Phil Madeira

*Piano*Hammond *Gtr *Mellotron

starstarstarstarstar
104 Reviews (86 Verified)
Phil Madeira on SoundBetter

"IT'S ALL ABOUT SOUL. From Keyboards and guitar for Emmylou Harris to Keb' Mo' to Garth Brooks and Amy Grant, Phil is an in-demand talent! Writer of Grammy Winning "From This Valley" with the Civil Wars, and production credits include Emmylou Harris, The Civil Wars, Keb' Mo', Mat Kearney, Wood Brothers, Shawn Mullins, and The Band Perry."

I'm grateful! My credit list is long and diverse, from B3 on giant hits like "House of Love" (Amy Grant & Vince Gill) to blues piano and B3 on Grammy winning "Tajmo" (Taj Mahal and Keb' Mo')...

I have been blessed with the ability to PRODUCE records, WRITE songs, and PERFORM on various instruments, most frequently Piano and Hammond organ. Add to that oddities such as Lap Steel and Accordion, as well as your basic Americana guitar, and that's it.

My songwriting leans towards anything rootsy, having written with Emmylou, Civil Wars, The Wood Brothers, Angel Snow, Shawn Mullins, and Keb' Mo', but I have had success in the CCM world (2014 Dove Best Country Song) and cuts with Music Row acts like Garth Brooks and Alison Krauss (both recorded "Maybe") and Toby Keith ("If I Was Jesus".

I can cross a lot of musical boundaries, from traditional jazz and blues to old school country and modern folk to gospel and pop.

I record in my own studio as well as in beautiful rooms like Sound Emporium and Blackbird here in Nashville.

I often get hired as a vocalist by folks looking for "character" in the same vein as Randy Newman or Tom Waits. My voice has a story telling, smokey, bluesy quality to it.

I'm happy to help finish a song or a track, or build something from the ground up.

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

Languages

  • English

104 Reviews - 16 Repeat Clients

Endorse Phil Madeira
  1. Review by Link
    starstarstarstarstar
    by Link
    check_circleVerified

    Always great to work with Phil! Pro playing, perfect parts a really nice guy.

  2. Review by Mark T.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    A musical marksman, Phil always hits the bullseye

  3. Review by Andrew
    starstarstarstarstar
    by Andrew
    check_circleVerified

    Not only is Phil an extremely talented pianist, but he's an absolute pro on the Hammond organ as well. I could not stop grinning when I got the parts back from him -- he really contributed some great personality to the song. Nice guy too, very easy to commmunicate with. I highly recommend Phil's services

  4. Review by Mark T.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    A true gentleman and a fantastic musician with an unerring ability to nail a track with a combination of subtlety and power. Looking forward to the next project.

  5. Review by Oh, J.
    starstarstarstarstar
    by Oh, J.
    check_circleVerified

    He rules!! Plays with a kind of heart that you can't fake.

  6. Review by KENNETH C.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Phil Madeira communicated well with me and emphasized that I should ask any questions during the process. He understood what I needed for my tracks and produced them per my request. His piano and organ tracks were great; exactly what I wanted for my song.

  7. Review by ehagen08
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Phil is an absolute pro. I listened several times trying to think of things I'd change and I just couldn't think of anything. Great communication. Fast turn around. Might have to search the couch cushions so I can have him on more tracks!

  8. Review by Kevin E.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Phil recorded a piano track for me -- he is a superb musician and extremely easy to work with. He is now my go to guy! You won't be disappointed.

  9. Review by vanishingshores
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Phil has an amazing ability to get into the song in just the right ways to add emotion and beauty. A truly incredible musician and artist. Highly recommended.

  10. Review by Nick H.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Phil is extremely talented. A true master of his craft. Very professional to work with. We would definitely collaborate with him again.

  11. Review by Michael Radovsky
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified (Client)

    Phil Madeira is a great and natural all around musician. He knows what he wants but is open to ideas from those he works with. This makes what you do for him enjoyable.

