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Brooks & Dunn Muscians Thread Removed. Let's talk

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by TDPRI, Aug 29, 2005.

  1. Mike Dickerson

    Mike Dickerson Tele-Meister

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    Bill Hullett

    Bill paints the picture perfectly. Its more than being a hot player, its a different psycholigical makeup in the studio. There are different pressures for a live show. Thats why they are two completely different animals.
     
  2. geddins

    geddins Friend of Leo's

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    I have no firsthand knowledge of the recording industry, so I'm commenting strictly as a fan.....but when I hear the signature licks in songs like "Chatahoochie", I beg to differ with your statement above. Now, I know some guys are gonna maybe just "show up and play" and not try to "reach" for something, but I would think to become an "A" session player, you'd just about need to do that every time. Can you say "pressure"?

    Again, this is a good thread....I'm very much enjoying this discussion. Thanks to all
     
  3. GopherTele

    GopherTele Tele-Afflicted

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    Agree with Geddins

    Brent had to "write" that Chatahootchee lick on the spot. Can you imagine that? Producer says to you "Hey guitar player man, we need a catchy hook to start off this up-tempo tune. What do you have?"

    And within a few minutes Brent goes ba nah nah ba nah nah ba nah nah nah nu nah nah nah.

    Now THAT is creativity. That aint punchin' no clock and just cookie cutter record making like some here are suggesting.

    And this idea that the best music is made by stretttttching, is, well a stretch. A lot of great music has been made well within the standards of a country or pop arrangement and a lot of krep has been created in the name of "Pushing the envelope".

    It seems a lot of rock bands now are pushing this envelope just to push it. And the critics love it.
     
  4. Twin Reiver

    Twin Reiver Tele-Holic

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    Absolutely

    I agree Gopher. And Bill, thanks very much for such an informative and insightful post. (Y'all will have to bear with me as I am too dumb to figure out the quote function).

    What I am suggesting is that the scenario that Bill lays out is just a totally insane way to make music, and that the studio musicians who work under those conditions have developed a nearly superhuman level of proficiency on their instruments. Like I said, anybody who would argue that Bill or Mason or whoever is not a talented musician is either a fool, a liar or a maniac. But what I am trying to point out is that studio conditions such as these, by their very necessity and design, rely heavily on formulas in writing and production. These formulas (and I don't think anybody would argue that Nashville's Music Row is not formulaic) allegedly minimize financial risk to the major labels. And this creates a certain sound, and a certain song and a certain production that I think we are all familiar with.

    All I am saying is that, for me personally, this is not how the music I most enjoy was created. Music that came out on Sun and Chess and Stax and Cosimo Matassa's studio in New Orleans was all the result of beautiful experimentation and technical limitation. Same goes with "Like A Rolling Stone" and Exile on Main Street and hundreds of other amazing records that were not recorded in airless, supermodern studios that cost a thousand dollars an hour and were monitored by accountants. A lot of times, some one who posts seems to disparage himself for being just an amateur musician. But Buddy Holly and Little Richard and Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley and Muddy Waters and the Stones and the Beatles and Dylan and Hank Williams and on and on and on were all amatuer musicians. And let's also remembered how awful the early rock and roll songs sounded when they were re-recorded by session musicians for Pat Boone's cover versions.

    There is nothing wrong with studio work or musicians, which is why I mentioned Blonde on Blonde and the Fabulous Superlatives as examples, and I agree that the idea of being competent on your instrument is getting lost even if it is just an unfortunate backlash to the slickness and formulas of the studio system, but as I said in my earlier posts: That system has been set up for a reason, and the worst part about it is what it excludes.
     
  5. jpkusa

    jpkusa Tele-Holic

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    But see, it's all a matter of perspective...some of us (a minority, I know) don't consider a song like Chatahoochie to be particularly noteworthy. But that's just an opinion.

    I'm all for tight, pro arrangements, too. My favorite format is the 3 minute single. None of this is a slag on session players. My point is: I don't think chops have anything to do with creativity. Steve Cropper or Keith Richards wouldn't have lasted 5 minutes in Nashville, but they wrote a couple good hooks, don't you think? ;)
     
  6. GopherTele

    GopherTele Tele-Afflicted

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    Hit records

    Good points TR.

    The fundamental difference between the examples you site and Nashville is that Nashville is interested in hits. They are in the business of making records that will appeal to people--appeal enough to make them drop their hard-earned wages for.

    A lot of rock bands create records to please themselves or critics.

