Kevin Salem

Guitarist, Producer, Mixer

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7 Reviews
Kevin Salem on SoundBetter

As guitarist, writer, producer, engineer, and/or mixer, I've made records with Rachael Yamagata, Chocolate Genius, Matthew Ryan, Emmylou Harris, and others. I'm comfortable in all areas of the recording process, and I am a professional encourager. I can help you get from start to finish, finding your Voice in the music and keeping it authentic.

I grew up in rural PA before moving to Boston and NY, beginning my career as a guitarist in bands like Dumptruck and yo la tengo. These are my roots– underground, Americana, ambient and AM radio.

I live in upstate NY and have a well-equipped studio in my barn. My first real studio experience was at legendary Rockfield Studios in Wales, and I learned the value of being comfortable and having the option of seclusion.

As a music maker, of course I have my own thing, but I always ask myself what will best serve the intention of the artists I work with. I am not here to inflict my sound on you, but neither am I a "session cat" who tries to just blend in. I feel especially successful when I help my clients and colleagues discover their hidden intentions, the things that they did not know about themselves.

I am a songwriter, so I am always sure to honor the song, something that is equally important, whether you're Joni Mitchell or Fontaines DC. I believe in instinct as much as technical ability. I don't read music.

I work with tons of singer/songwriters like Matthew Ryan, Lenka, and Rachael Yamagata. I believe in quality, and I share everything I have in an effort to achieve it.

I keep it as organic as I can, but I am totally comfortable as a programmer and technocrat.

Would love to hear from you. Click the contact button above to get in touch.

