Joe Chemay's tone and intent always cuts through even when he plays a tender ballad. Out of all the great session bassists that have been active in Nashville over the years, Joe is my personal favorite. The modern Country records that rewrote what the genre could sound like in the mid-90's were filled with with Joe's signature driving, melodic pick style playing. Joe is a man of few words, but an astoundingly gracious and kind guy who shares great memories of being in the studio with super producer Mutt Lange and how he ended up of some of Lionel Richie's most influential songs when Lionel first struck out on his own after his stint in The Commodores. Joe's list of credits is astoundingly long and diverse. Spending some time listening to his work in many genres is highly encouraged. As if all this isn't enough, Joe has also been an in-demand session background vocalist which we also get a little sample of in this episode of The Lowdown Society.
Derek Frank has spent 24 years in Los Angeles as a professional bassist. In the past few years he has landed some big gigs that required him to wear many hats as a bass player as well as retooling his rigs for all the different applications. We get to hear about playing in Gwen Stefani's current Vegas production and we also get to hear a few samples of the bass lines he enjoyed playing the most on his last few tours. It rocked so incredibly hard that our little podcast recording device started distorting. Derek can also be found in the house band for one of L.A's most acclaimed monthly musician jams "Soundcheck Live". If you guys travel through Los Angeles, make sure you check him out there. Spending an hour with a guy like Derek, who succesfully has many exciting irons in the musical fire in the city with the world's most competitive music scene, is the kind of thing that only happens here on The Lowdown Society Podcast. Today's episode is brought to you by the DSM Noisemaker OmniCab Sim Tweakable Cabinet Simulator.
In this epiosde of The Lowdown Society we get to hang with one of the great players from Memphis currently doing big things in the L.A Pop/R&B scene, Mr. Brandon Brown. His resume is already a mile long and includes The Jacksons, Fergie, Black Eyed Peas, Boys II Men, TLC and many more. Brandon invited us to his studio in L.A where we recorded this podcast with neighboring studios jamming on the other side of the wall and with our amps turned up with bass and keybass plugged in. Brandon's love for all things bass is on full display when he laughs, pontificates and jams his way through this bass hang. We get to hear about everything from his early days in Memphis playing with Isaac Hayes and Stevie Wonder, to all the latest news about his own Funk project The Brandon Brown Collective. Big thanks to Memphis Bass master Mr. Jackie Clark for making this episode possible.
Steve Mackey is the kind of rock solid, soulful bass player that many of us professional bass colleagues wish we could play like. His funky-yet-subdued feel is highly in demand. In this episode Steve talks about moving to Nashville in the 80's, being in the studio with Garth Brooks & Dolly Parton and about his admiration for Willie Weeks, Duck Dunn and Randy Jackson among other topics. Steve also talks in depth about how he approaches a recording session, step-by-step, invaluable information for anyone looking to be proficient studio bass player. Steve can currently be seen on tour holding down the bottom end for The Wallflowers. In this episode both the guest and the host get riled up a few times about bass talk so nerdy, it can only be found on The Lowdown Society Podcast. Professor Mackey is in the house, let the lesson commence.
In this episode I got to sit down in a Minneapolis bar with one of my bass heroes Mr. Sonny Thompson, aka "Sonny T" from the original and best version of The New Power Generation. His funky and completely original approach to bass can be heard on quite a few amazing Prince songs, some of them hits and some of them undiscovered treasures to many. In this podcast we get down to the nitty gritty and discuss song details with the man himself after listening to excerpts of the songs. Sonny also talks about working with Prince and his approach to using effects among other topics. My guest host in this episode is Mr. Anthony Rankin, a Prince fanatic and super musician in his own right. Anthony helps us dig deep with some of the great bass lines on Prince albums throughout the years featuring other bass players as well as Prince himself. It's about to get fonky and very, very nerdy.
Sean Hurley's resumé contains a who's who of popular music, John Mayer, Alicia Keys, Annie Lennox, Lana Del Ray, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Leonard Cohen, Robin Thicke, Vertical Horizon and many others. In this episode Sean talks about his bass recording gear, the way the Los Angeles music scene is evolving, his favorites among the tracks he has played on and he also shares many other useful tips and stories. To spend an hour with this beacon of good bass playing taste should be a prerequisite for all bass players, beginners to professionals. Luckily, that hour can be found right here on The Lowdown Society Podcast. Enjoy!
When I first saw the "P!nk: The Funhouse Tour Live In Australia" DVD about 9 years ago I was taken back not only by P!nk's showmanship but also by the tightness and enthusiasm of her band. It was a true pleasure to sit down with Miss Eva Gardner who holds perhaps the biggest, but most certainly the best gig in Pop music today. Eva shares valuable advice about her career playing for not only P!nk, but also other Pop superstars like Cher and Gwen Stefani.
Amos took time out from being a very busy dad and in demand bass player to sit down to discuss everything from loving Classical Music and Heavy Metal growing up, to the current state of pop music, to Britney Spears bass lines, to his main gig playing bass for Taylor Swift. He was also kind enough to play one of his favorite bass parts from Taylor's show and discuss how he prepared for all the world-class guest artists he had to back up on the latest tour. Too much good stuff from this one guy. Fellow bass nerds and music nerds in general, rejoice!
For this first episode I sat down and laughed a lot with my good friend Jim Mayer from Jimmy Buffett and The Coral Reefer Band. We get to hear about everything from Jim's beginnings as an upright bass player in the Jazz scene in St. Louis, competing with his brother who could practice the longest, to stories from his many tours as a Coral Reefer. Toward the end of the episode we get to meet Jim's alter ego, children's entertainer "Uncle Jim". Oh, and we also get a solo bass performance of "Margaritaville".