    There is serious discipline involved when this is the goal. They can't run on some artsy flights of fancy or self-indulgent Wilco-esque experimentations (nothing against them, just an example).

    Personally, I like the fact that they are trying to please me, the consumer. I like the fact that they care if it sounds good to me, not them.

    This discipline calls for seasoned studio cats who know what ingredients to throw into the stew to make it appealing to the most people possible and do it as quickly as they can.

    I don't buy into this whole idea that some tortured genius has to suffer with his little notebook, crying hot tears onto the pages and then take his hard-scrabble band into the studio with Three Chords And The Truth (whatever that means) to try to record the next Exiled.

    I prefer pros, not amateurs, on the top of their game creating beautiful and compelling music and that describe what Nashville is trying to do. Now they don't always achieve it, but there's nothing wrong with the formula, in my, never-to-be-humble opinion. 8)
     
  7. JoeyV

    JoeyV Tele-Afflicted

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    my 2 cents

    It's a whole nuther bag...you got a few days to create a great album, no time to rehearse and most of the time you didnt even write the songs(publishers will provide to the producer songs to record, or perhaps the artist wrote some stuff too)...so in that light who would you use the road band or the studio band who day in, day out knows how to quickly create an album, has there sounds together on the first take and know exactly what the producer is asking, ever try to record with your own band in the studio? It can be torture. Its been done that way for a zillion years, even on Elvis records Chet Atkins played on em, Jimmy Bryant played on Ventures records, and even the beloved Beatles actually used another drummer(un-named) on some of the early stuff that everybody assumed was Ringo, even Chess records operated this way too, Willie Dixon is on almost everybodys recordings, he wrote, produced and was session leader for Chess...also I think its unfair that sometimes players on this board take cheap shots at the pros who are at a higher level in there careers or who are somewhat "famous" ....be cool babys!!! we are lucky to have that caliber of player even spending the time to hang out with us here on our humble board and I for one enjoy being able to shoot an email off to a guy like Brent Mason and asking him how I should record a certain thing or to a touring player and ask about something in there touring rig or whatever and what difference does it make who is playing on what or where they record from...it's all guitar and amp fun !!
     
  8. geddins

    geddins Friend of Leo's

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    I agree with you about it being a matter of perspective. For sure, some of us like what others don't. My point in using Chatahoochie as an example was to point out the fact that in a "crunch time" situation, players are called on to come up with something that may become ingrained with the identitiy of the song. Chatahoochie isn't one of my favorite songs at all, but 3 notes into the intro EVERYONE knows what song it is.....and that's the result of a picker "reaching" and "stretching".....or at least that's the way I see it :)
    :D
     
  9. Twin Reiver

    Twin Reiver Tele-Holic

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    About hits

    But Phil and Leonard Chess and Sam Phillips and Matassa and many others were concerned with making hits and they made 'em. "Whole Lotta Shakin'", "Maybelline", "Tutti Frutti", etc. So I think it is a little more complicated that an altruistic desire to please the people vs. a snotty artistic self-indulgence. I just think that the machinery that makes a song a hit (major labels, radio and the fascinating and lucrative little shell game they have developed) is so exclusive and sealed up that most people I know don't even factor that in any more. They just try to write the best song they can. There are all sorts of rotten, crummy formulas in indie rock and alt country that those guys are too self-absorbed to admit are formulas (if I ever hear one more 22 year old sing in a fake Steve Earle rasp it'll be too soon). Again, all I am saying is that the only game in town should not be the only game in town.

    And Joey, maybe it is me, but I think studio musicians get enormous praise and respect on the TDP. In my eyes, it is less technical players who get the real Tele snobbery turned on them.
     
  10. CountryShawn

    CountryShawn Tele-Holic

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    It's probably highly unlikely that in the case of taking a road band in to record, that they are going to come in without the majority of their parts already worked out.

    Some folks probably do better at coming up with things on the spot and executing them efficiently- hence the session A-Team.

    The other group, bands, road bands, etc are probably going to work that out for the most part before they step foot into the studio.

    Shawn
     
  11. Jimo

    Jimo Tele-Afflicted

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    It should be noted.....

    Some of the "a" list guys are getting double and triple scale...........JIMO
     
  12. moondoggie999

    moondoggie999 Tele-Holic

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    Re: It should be noted.....

    that is totally cool! I love to see people doing well and being well compensated for their abilities :D
     
  13. JoeyV

    JoeyV Tele-Afflicted

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    El Snobberious un guitarinry

    There is some snobbery....however we are dealing with so many different types of musicians and different music here that it probably couldnt be avoided...I love everything and almost every player, being they play and love guitar ...especially them Teles and Esquires!!! Them strats are pretty cool too!!!
     