Credits

AllMusic verified credits for Kevin Salem
  • Kesha
  • Peter, Paul and Mary
  • Peter, Paul and Mary
  • Peter, Paul and Mary
  • Ida Jenshus
  • Tracy Bonham
  • Jamie Kilstein
  • Jamie Kilstein & the Agenda
  • Jamie Kilstein
  • Jamie Kilstein & the Agenda
  • Jamie Kilstein
  • Jamie Kilstein & the Agenda
  • Jamie Kilstein
  • Jamie Kilstein & the Agenda
  • Jamie Kilstein
  • Jamie Kilstein & the Agenda
  • Jamie Kilstein
  • Jamie Kilstein & the Agenda
  • Jamie Kilstein
  • Jamie Kilstein & the Agenda
  • Jamie Kilstein
  • Jamie Kilstein & the Agenda
  • Bat for Lashes
  • Mike Doughty
  • Rachael Yamagata
  • Rachael Yamagata
  • Rachael Yamagata
  • Rachael Yamagata
  • Rachael Yamagata
  • Rachael Yamagata
  • Rachael Yamagata
  • Burnell Pines
  • Continental Drifters
  • Continental Drifters
  • Continental Drifters
  • Ida Jenshus
  • Tracy Bonham
  • Tracy Bonham
  • Tracy Bonham
  • Tracy Bonham
  • Tracy Bonham
  • Tracy Bonham
  • Tracy Bonham
  • Peter, Paul and Mary
  • Peter, Paul and Mary
  • Peter, Paul and Mary
  • Peter, Paul and Mary
  • Mike Doughty
  • Medeski, Martin & Wood
  • Nels Cline
  • Rich Robinson
  • Rich Robinson
  • Howe Gelb
  • Howe Gelb
  • Lenka
  • Lenka
  • Lenka
  • Lenka
  • Lenka
  • Lenka
  • Lenka
  • Lenka
  • Lenka
  • Lenka
  • Lenka
  • Lenka
  • Peter, Paul and Mary
  • Peter, Paul and Mary
  • Peter, Paul and Mary
  • Mike Doughty
  • Mike Doughty
  • Rachael Yamagata
  • Rachael Yamagata
  • Rachael Yamagata
  • Mercury Rev
  • Lenka
  • Lenka
  • Lenka
  • Lenka
  • Lenka
  • Peter, Paul and Mary
  • Peter, Paul and Mary
  • Peter, Paul and Mary
  • Peter Yarrow
  • Peter Yarrow
  • Key Wilde
  • Mr. Clarke
  • Key Wilde & Mr. Clarke
  • Key Wilde
  • Mr. Clarke
  • Key Wilde & Mr. Clarke
  • Robbert Bobbert & the Bubble Machine
  • Robbert Bobbert & the Bubble Machine
  • Little Monsters
  • Little Monsters
  • Little Monsters
  • Little Monsters
  • Little Monsters
  • Little Monsters
  • Little Monsters
  • Rachael Yamagata
  • Rachael Yamagata
  • Rachael Yamagata
  • Rachael Yamagata
  • Rachael Yamagata
  • Deni Bonet
  • Deni Bonet
  • Deni Bonet
  • Deni Bonet
  • Deni Bonet
  • Deni Bonet
  • Deni Bonet
  • Deni Bonet
  • Lenka
  • Medeski, Martin & Wood
  • Danielia Cotton
  • Rachael Yamagata
  • Rachael Yamagata
  • Little Monsters
  • Little Monsters
  • Little Monsters
  • Little Monsters
  • Little Monsters
  • Little Monsters
  • The Ivo
  • The Mooney Suzuki
  • The Mooney Suzuki
  • The Mooney Suzuki
  • The Mooney Suzuki
  • The Mooney Suzuki
  • The Mooney Suzuki
  • Marc Cohn
  • Emmylou Harris
  • Shivaree
  • Shivaree
  • Mandy Moore
  • Mandy Moore
  • Mandy Moore
  • Mandy Moore
  • Mandy Moore
  • Mandy Moore
  • Howe Gelb
  • Bethany & Rufus
  • Dumptruck
  • Dumptruck
  • Under Byen
  • Bill Deasy
  • Bill Deasy
  • Bill Deasy
  • Bill Deasy
  • Bill Deasy
  • Bill Deasy
  • Mercury Rev
  • Mike Doughty
  • Danielia Cotton
  • Danielia Cotton
  • Danielia Cotton
  • Danielia Cotton
  • Danielia Cotton
  • Danielia Cotton
  • Mercury Rev
  • Mercury Rev
  • Mercury Rev
  • Carl Hancock Rux
  • Rachael Yamagata
  • Rachael Yamagata
  • Rachael Yamagata
  • Rachael Yamagata
  • Rachael Yamagata
  • Rachael Yamagata
  • Rachael Yamagata
  • Rachael Yamagata
  • Rachael Yamagata
  • Rachael Yamagata
  • Nicolai Dunger
  • Gail Ann Dorsey
  • Luthea Salom
  • Daniel Johnston
  • Mary Lee's Corvette
  • Mary Lee's Corvette
  • Rachael Yamagata
  • Bethany Yarrow
  • Bethany Yarrow
  • Bethany Yarrow
  • Bethany Yarrow
  • Bethany Yarrow
  • Bethany Yarrow
  • Bethany Yarrow
  • Bethany Yarrow
  • Bethany Yarrow
  • Emmylou Harris
  • Giant Sand
  • Giant Sand
  • Kevin Salem
  • Kevin Salem
  • Lanterna
  • Howe Gelb
  • Howe Gelb
  • Kevin Salem
  • Kevin Salem
  • Kevin Salem
  • Kevin Salem
  • Kevin Salem
  • Chocolate Genius
  • Chocolate Genius
  • Chocolate Genius
  • Alex Sniderman
  • Giant Sand
  • Giant Sand
  • Giant Sand
  • Giant Sand
  • Barbara Brousal
  • Barbara Brousal
  • Barbara Brousal
  • Freedy Johnston
  • Freedy Johnston
  • Heather Eatman
  • Heather Eatman
  • Heather Eatman
  • Heather Eatman
  • Ann Klein
  • Ann Klein
  • Ann Klein
  • Ann Klein
  • Ann Klein
  • Ann Klein
  • Scout
  • Marc Cohn
  • Marc Cohn
  • Marc Cohn
  • Mercury Rev
  • Jules Verdone
  • Todd Thibaud
  • Todd Thibaud
  • Todd Thibaud
  • Todd Thibaud
  • Todd Thibaud
  • Kathleen Wilhoite
  • Chris Harford
  • Kevin Salem
  • Kevin Salem
  • Kevin Salem
  • Kevin Salem
  • Kevin Salem
  • Grover
  • Grover
  • Grover
  • Thirst
  • Jim Smith
  • Scarce
  • Scarce
  • Eric Ambel & Roscoe's Gang
  • Walter Salas-Humara
  • Walter Salas-Humara
  • Matt Keating
  • Smile
  • Smile
  • Ms. Lum
  • Ms. Lum
  • Harry Shearer
  • Harry Shearer
  • Abstinence
  • Abstinence
  • Kevin Salem
  • Kevin Salem
  • Kevin Salem
  • Kevin Salem
  • Kevin Salem
  • Freedy Johnston
  • Freedy Johnston
  • Freedy Johnston
  • Madder Rose
  • Madder Rose
  • Madder Rose
  • Madder Rose
  • Madder Rose
  • Madder Rose
  • Matt Keating
  • Freedy Johnston
  • Freedy Johnston
  • Chris Harford & the First Rays of the New Rising Sun
  • Freedy Johnston
  • Freedy Johnston
  • Lanterna
  • Yo La Tengo
  • Dumptruck
  • Dumptruck
  • Dumptruck
  • Dumptruck
  • Jon Cowherd
  • Elsa Nilsson
  • Jon Cowherd
  • Elsa Nilsson
  • Jon Cowherd
  • Elsa Nilsson
  • Karoline Hausted
  • Echo Bloom
  • Echo Bloom
  • Echo Bloom
  • Echo Bloom
  • Ida Jenshus
  • Julia Haltigan
  • Julia Haltigan
  • Ida Jenshus
  • Ida Jenshus
  • Danielia Cotton
  • Miracle Legion
  • Miracle Legion
  • Miss Nina
  • Ida Jenshus
  • Strays in the Cut
  • Strays in the Cut
  • Strays in the Cut
  • Strays in the Cut
  • Strays in the Cut
  • Paul Cardall
  • Danielia Cotton
  • Danielia Cotton
  • Danielia Cotton
  • Danielia Cotton
  • Danielia Cotton
  • Danielia Cotton
  • Danielia Cotton
  • Danielia Cotton
  • Mackenzie Shivers
  • Mackenzie Shivers
  • Mackenzie Shivers

