Session Player Spotlight: Daran DeShazo

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As a record producer, you are only as good as the musicians you surround yourself with. A great producer only keeps the best musicians he or she can find around to ensure you’ve always got magical performances to sift through. Being a record producer is not unlike being a coach – you may be making the calls, but the players are the ones actually making the plays.

I’m a guitar player, so I’m very picky (gah, pun not intended). And while I’m good enough to play plenty of styles and genres, I still realize my limitations, and I recognize that there are loads of players that are out there that can completely annihilate me on the fretboard, and I’m always happy to have them on the session. Besides, although I play guitar on many of my records (especially acoustic) it’s always better when you’re producing to be behind the glass rather than in the booth. You can’t really be objective as you need to be when you’re the one performing *and* producing. It’s akin to being both director and actor in your own film. You can go back and play the tape and see how you did – but it’s never the same as watching someone else do what they do best.

I first heard of Daran through my guitar teacher (Brad Barnes: great guy, phenomenal teacher) when I moved back to Dallas in 2000. Daran was a classmate of his at UNT, and Brad talked about him almost every lesson. He referenced his tone, his attitude, his technique: it went on and on. I heard so much about Daran that when I finally got the chance to meet him at a live show, I was nervous as hell. Like, sweaty palm nervous.
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Horns horny horns horns.

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Recording Horns @ Audio Dallas

Had a great day today cutting some horns at Audio Dallas! My good friend and client Charles Collins needed some alto and tenor sax, bone, and trumpet on a tune today, so I got to arrange and cut horns on “People Make The World Go Round” a revised version of the classic hit for Charles’ new upcoming EP.

The song itself is pretty hairy. Lots of meter changes, and the horns play a very important role in the recording. Alto sax took the lead, and then tenor sax, bone and trumpet filled out the vibe. Thankfully I had Randy Lee on sax (whom I’d never worked with before – amazing player) Gaika James on trombone and Keith Jourdan on trumpet. I’ve worked with Gaika and Keith several times before and they’re really solid players; some of my favorite to work with in town. Being a horn player myself (I started on trombone) I’m pretty particular when I’m cutting horns. Although Charles is producing the EP himself, he’ll let me chime in when I hear something weird, not that I had to that often.
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Had a blast at Mercy last night!!

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Just wanted to give a quick shout-out to Mercy Wine Bar for having me out tonight! It’s really a dream when you can play at a venue that will let you get artistic, and be yourself – but better yet – it’s even better to play and always know there’s going to be a crowd there that will truly *appreciate* it. I got to get really DEEP with my looping and created a number of very magical moments on the spot. That’s always SO satisfying to be able to do here in Dallas, as it’s not always so welcomed to be super experimental here. So thanks again – you guys make it worth it every time. Even better, tonight my good friend Don Brown came up and jammed some harp with me and then my favorite singer on the planet Sarah Sellers came up as well! So basically – it was UH-MAY-ZING. I love producing records, but it’s also so satisfying to play live, and just live in the moment.

– J

Josh Goode is a Dallas, TX based record producer specializing in pop, dance, country, and singer/songwriter projects. Music is his passion, and tex mex is his muse.