  14. genelovesjez

    genelovesjez Friend of Leo's

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    For someone like me who doesn't listen to country music (other than Johnny Cash), this is a fascinating discussion. It sounds like a strange way to make music, but as the clichés go, there are many ways to skin a cat and the proof is in the pudding.

    So tell me, are these great albums that these sessions guys are making? What's the verdict among you country music fans?
     
  15. Joel Terry

    Joel Terry Poster Extraordinaire

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    As a native and present Nashvillian (right, like that gives me some kind of divine right to critique country music! :p), I present my verdict:

    1. The studio musicians here are phenomenal.

    2. The touring musicians are phenomenal.

    3. The actual stars for whom these guys play--ehh. I'm not really a contemporary country music fan, per se, so, in my opinion, there are only a handful of really good artists/acts at the moment. The rest? Ehh.

    4. The songs they have to play: Well, taking a cue from Theodore Sturgeon, 90% of the contemporary country songs that stream out of Nashville are absolute garbage, in my opinion. Don't get me started about a lot of the songwriters in this town. Most (certainly not all) peddle and proffer sheer drivel--their work is so hackneyed, so unimaginative, sometimes just plain, irritatingly stupid. Pabulum for the masses.

    And to think these contemptible songwriters are the ones who really make the money in this town, apart from the labels and the label execs. It's disgraceful, really. Not the making money part; I don't have a problem with folks making money. I just have a problem with people who make money off of drivel.

    So, Peter, to answer your question, I think most of the country albums coming out of Nashville these days suffer from poor songwriting--certainly not from poor musicianship.

    Joel
     
  16. Bill  Hullett

    Bill Hullett Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    The Food Chain.....

    Joel.....after reading your post i thought that i ought to inject this....Nashville...(and the music bizz at large) works in this manner...all Those songwriters that you are commenting on have wonderful catalogs of great masterpiece songs that the world at large may never hear...I know cause I've demo'ed hundreds if not thousands of great songs that will never see the light of day...

    The songwriter panders to the publisher so that he or she can have a writing deal....

    The publisher panders to the artist/ and or producer so that they can have a record made of their song....

    The producer panders to the artist as to insure that he doesn't seek someone else to produce him...

    The artist panders to the record label to insure that he keeps his label deal....

    and waaaaaay up on the top of this heap is Country Radio! who the record labels not only pander to, but wine and dine all in the effort of getting their artists played to the masses....


    until someone figures out a way to bypass all of this and make millions doing it ....it will remain the same...And even though its romantic to think of how things "used to be"...it's been that way for decades...it's just that I ( and maybe some of us all) were a little too niave to know it way back when....

    And as Paul Harvey says
    "Thats the rest of the story"

    Bill Hullett
     
  17. Jimo

    Jimo Tele-Afflicted

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    Target Markets....

    The target market is young girls and young women----so you are not supposed to like it so much----if you are a middle aged guy (Like me)--------ha------------ :D :eek: ----------JIMO
     
  18. jpkusa

    jpkusa Tele-Holic

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    Re: The Food Chain.....

    You're right, Bill - it's always been that way - payola. Not just in Nashville, but everywhere.

    There are laws against it in this country, and if they were enforced, things would change somewhat (the Attorney General of New York just made a small step in that direction).

    Of course, the internet reduces the importance of radio as a conduit of music.

    But to get back to the original point of the thread...I have nothing but respect for the guys who make a living playing on Music Row, and nothing but respect for the guys in the touring bands. My beef is with their bosses. ;)
     
  19. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    Somebody straighten me out on this...

    In a song like Chattahoochie that has that guitar "hook" - would that hook be on the demo and then redone for the real deal? Is it a part of the song that was there when it was written? I'm sure it is done both ways - can a generalization be made?

    I remember an old song by Billy Swan - "I Can Help" - the hook in there is so important that it must have been integral to the song.

    Or maybe not.

    Who can enlighten me a bit?

    By the way, this has been an extremely informative and educational thread. :D
     
  20. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    I don't think this is due to any lack of talent or skill on behalf of the songwriters, but more that they're writing deliberately hackneyed, trite and formulaic songs because that's what gets recorded and sold.
     
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