Bass Player, WAMI Nominee 2019
I really enjoy reading these and learning a little bit about what inspires other artists. Imagine my surprise when Ann asked me, a bass player, to put a list together. Haha!!! Well I’m flattered and a huge fan of what The Avenue does for our community so here goes.
For years I focused on bass players and how they contributed to a song. I’ve been incredibly lucky to work with a number of talented songwriters, such as Kurt Gunn, that have tuned me into the whole song and not just my role as a bass player.
I’m going to second Kurt Gunn’s mention of Counting Crows August and everything after. I loved the imagery and sincerity in the writing. Matt Malley had such a cool stripped down bass tone that really became a signature part of the sound of the band. Years later this is the exact sound I would try to emulate on Kurt’s Underneath and Ballad of the Unknown Picker and Singer albums.
Elvis Costello, “Poison Moon”
This is a song that’s always been close by for me. I love all Elvis but this is the one. Kind of like “Life by the Drop” for Stevie Ray. There’s a vulnerability to the lyrics but more importantly you can hear the experience in the voice and it makes the song.
Dawes – all of it! Just saw them in Oshkosh (at The Howard). Again, the sincerity in the writing and if you watch Taylor Goldsmith sing the lyrics it just pulls you into the song. “Crack the Case" just floored me but there are so many!
Lord Huron – “Cursed” and “She Lit a Fire”. Randomly came across this band and loved the sound/harmonies/production. When I started really listening I was surprised by lyrics that hit pretty close to home at the time. Mark of a good writer.
Jason Isbel – started playing “Outfit” years ago with Paul Hanna and was blown away by the song. I love “Vampires” and “Cover Me Up” just wrecks me. This guy is crazy good.
Mark Knopfler/Emmylou Harris, “I Dug up a Diamond”
Have been a Knopfler/Dire Straits fan for as long as I can remember. “Brothers in Arms” live from the Mandela concert might be my favorite thing on the internet. This song with Emmylou’s amazing voice just blows my mind.
Van Morrison, “Into the Mystic” and “And it Stoned Me”
Yup. Just find a couch and turn it up. Definitely whole album on vinyl.
I get to play/record with some pretty great people. These are some of my favorite songs that I will always listen to.
Kurt Gunn – “Michigan and Lake,” “Plan of Attack,” SCENES FROM A SMALL TOWN IN MAINE
Paul Hanna – "I’m Sorry,” “American Beauty,” “New Morning”
The Chocolateers – the entire Thank You album
Tom Thiel – “Where Your Heart Is.” Yeah. That’s good.
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