7 Reviews

Endorse Kevin Salem
  1. Review by Jordan Perlson
    starstarstarstarstar

    Kevin is one of the heaviest souls I've had the pleasure of working with. Sound, writing, groove, vibe-he's got it all. You'd be a fool not to tap him for your project.

  2. Review by Rachael Yamagata
    starstarstarstarstar
    by Rachael Yamagata

    Kev has the intuitive gift of knowing exactly how to realize the vision of your DEEP WORK ART. He finds the meat of a song and uncovers your truest voice that defines you as an artist. Gutsy, no frills, undeniably enthusiastic - Kev knows how to guide like a boot camp coach to bring you to your best. We've collaborated over 18 yrs and I can honestly say his artistry has been crucial to my development. His technique is topnotch as engineer/ producer and his mastery of guitar and soundscapes defy any one genre. You will love his soul, ferocity and imagination. He is a gem beyond all gems.

  3. Review by Kyle Evans
    starstarstarstarstar
    by Kyle Evans

    I've had the pleasure of working with Kevin on a few projects over the years. He is many things - a brilliant guitar player, a skilled engineer, and an organic producer who can tease out and burnish the emotional core of a song. To make things even better, he's also a pleasure to spend time around. Everything I've brought to him he's made better in ways I couldn't have possibly imagined.

  4. Review by Mackenzie Shivers
    starstarstarstarstar
    by Mackenzie Shivers

    Kevin is a true pro and a joy to work with. He has all the knowledge and experience and none of the ego. His ear and musical sensibilities are top notch, and he knows how to get the most resonant sound even from a single instrument or vocal. I love collaborating with him because we both have high standards but are never striving for what's "perfect." He understands that perfect usually equates to soulless, but that doesn't mean he doesn't achieve greatness. He does and then some. I'm looking forward to working with Kevin many more times in the future.

  5. Review by Guillaume Nicolas
    starstarstarstarstar
    by Guillaume Nicolas

    Kevin Salem is the very best of the best , both as a spectacular singer/songwriter/musician/producer/engineer and an amazing human being . I personally work with him for more than 15 years now , and he is definitely my favorite collaborator ever . As a musician and producer , he is the most gifted and talented person I ever met , and as a human being , he is the sweetest and most soulful person in the world . Kevin turns into gold everything he touches : songs , mixes , recordings and maybe the most important : your heart and soul . I believe in him 100 per 100 .

  6. Review by Eric H.
    starstarstarstarstar

    Three years ago I wrote a song that I envisioned having guitar work like the playing of Kevin Salem that I loved on a Freedy Johnston record in the 90s. I found his website, emailed him, uploaded some tracks and started a musical partnership that has made the last three years the best of the 30 years I’ve been recording. First and foremost Kevin is one of the best human beings I have ever met. Secondly but perhaps more important for your purposes, he is enormously skillful, reliable, honest, tactical and forthright and cares about his clients. He is an excellent communicator.

  7. Review by Matthew Ryan
    starstarstarstarstar
    by Matthew Ryan

    Kevin is the perfect collaborator, producer, musician, engineer, writer, creative and human. He’s brought a perfect marriage of heart and intelligence and timeless fiery guts to all we’ve done together. The work I’ve done with Kevin is amongst the most durable and successful and beloved that I’ve done. And beautifully, I can say I hear it in the work he’s done with others. But it’s a spirit more than a stamp. He gives each event he participates in a unique spark, it never sounds like he imposed himself. It’s like he finds some magic door to conceive a better version of all he touches.

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We Are Libertines by Matthew Ryan

I was the Producer, Mixer, Engineer, Guitarist, Mellotron in this production

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Gear Highlights
  • Many vintage electric and acoustic guitars and amps
  • ribbon mics
  • quality mic pres and ears!
More Photos
  • One Spring NightNov 18, 2019

    After our tour of Korea last year, Rachael Yamagata and I were asked to write songs for a Korean Netflix drama, One Spring Night. Check the music out on the digital platform of your choice, or stream the series on Netflix.

  • The Parkland ProjectNov 18, 2019

    After the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS, I, along with several other songwriters, worked with the students to heal, to write. The songs came out great, and I decided to make a record with these young activists. That album, Wake Up, America, just came out. I'm proud to use music as a force for healing and change.