Most Respected Session Musicians?

Another big '70s session drummer -Russ Kunkel

Believe it or not, that’s where I first heard the name… :smiley:

Mike Garson is best known for his work with Bowie - especially the amazing piano work on Aladdin Sane, both the song and the album - but has worked for Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails, Seal, No Doubt, and many others, as well as put out many solo albums.

Larry Carlton. Though he’s had a number of solo releases, he did amazing work with Steely Dan.

God I love his work.

Isn’t he amazing? I still remember the first time I really listened to the piano on Aladdin Sane, how dumbfounded and transported I was. I’m not a musician, I can’t give the technical whys and hows, but Jesus Christ.

What’s chicken picking anyway? You made me curious when you mentioned that James Burton invented it. I always was aware that Burton’s and White’s playing had something special in common, but I could never nail it, because I’m not a guitar player.

Brad Paisley’s Cluster Pluck, featuring some of the best, including Burton, Albert Lee, Redd Volkaert, Vince Gill, etc: Brad Paisley Cluster Pluck - YouTube

You’re basically using your picking hand to palm mute the strings so the notes are pulses/staccato. You play quick clusters of notes, and you keep your fingers moving at this quick beat - if there’s s bit where a finger doesn’t have a note, it plays a deadened string in time. When you play some of those deadened notes in rapid succession it sounds kind of like a clucking chicken = chicken picken.

Wow. Thanks for this. I let Youtube run through a few Brad Paisley songs after that one, and I never realized just how freaking amazing he is. “Nervous Breakdown” is just insane.

In America, every other hit record of the Sixties seemed to have Hal Blaine on drums.

In England, during that same period, every other hit seemed to have Anglo-Italian session man Clem Cattini on drums.

I follow his Facebook page. He said he hadn’t picked up a guitar in 20 years. He recently put out a few videos playing acoustic. Holy shit if that’s what he can do after 20 years of nothing…

Cooder also played Ralph Macchio’s blues parts in the movie Crossroads.

Yay! Yeah, he’s a monster player.

By the way, chicken pickin is typically done on a Telecaater - all the folks listed are Tele Masters - with a big clean Fender amp sound and a compressor pedal set to “squishy” - hard to explain, but it evens out the sound and adds a bit of grit and sustain to the tone.

ETA: Loach - oh yeah, O’Connor’s insane, so fluid.

Jeff “Skunk” Baxter before he changed careers to be an expert consulting in missile defense.

I first found him when he played with the Dregs. O’Connor and Steve Morse were doing amazing things in their instruments. And they did them together.

Hank Garland, of the Nashville A-team, and really, the whole team.

I don’t know how accurate Garlands biopic is, but there’s a scene where he’s having a conflict with the producer (I think), and Roy Orbison pulls the producer aside to remind him that Roy’s contract gives him final say in the sessionists, and Garland ain’t gonna be the one that walks.

Arlen Roth did some or most of that, too.

And part of the source f the name of the Gibson Byrdland guitar, alongside Billy Byrd.

On the Woodstock soundtrack, Jefferson Airplane’s lead-in to “Volunteers”, Grace Slick introduces “…the regular guys, and Nicky Hopkins”.

My wife mentioned once that she was a friend of a friend of Nicky Hopkins (met him, once)…and ever after, whenever our kids would hear a classic rock song on the radio with a prominent piano part (e.g., Layla), would ask “Is that your friend, Mom?”

This is quite a pantheon. Are there a handful that performers and session players look up to or consider an inspiration?
Anyone who started as a session player who ended up in the limelight or are the genres different worlds?