Any and all of your track needs for guitar, steel guitar, bass, fiddle, violin, banjo, mandolin, or anything else! Why hire 8 people when you can hire just me? From the Dropkick Murphys to David Ball, I've worked with it all.! I also do keyboard and synth arranging. I have professional gear and work out of a professional studio.
I will work with you from the conception of your idea to the fully finished produced track! Professional studio musician with major radio airplay, placements on Fox TV, Fox Sports, Apple, and many others. Also an international touring musician.
Contact me through the green button above and lets get to work.
CreditsAllMusic verified credits for John Kingsley
Interview with Professional Studio Musician
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Whatever the client prefers.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Don't be afraid to say no or to give honest feedback. True professional session musicians understand that it may not be the first take that you like! It doesn't mean the first take was bad so to speak, but it may need some tweaking. Trust me, it's way more important for a client to be picky and to be satisfied than for a client to be quiet about something and be bummed out later on. You're paying your hard earned money; you deserve to get what you're looking for!
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: A guitar, a banjo, and a George Foreman grill (who said it had to be music gear?), plus an extra pack of strings for the guitar and the banjo. That's 5, right? Ok...scratch the Foreman grill...get me a cell phone so I can call somebody to get me off the island!
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been playing violin since I was six, guitar since I was 11, and in bands since I was 13 (I'm 32 now [December 2018]). So that's over 2 decades of figuring this stuff out! I've spent countless hours in recording studios, band vans, tour busses, you name it; each situation is uniquely challenging and rewarding.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Easy going, professional, and fast.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Bruce Springsteen, because I've seen him 27 times.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Don't forget to breathe every once in a while. It's so easy to get down into the minutia of what we do that often times we lose sight of the big picture. What ends up happening sometimes is you really dial in that snyth sound so perfect and the EQ of the second bridge after the chorus is spot on, but when you hone in way too much too long, the entire vibe of the song can be lost!
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Anything twangy is my specialty, but I am well versed in any genre. But if you're looking for anything roots (country, folk, Americana, country-rock, etc.), I'm your guy. That's what usually ends up getting put on in the car when I sit in traffic here in Orange County. But I also love digging into more soundscape type stuff; any synthy Coldplay vibe or Lord Huron sonic imagery is right up my alley, too.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Letting the music speak from itself and working around that.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Creativity, technical prowess if desired, but most importantly, the melodic devices that the song needs to make it shine. I'm not trying to prove my skills to anyone out there, I just want to help the client realize the full potential of the song.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I'll listen to the whole song and talk with the client about what they're looking for, and grab a few reference tracks from them (what they were thinking of when they wrote the tune). Then, I'll set up my software to loop and record the sections over and over until I get it right! Since I don't charge by the hour, I can dedicate as much time as possible to get what you're looking for.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I run Logic Pro X through whatever audio interface the session requires, whether it's a basic Focusrite box or an Apollo unit. I have the capability to mic my amps using either a 414 condenser or run straight through the DAW and use their amp modelers; sometimes I even do both. I have a full 88 key keyboard that I also use as a midi controller, and any number of stringed instruments I have collected throughout my journey.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Too many to list, but obviously, on guitar, there's the greats - James Burton (listen to his playing on "Return of the Grievous Angel" by Gram Parsons), Nils Lofgren, Mark Knopfler; all represent a very different facet of rock music but they all contributed (and are still contributing greatly) to the guitar sound today. You can't forget Brent Mason for all that he's contributed to country music today. For Pedal Steel, I learned at the feet of Doug Jernigan, and I remember being entranced by Jerry Garcia's (yes, that Jerry Garcia) playing on "Teach Your Children" by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. As far as fiddle players, any of the Nashville hotshots - Andy Leftwitch, Bobby Hicks, and Stewart Duncan are a few that come to mind. I love the music of Bruce Hornsby; he's such a creative genius, but knows how to keep the piano accessible. Roy Bittan from the E Street Band is another huge influence of mine.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I mostly take care of guitar, pedal steel, and bass tracks for my clients. When the situation calls for it, I love laying down fiddle tracks too! I'm also fully confident in mixing and mastering, but my real passion is helping my clients' songs find their instrumental voice through my playing.