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Tag: David Browne

The Section

Good piece on a group of session musicians called “The Section” by David Browne in the new issue of Rolling Stone:

[Danny] Kortchmar’s terse guitar riffs, inspired by his hero Steve Cropper, nudged their way into the songs. He had his own rules: “The parts gotta be simple. You gotta help the song. Don’t step on the singer.” Kunkel became known not just for his firm, unobtrusive playing but as one of the few drummers who would read the words to a song before recording. “I’d get a feel for what the artist was trying to portray,” he says. “If it’s a love story and doesn’t require big drums, what can I do to complete the story?”

…They may also be the last of the great session crews, before home studios, Pro Tools and GarageBand made studio ensembles superfluous. With them, a style of pop – and of making records – came to an end. “I’m running around with a baton in front of me and there’s no one to hand it to,” says Sklar. Asked to name their successors, producer Rick Rubin – who occasionally uses a small, hand-picked combo when recording with acts like Adele and the Dixie Chicks – pauses. “I’m not sure,” he says. “You don’t really need bands anymore.”

Kortchmar, Kunkel, Wachtel and Sklar have been approached about participating in a rock & roll fantasy camp devoted to rhythm sections. “If one of your ambitions is to hang out with Sammy Hagar, you’ll be disappointed with us,” Kortchmar says. “But we want to demonstrate what it’s like to play in an ensemble. That isn’t taught much by anyone.”

[Photo Credit: Joe Martz]

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