I met a songwriter from Denmark yesterday and he was astounded at watching us track songs. He said, “you guys all know what to do on the first take! I can’t believe how fast you are!” He’s right! There is something about Nashville studio ‘cats.’ I’ve seen this scenario played out a hundred times. Usually writers or producers from somewhere in Europe, i.e.. Sweden, Germany, Belgium, etc. come here a lot to co-write, then inevitably find themselves at a session. They are flabbergasted at how Nashville studio cats can listen to a work tape 1 time, and sit down and usually nail it. There is a learned language among session players. It has to do with not only knowing a million and one styles, tones, and reference songs, but having used them on a million and one songs and knowing how to get at those sounds very quickly and pull off those styles perfectly and consistently. And…….(here’s the most important part)…..to adapt any any and every one of those styles to modern music. Push the envelope, if you will. That is what separates the pretty good players from the killer players. They constantly listen to new music and are constantly filling up the ‘tank.’
Nashville definitely has it’s own ‘sound.’ I’ve heard people try to pull off a ‘Nashville’ in other places, and I gotta tell you, you can generally spot it a mile off. It’s not that it’s bad, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that it’s not Nashville. If you want a Nashville sound, there’s one place you can consistently get it. You know where.