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Music Makers and Soul Shakers

Interviews >

Join Steve Dawson as he hosts a wide range of musical guests in these long-form interviews that get into the lives, experiences and influences of the people behind great records!

Join Steve Dawson as he hosts a wide range of musical guests in these long-form interviews that get into the lives, experiences and influences of the people behind great records!
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Join Steve Dawson as he hosts a wide range of musical guests in these long-form interviews that get into the lives, experiences and influences of the people behind great records!




Episode 49 - David Bromberg

My guest this week is songwriter and guitar player David Bromberg. David is mostly known as a guitar player, but also plays a mean fiddle, pedal steel guitar and dobro. Bromberg began releasing albums of his own in the early 1970s, but at the same time was building a career as a prolific sideman, recording with everyone from Bob Dylan, Jerry Garcia and Jerry Jeff Walker to George Harrison and Ringo Starr. After a string of solo albums through the 70's, David decided to switch gears and got...


Episode 48 - Tommy Shannon (Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, Johnny Winter)

My guest this week is legendary bass player Tommy Shannon. Best known as the bassist in Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Tommy was also an integral part of Johnny Winter's initial success, not to mention more recent projects including Arc Angels and Storyville. Growing up in west Texas, the future bass legend launched his music career in the usual fashion, playing guitar in local cover bands during his high school years. When Johnny Winter, described by Tommy as “an encyclopedia of the...


Season 2 Mid-Season Update

An update on the podcast, reasons for the sudden break in Season 2, and a bit of news...


Episode 46 - Reese Wynans (Stevie Ray Vaughan, early Allman Bros, Joe Bonamassa and more!)

My guest this week is the legendary keyboard player Reese Wynans. Wynans is probably best known as the keyboard player in Stevie Ray Vaughan's band, Double Trouble. From '85 until Stevie's death, they were like a freight train - touring worldwide and recording smash albums like "Soul To Soul", "Live Alive" and the final SRV album, "In Step". Hardcore Allman Brothers fans also know that Reese was a member of the Second Coming, which, from November 1968 to March 1969 also included guitarist...


Episode 45 - Kenneth Pattengale

My guest this week is guitarist and songwriter Kenneth Pattengale. Pattengale makes up one half of the killer duo The Milk Carton Kids, which formed in 2011 when Pattengale teamed up with fellow songwriter Joey Ryan. The duo formed a fast chemistry which relies on tight and intricate harmony singing, and the slippery guitar playing of Pattengale. Together they have made 4 albums, and have had an incredible run over the last 5 years working with Joe Henry, T-Bone Burnett and Ryan Freeland,...


Episode 43 - Bil Vorndick (Engineer for Alison Krauss, Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas and many more)

My guest this week is the incomparable Nashville recording engineer, Bil Vorndick. I first started seeing Bil's name on albums as I was getting into bluegrass, and he seemed to be the engineer on everything coming out by Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas and the rest of the top players of the time. Bil's artistry as a producer and engineer has helped earn his clients over 45 Grammy nominations that encompass 9 that won (among them Alison Krauss’ very first Grammy). He has worked on many albums...


Episode 42 - Ronnie Hawkins "The Hawk"

My guest this week is the legendary rockabilly singer and bandleader, Ronnie Hawkins. I grew up knowing of Ronnie through his electrifying appearance in The Band's "The Last Waltz" movie, but as I learned more about the history, came to realize his importance as an artist in his own right, but also his abilities as a bandleader and talent scout. Like John Mayall did in the British blues scene, Ronnie could find the best players hidden away in remote corners, nurture them and bring them...


Episode 40 - Mike Bub

My guest this week is one of the great bluegrass and roots music bassists, Mike Bub. Mike had a long and celebrated stint with the Del McCoury band, the most awarded band in the history of the International Bluegrass Music Association, and Mike himself won the award for Bass Player of the Year himself 5 times! While with Del McCoury, the band recorded the seminal album 'The Mountain' with Steve Earle, taking their brand of bluegrass to a whole new audience. Mike is a staple around town...


Episode 39 - Lloyd Maines

My guest this week is the great Texas nusician and icon of the recording world, Lloyd Maines. Best known as a pedal steel player, Maines is a multi-instrumentalist who has also performed and/or recorded playing dobro, electric and acoustic guitar, mandolin, lap steel guitar, and banjo. He toured and recorded as a member of the Joe Ely Band and has also played with Jerry Jeff Walker, Guy Clark, Butch Hancock, Terry Allen, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and other Texas musicians. As the father of...


Episode 38 - Charlie Musselwhite

My guest this wee is harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite. Charlie has been one of the most loved and respected harp players from his early days in the clubs of Memphis and Chicago to his extensive solo recording career and his incredible sideman history playing on albums for Tom Waits, Ben Harper, Bonnie Raitt, John Lee Hooker and so many more. We talked about his playing style, influences, growing up in Memphis, and some of the highlights of a long and incredible career in music. Enjoy...


