Matt Combs

strings • solo to ensemble

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10 Reviews
Matt Combs on SoundBetter

One stop shop for string arrangements and/or fiddle parts. I do all of the arrangement and string recording for Dan Auerbach's Easy Eye Sound recordings including Ceelo Green and Yola. I also arranged and performed strings on Cage The Elephant's Grammy winning "Social Cues". Produced and played fiddle on "The John Hartford Fiddle Tune Project."

I arrange and play violin, viola, cello and upright bass. As an arranger I have recently worked with the following producers: Dan Auerbach (Black Keys, Yola, Cello Green), Dave "Fergie" Ferguson (Sturgill Simpson), John Carter Cash (Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn), Jarrad K (Ruston Kelly, Sara Evans, Lucie Silvas), T-Bone Burnett, Ian Fitchuk (Kasey Musgraves), and Don Was. In addition to my string arranging, I have contributed as a violinist to many Nashville string sessions. I also record fiddle, mandolin, old-time banjo, and acoustic guitar. As a former member of the Grand Ole Opry staff band, I am well versed in Bluegrass, Country and Americana music. My fiddle, mandolin and banjo can be heard in the video game Red Dead Redemption and 2010's Grammy nominated album "Memories of John" from the John Hartford String Band of which I was a member. Recently I have contributed to the soundtracks of the hit series "Yellowstone" starring Kevin Costner, "Color Out of Space" starring Nic Cage, National Geographic's "Barkskins", ABC's "Nashville" and Roots starring Forrest Whittaker.

Contact me through the green button above and let's get to work.

Credits

AllMusic verified credits for Matt Combs
  • CeeLo Green
  • Colin Stetson
  • Colin Stetson
  • Colin Stetson
  • Colin Stetson
  • Marcus King
  • Matt Wilson
  • Matt Wilson Quartet
  • Matt Wilson
  • Matt Wilson Quartet
  • Lennon Stella
  • Maisy Stella
  • Nashville Cast
  • Lennon Stella
  • Maisy Stella
  • Nashville Cast
  • Lennon Stella
  • Nashville Cast
  • Lennon Stella
  • Nashville Cast
  • Little Big Town
  • Early James
  • John Anderson
  • Cage the Elephant
  • Cage the Elephant
  • Cage the Elephant
  • Kendell Marvel
  • Dee White
  • Yola
  • Yola
  • Shannon Shaw
  • Shannon Shaw
  • Jake Bugg
  • Jake Bugg
  • Jake Bugg
  • Bobby Osborne
  • The Eisenhauers
  • The Eisenhauers
  • Dan Auerbach
  • Zucchero
  • The Special Consensus
  • The Special Consensus
  • Loretta Lynn
  • Loretta Lynn
  • Leaf Rapids
  • Brandon Heath
  • Nashville Cast
  • Nashville Cast
  • Nashville Cast
  • Kevin Costner
  • Kevin Costner & Modern West
  • Kevin Costner
  • Kevin Costner & Modern West
  • Kevin Costner
  • Kevin Costner & Modern West
  • Kevin Costner
  • Kevin Costner & Modern West
  • Elizabeth Cook
  • Slugs & Bugs
  • Slugs & Bugs
  • Hush
  • Kevin Costner
  • Kevin Costner & Modern West
  • Kevin Costner
  • Kevin Costner & Modern West
  • Dale Ann Bradley
  • John Ford Coley
  • Kevin Costner
  • Kevin Costner & Modern West
  • Kevin Costner
  • Kevin Costner & Modern West
  • The John Hartford Stringband
  • The John Hartford Stringband
  • The John Hartford Stringband
  • Elizabeth Cook
  • Elizabeth Cook
  • Elizabeth Cook
  • Elizabeth Cook
  • Diana Jones
  • Andrew Duhon
  • Andrew Duhon
  • Stuart Rosh
  • Elizabeth Cook
  • Elizabeth Cook
  • Shelby Merchant
  • Donna Beasley
  • Pickin' On
  • Pickin' On
  • Joe Croker
  • Joe Croker
  • Matt Combs
  • Matt Combs
  • Matt Combs
  • Matt Combs
  • Matt Combs
  • Matt Combs
  • Matt Combs
  • K.C. Groves
  • Jim Roll
  • Brian Lillie & The Squirrel Mountain Orchestra
  • Kevin Costner & Modern West
  • Kevin Costner & Modern West
  • Dan Auerbach
  • CeeLo Green
  • Yola
  • Early James
  • Steve Young
  • Melissa DuPuy
  • Marty Young
  • Melissa Du Puy
  • Zella Day
  • Zella Day
  • Zella Day
  • Garry West
  • Gao Hong
  • Matt Combs
  • Yair Dalal
  • George Kahumoku Jr.
  • Alison Brown
  • Gao Hong & Friends
  • Garry West
  • Gao Hong
  • Matt Combs
  • Yair Dalal
  • George Kahumoku Jr.
  • Alison Brown
  • Gao Hong & Friends
  • Yola
  • Pieternel
  • Pieternel
  • Thom Moore
  • Thom Moore
  • Thom Moore
  • Thom Moore
  • Hezekiah Goode
  • Donna Beasley
  • Moonshine Falls
  • Zella Day
  • John Anderson

