. Add to that his selfless work ethic; he does everything to support the artist and nothing to draw undue attention to himself. He faithfully serves the singer and the song, in the process becoming invaluable to both. The list of instruments he employs is lengthy, and the manner in which he wields them is tasteful and understated. His presence, indispensible, adds depth to the live performance of Hill's material." - Joe McSpadden, The Flame Still Burns

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

  36. A: For instrumental tracking, I usually start by charting out the song in the Nashville Number System, with as much rhythmic detail as I can. Then I set up a session with the rough mix of the song, a click if applicable, and track for the miked signal as well as a DI channel. I'll read over the client's notes and then take a rough pass at the song. Usually I will play the song between 5-10 times total, until I am pleased with every note. Sometimes I will edit together the take or replay sections to flow together seamlessly.

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

  38. A: I love what Greg Leisz does on pedal steel for so many diverse artists...he really gets that beautiful, almost indescribable tone out of his instrument. And he plays an Emmons like me!

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Demo reel (various artists)

I was the pedal steel, banjo, bass player (also mixed most of these) in this production


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    Demo reel (various artists)
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    "Magnesium Dreams" by Emma Hill
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    "Tender" by Silver Lake 66
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    "Furiously Happy" by Emma Hill
Terms Of Service

For instrumental work, two revisions included.

GenresSounds Like
  • The Avett Brothers
  • The Jayhawks
  • First Aid Kit
Gear Highlights
  • Emmons S-12 extended E9 push/pull pedal steel
  • Goldtone MM-150 openback banjo
  • Becker upright bass
  • Hofner violin bass
  • Fender 5-string Jazz bass
More Photos
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