Episode 37 - David Mansfield

My guest this week is the superb fiddle player, steel guitarist, sideman and composer David Mansfield. At age 18, David joined Bob Dylan's band for four years, starting with the legendary touring spectacle "Rolling Thunder Revue". He recorded three albums with Dylan and appears on numerous compilations and live albums, including "Biograph" and "Bob Dylan Live 1975 The Bootleg Series Vol. 5". David went on to form The Alpha Band along with fellow Rolling Thunder Review members T-Bone...


Episode 36 - Oz Fritz (engineer for Tom Waits, Bill Laswell, John Hammond, and many more!)

My guest this week is Grammy winning producer and engineer, Oz Fritz. Oz is the man behind many amazing sonic masterpieces, including a number that we hold in high esteem on this show. In particular, John Hammond's "Wicked Grin" and Tom Waits' "Mule Variations". But those 2 faves aside, he has collaborated on over 60 projects with John Zorn and Bill Laswell and has worked on albums for Iggy Pop, The Master Musicians of Joujouka and many more. Oh, and I found out he made a rap album for...


Episode 35 - Ron Sexsmith

My guest this week is one of the great songwriters of our time - Ron Sexsmith. Ron's career has spanned over 25 years, and from his humble beginnings in the coffee shops and church basements of Toronto, to playing some of the biggest international stages, he's been through it all. His recording career includes about 15 albums under his own name, and his songs have been covered by everyone from Emmylou Harris to Rod Stewart. We got a chance to discuss his long career, his writing process,...


Episode 34 - Chris "Critter" Eldridge (Punch Brothers)

My guest this week is guitar player Chris "Critter" Eldridge. As a member of Punch Brothers since the band's inception, guitarist Chris Eldridge has been at the vanguard of acoustic music for much of the past decade. Although initially drawn to the electric guitar, by his mid-teens Chris Eldridge had developed a deep love for acoustic music, thanks in part to his father, a banjo player and founding member of the seminal bluegrass group The Seldom Scene. Chris Eldridge has worked with a...


Episode 33 - Van Dyke Parks

My guest this week is the incredibly enigmatic composer, arranger, and record producer Van Dyke Parks. I've had the good fortune of working with Van Dyke on a few projects over the years and his creativity, musicality and sense of humour are absolutely unlike any other human I've ever encountered. Van Dyke has been involved in so many legendary projects, it boggles a mind like mine. He has worked with Ry Cooder on his great early albums, Little Feat (Lowell George was one of his closest...


Episode 32 - Charlie McCoy (Legendary Nashville session ace)

My guest this week is the legendary session harmonica maestro and multi-instrumentalist, Charlie McCoy. Charlie is perhaps the definitive Nashville session musician, a multi-talented performer best known for his harmonica playing and whose mastery of the instrument virtually defined its role within the context of modern country music. By the mid-'60s, McCoy was a fixture on Elvis Presley's Nashville and Los Angeles sessions, and in 1965, he began working with Bob Dylan, appearing on a...


Episode 31 - Sylvia Tyson (Ian and Sylvia)

My guest this week is singer and songwriting legend Sylvia Tyson. Tyson started performing professionally in 1959 as one-half of the internationally acclaimed folk duo, Ian and Sylvia. She wrote her first song, which turned out to be one of her most successful ever! “You Were On My Mind” was a hit for Ian and Sylvia in 1962, and three years later it reached number 3 on the Billboard chart for a group called We Five. Through the sixties and early seventies, Ian and Sylvia produced thirteen...


Episode 30 - Norman Blake

My guest this week is bluegrass guitar legend Norman Blake. Norman's recordings have had a huge impact on me, and I see him as one of the most inspired and quietly influential acoustic musicians of all time. Blake came into view in the late '60s, when he began performing as a sideman with artists such as Johnny Cash, June Carter and Bob Dylan. Norman was also a member of John Hartford's seminal Aero-Plain band. During the '70s, he began a solo career that quickly became one of the most...


Episode 29 - Steve Berlin (Los Lobos/producer extraordinaire)

My guest this week is multi-instrumentalist and record producer Steve Berlin. A longtime mainstay of the Los Angeles music scene, Steve Berlin is perhaps best known as a member of Los Lobos, although he is also a sought-after producer and session player. Berlin's production, arranging and session work includes REM, Sheryl Crow, The Replacements, Faith No More, Dave Alvin, John Lee Hooker, The Tragically Hip, Buckwheat Zydeco and many more. I got to speak with Steve and we discussed his...


Episode 28 - Dave Alvin

My guest this week is songwriter and guitarist Dave Alvin. Dave, along with his brother Phil, is a founding member of the Rock n' Roll group The Blasters. The Blasters tore it up on the LA roots/punk scene from the late 70's through the 80's and toured endlessly around the world. Dave went on to join The Knitters and X, as well. He has great stories about growing up in the outskirts of LA, the great scene that evolved there, songwriting, and his lengthy career making a string of excellent...


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