  12. Review by Brian Manasco
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Great work! Highly recommend Phil!

  13. Review by Levi Szendro
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Phil is incredible, a true pro and a super nice guy. Job done in no time. His musicality, personality, feel and professionalism is what you get here. I will book him in for more sessions in a heartbeat.

  14. Review by Robert I.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Like writing songs with a bandmate!

  15. Review by Randy H.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    I've used Phil previously for keyboard tracks but this time I had him record vocals for me. He was excellent. He knew the exact emotive color to use on the tune and took it to the next level. A great artist, a true professional and a super nice gentleman.

  16. Review by Robert I.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Phil and I formed a very productive songwriting partnership. Not only were we successful in accomplishing our goals, but I have a new song already in mind. Thanks, Phil

  17. Review by Jeffery David
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Really easy to work with!

    Plays like a producer with the song in mind which I so appreciate as a producer myself!

    Great parts!

    One of the good guys and his rep is well deserved!

    Jeffery

  18. Review by Randy H.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Phil is the man! If you need some righteous Hammond work then look no further. He is a talented and intuitive player that knows where to take your song. Communicative, professional and an absolute joy to work with. The best!

  19. Review by Tyler G.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    An absolute privilege to work with Phil on a track. His mastery of his craft is immense, and he is a joy to communicate with. Beyond his talent as a player, his production background enhances the quality of tracks that you can expect to receive. Would recommend him to anyone looking for great tones and playing. Can't wait to work with Phil again in the future!

  20. Review by Link
    starstarstarstarstar
    by Link
    check_circleVerified

    I've now finished an album working with Phil and it's been a complete pleasure. His playing, instincts and vibe are so song appropriate, I couldn't hear these songs without his parts. Amazing player and great guy!

Interview with Phil Madeira

  1. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  2. A: I was in two bands in the '70s which traveled nationally. I realized in those days that I probably wasn't going to use my college degree in a literal way. Eventually, I moved to Nashville and enjoyed great success as a songwriter and Hammond Organ player. Buddy Miller hiring me really opened up the Americana scene for me, and that led to playing with Emmylou Harris. My resume shocks me. I have been blessed to work with so many amazing artists- Neville Brothers, Mavis, Emmylou, Keb' Mo', Julie Miller, Patty Griffin, John Scofield, Little Big Town, etc.

  3. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  4. A: Mercyland: Hymns For The Rest Of Us, Vols 1 & 2 is probably the most important project I've done. It's a multi artist concept (two volumes recorded so far) of spiritual, gospel-ish Americana music that follows redemptive themes like inclusion, peace-making, healing, and reconciliation. The artists involved- Emmylou Harris, John Scofield, Shawn Mullins, The Civil Wars, Red Dirt Boys, Will Kimbrough, The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Buddy Miller, Dan Tyminski, The North Mississippi All Stars, David Crowder, Amy Stroup, Sugar and the Hi Lows, Cindy Morgan, The Lone Bellow, The McCrary Sisters, Phil Madeira, Mat Kearney, The Wood Brothers, Angel Snow, Jason Eskridge, and more! Look for Volume 3 in 2020.

  5. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  6. A: I'm doing press and gigs to celebrate the release of "Open Heart", my newest solo record, on Valentines Day 2020. And I'm about to start mixing the follow up project to that.

  7. Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?

  8. A: I'm knocked out by Mary Bragg's singing and songwriting. And drums- the most fantastic drummer on this site that I've worked with is the great Dennis Holt. His sounds are insanely great, top-notch gear, and a diligence to please that is unmatched.

  9. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  10. A: In a format like Soundbetter, digital is really the only plausible platform. But it's fun to record or mix to tape. Most of my gear is warm, tube-y, and vibey, and recording to digital is not going to ruin it.

  11. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  12. A: I'll do my best to make you happy.

  13. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  14. A: In terms of providing music for others, I love the challenge of thinking out of the box, and bringing emotion and wisdom to every track I'm asked to play on.

