Björn "Nalle" Påhlsson has been a major player in the Swedish music scene for many years with hundreds of album credits to his name. His distinct, pick-style playing leaves a very identifiable thumb print and a lot of attitude on every project he is a part of. This episode features a lot of Swedish music along with the details of Nalle's 1986 Yamaha BB1600 bass that has been on pretty much every project he has worked on for the past 35 years. We talk about the mental challenges of touring and about remaining true to his voice and style no matter how much genres and environments change around him. When I started this podcast, the idea was to hopefully pick the brains of some of the players who have influenced me in the most profound way, and in this episode, recorded in Stockholm, I was lucky enough to do just that.
Episode 22: BRIAN ALLEN - Nashville Session Ace, (Lady Gaga, Barry Gibb, Dolly Parton, Jonathan Davis etc.)
Brian Allen is a player who can be heard by more and more albums made in Nashville these days. His versatility has landed him gigs playing upright with artists as diverse as Robben Ford and Korn's Jonathan Davis. His session credits include songs we have all heard like the song "Shallow" by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. Brian is also a go-to bass player for famed producer Dave Cobb which he talks about in this episode. We also get to hear about albums by Barry Gibb and Country great Jamey Johnson among many others. This episode wouldn't be complete without all the nerdy details about his bass arsenal, D.I collection and his love for Michael Tobias' basses on Country sessions. How could you not want to hear the story behind that? Much to learn and great stories in this episode.
Adam Nitti is a guy who can often be found mentioned in same breath as some of the greatest solo bass artists of our time. His compositional and playing styles are both highly developed and highly unique. Adam is also known as a great educator who teaches at one of the most acclaimed music universities in the U.S, Belmont university in Nashville, TN. In this episode we get to hear about the development and evolution of his successful signature bass with Ibanez as well as his proven approaches to practicing. Adam also shares about the bass rigs of his early touring days and how the making of his solo albums has changed from having Fusion overtones into his latest Rock-leaning project. We only scratch the surface of this guy's wealth of knowledge in this episode, but get your notebooks out, class is most definitely in session.
“Adam Nitti is one of the amazing players who is at the forefront of the bass movement. I always look forward to hearing his CDs just to see what he will do next.”
A veteran touring ace of the Nashville music scene, Mark has held down both the bass and Musical Director positions with superstar Carrie Underwood for over 15 years. In this episode we get to hear about Mark's early Gospel influences, his vintage P-basses and what it entails to be the MD for an artist who does everything from unplugged specials to arena shows to collaborations with a symphony orchestra. Mark also talks about his recent sessions for rapper DMX and the one time a bass DI box led to Steven Tyler singing two extra songs. Intrigued yet? Mark is one of the most soulful players in Music City and a gem of a guy who graciously invited us into his home for the recording of this episode.
Episode 19: IAN ALLISON - “Synth-On-Electric” Guru of Instagram, (Scottsbasslessons.com, Eric Hutchinson)
If you are not familiar with Ian Allison from his Instagram account, you are missing out on a player who plays selfless, song-oriented bass with an inspiring, creative approach that is all his own. His videos dissecting synth bass lines are incredibly detailed and precise. His playing, his contagious personality and his linguistic prowess has landed him a spot as a regular contributor to Scottsbasslessons.com. In this episode we get to hear about growing up on "Hair Metal" in Montana and hard-earned lessons early in Ian's studio career. We also get incredible tips on some boutique pedal makers and a thorough explanation of why his number one bass shouldn't be great, but absolutely is! Fun and so much knowledge ahead in this episode with Ian.
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Episode 18: BRYAN “B DUB” WHITE - Feelgood Bass Lord of Instagram (Stevie Wonder, Angie Stone, Mary Mary)
In this episode we get to meet B Dub who makes the most danceable, joyful bass snippets for his Instagram account. He stands out as a guy who plays the song and makes it feel good, ridiculously good, instead of just throwing too many spices in the stew. We get to hear about his upbringing in Compton, Los Angeles where Gospel was mixed with the West Coast Hip Hop the neighborhood is so well-known for. Bdub also tells us about his childhood memories of drumming in church and how he realized quickly how his musical instincts differed from other musicians even at an early age. Even though he occasionally does one offs with bigger names, he does most of his business from his home studio over the internet or on local gigs in Southern California. Obviously the lowdown on his bass gear setup is also included. No Lowdown Society Podcast would be complete without it. Hang out with Bdub for an hour and feel your groove improve!
Finally there is an episode of The Lowdown Society featuring a tech. After almost a year of trying to be in the same place at the same time, we were able to make it happen. Teching for a bass legend for 15 years, Terry Welty has been heavily involved with the design of all the signature-model instruments, amps and pedals that bears Geezer's name. We get to hear details about amp design as well as theories on speaker builds. Terry is currently touring with the legendary band Foreigner, where he is responsible for Bass Player/Bandleader Jeff Pilson's rig. We get to hear about recent changes in Jeff's setup as well. Terry tells us stories of "learning while doing" that are both fun and inspirational. A wealth of knowledge and many lessons in this episode...and a few cocktails as well.
In this very spirited episode of The Lowdown Society we get to meet my fellow Nashvillian-turned-Angeleno, Mr. Kyle Whalum. Kyle tells us about growing up in an exceptionally musical family where many family members have worked with or are currently working with music business royalty. We also get to hear about Kyle's passion for 100-mile Ultra Marathons with the training and lifestyle that goes with it. His journey to two of the biggest female-fronted gigs in the world is detailed, including nerdy gear talk and honest discourse about mental health as a musician. Lots to learn from this very busy guy who was able to talk to us on his first real break since starting his gig as the only bass player on a daytime national TV talk show.
Episode 15: RUDY SARZO - Ozzy Osbourne, Whitesnake, Quiet Riot, Dio, Yngwie Malmsteen, Queensryche, The Guess Who..etc.
Rudy Sarzo has played with a lot of legendary Hard Rock bands and can currently be seen touring with The Guess Who. In this extra long episode we get to hear about his studio contributions to classic recordings such as Quiet Riot's "Cum On Feel The Noise" and plenty of stories from his extensive touring career. We also get to hear details about several of his signature model basses with different manufacturers and all the work that went into the design work of those instruments. Rudy tells vivid stories of the Sunset Strip scene in Los Angeles during the 70's and 80's where he cut his teeth and made his mark as a musician at the beginning of his career. Rudy also discusses working with legendary guitar player Randy Rhoads in an effort to answer questions about the topic he claims he get asked the most about. We had entirely too much fun recording this podcast. "Beavis & Butthead" like chuckles are peppered throughout the talk. If you are ready for those as well as lots of positive energy from a legendary guy who is as excited about bass and music as he ever was, it is time to press play!
Whynot Jansveld is a great bass player who might have flown slightly under the radar as far as the world of bass goes, but as far as taste, restraint and deep pocket goes Whynot is nothing short of world class. He is currently doing touring work simultaneously for soulful British pop songstress Natasha Bedingfield, Pop legend Richard Marx and Los Angeles based producer-songwriter-to-the-stars Butch Walker. Whynot is also busy in the L.A session scene as a bass player, composer and mastering engineer. In this episode we get to hear about Whynot starting his musical journey back in his native Holland listening to Level 42 and Kiss, his move to the United States as well as his exciting professional beginnings as the house bass player at the Bitter End in New York City. He also tells us about first major artist tour with the at the time breaking Gavin DeGraw. A fellow musician at a recording session recently told Whynot after listening back to a particularly "stanky" bass performance, "I hear a lot of toxic masculinity in your playing". This event deserves an honorable mention in the podcast description. You have to listen now, right? Enjoy!