  15. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  16. A: Why me? Are you sure?

  17. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  18. A: Trust is the key element. We hire people to bring something that we ourselves can't fully provide. It's easy to get myopic about what we did as a demo or what was in our head originally. If you truly don't like what the musician has brought to the table, hopefully you have agreed on retakes, etc. I try and provide at least two takes of a part when I'm doing things virtually.

  19. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  20. A: A Yamaha C7, a Martin 000-28, and an iphone, a generator and a refrigerator.

  21. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  22. A: Eric Clapton. I haven't been overwhelmed by anything he's done since his Unplugged record from years ago. I would love to do a bare bones, real record with him, as I'm such a fan of his character and his playing and singing. His work of the last 20 years seems too careful, which can often squeeze the soul out of a song. So, yes, Eric, give a call ;)

  23. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  24. A: I'm firmly established in Americana Music, which means roots music. But that's a broad palette which for me includes old school country, gospel, blues, jazz, folk, rock, and so on. As a producer, I think the Americana / Folk worlds are where I shine, but I'm thankfully experienced in many genres. I've played on records by Little Big Town, Amy Grant, The Civil Wars, Taj Mahal, and John Scofield- that's a pretty broad range, but I feel like what people are looking for from me is the attitude that they hear in my playing.

  25. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  26. A: I play well with others.

  27. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  28. A: The main thing I bring to a song is my full attention, and the wisdom that it ain't about me; it's about the song and the artist's vision for that song. Self-editing, learning to erase the impressive but unnecessary flourish of notes a less mature musician can't bear to let go of, this is what is required of me. The song is not a vehicle for my hot shot riffs.

  29. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  30. A: I have a small home rig from which I do my overdubs, but I also work nearly exclusively at Sound Emporium, an easy walk from my home in Nashville. It depends on what I'm doing- tracking, vocals, and horns- I like to be in a comfortable facility. Guitars, keys, organ, piano, lap steel... even harmonies- I can do those at home via my UA interface, ProTools, a variety of quality mics, a great tube preamp, and my fabulous collection of instruments- a 1930s National guitar for slide, 4 Martin guitars from the 40s and 50s, a Gibson, many keyboards, a lap steel, and accordion... and my mind ;)

  31. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  32. A: On this site, most of my work is providing instrumental overdubs- piano, Hammond organ, Lap steel, background vocals. I also produce records and tracks. Whatever it is, I generally love being a provider of quality production and delivery.

  33. Q: How would you describe your style?

  34. A: Whether producing, song-writing, or playing an instrument- my style is always about authenticity and emotion. Perfection bores me; I want the human element.

  35. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  36. A: My longtime boss and friend Emmylou Harris has taught me more than anyone else in this business, just about how to "be". But I'm blessed with many- Wayne Kirkpatrick, Brown Bannister, Buddy Miller, Will Kimbrough, Cindy Morgan, Amy Stroup... Musically, I've been inspired by Theolonious Monk, Randy Newman, Joni Mitchell, Ry Cooder, and a long list beyond.

  37. Q: What's your typical work process?

  38. A: Having worked for dozens of artists and producers (check out my allmusic credits- crazy), my process entails whatever process the person hiring me needs. But if I'm steering the ship, I like pre-production, finding keys, tempos, examining the songs with great scrutinty, and then allowing the songs to dictate what happens to them. I love process!

loading
play_arrowpause
skip_previous
skip_next
Madeira Mashup

I was the Producer, keys, guitars, composer in this production

Terms Of Service

Typical turn-around time of 3-5 business days for instrument overdubs; 2 revisions included. Song / album production requires a contract. Songwriting terms are on a song-by-song basis.

Gear Highlights
  • Yamaha C7
  • Kawai upright
  • Hammond B3
  • Mellotron
  • Keyscape library
  • National "O" guitar
  • various Martin guitars from 1932 through the 50s
  • Gibson CF-100 guitar
More Photos
More Samples