10 Reviews

Endorse Matt Combs
  1. Review by Grant Maloy Smith
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    Matt played all the fiddle on my new album APPALACHIA - AMERICAN STORIES. He is not only a great player who can play first violin in a symphony orchestra in the afternoon and then hoe down with the best of them in a country band at night, but he is a genuine pleasure to work with. A total professional!

  2. Review by Bill Reynolds
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    by

    Matt is awesome to work with, we have done several sessions together. I first heard him on Yola's record, So good. He makes me the track sound vibrant and fresh. I have worked with many string players who also arrange, Matt is hands down the best.

  3. Review by Christopher Henry
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    by

    From tasteful bluegrass/old-time/country to sophisticated orchestration, Matt is extremely
    Intuitive, super easy to work with, and can often turn things around very quickly. He has helped Many some of the favorite recordings I have produced expand and fulfill their potential. His credits are very impressive, he is very aware of energy in general, an excellent communicator, and one of my favorite people. Check him out!!

  4. Review by Philip Creamer
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    by

    I sent Matt my tune, and within a few days he turned in a beautiful final product. I was so pleased that my producer and I didn’t have any notes, and the recording he captured perfectly matched our production in tone and feel. On top of it all, he’s such an easy guy to work with. Hire Matt if you’d like to be really happy with your string arrangements.

  5. Review by Jeff
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    by

    After being recommended by Jeff Taylor (TIME JUMPERS), I had the pleasure of working and recording Matt on an album project I’m currently producing and recording remotely using my virtual remote studio, VSN here in Nashville.Matt is a true gentleman and I can't say enough GREAT things about his talent, versatility, stellar contributions & communication skills while having a GREAT attitude throughout!! I would highly recommend Matt for just about any style and genre of music!

    Virtual Studio Networks (VSN
    www.virtualstudionetworks.com

  6. Review by Rick Clark
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    by

    The Nashville area has more world-class players per square mile than anywhere in the world. So what sets Matt apart from all this excellence? He clearly has the chops and discipline. For me, Matt is one of those creatives who loves jumping into the crazy creative rabbit holes and creating surprising magic that elevates a project into something special. He is easy going and has a great sense of humor. Any session with Matt is going to be fun and rewarding. I’m very proud of the work we’ve done together and I look forward more in the future.

  7. Review by Oliver Schnee
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    by

    I have worked with Matt Combs on several occasions, and each time I am blown away! Whether he’s playing in an orchestra, stacking strings at his studio, or laying down a solo violin part, I have always been more than satisfied with hiring him. His playing is so tasteful. Oh, and he plays violin, viola, cello, and bass...all really well too! It’s one thing to be a skilled musician (which Matt absolutely is), but it’s even better when they have a wonderful personality full of kindness, patience, and who are open minded. Plus, every session always has plenty of laughter & smiles! Hire him, now.

  8. Review by Lauren Balthrop
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    Matt and I worked together on a piano ballad and he layered the most amazing and haunting strings. It is so beautiful and gives me chills every time I listen.

    He is a versatile string player and can handle any style or genre you send his way. Hands down one of the best string players in the world.

  9. Review by Jordan Miller
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    by

    I used Matt for the first time in March of this year- and have used him on every track since. He can work well within any genre thrown at him, and you always know you’re going to get something exciting. If you are considering putting strings on any of your music, Matt is the guy. Guaranteed!

  10. Review by John McLaggan (Tomato/Tomato)
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    by

    We could not have had a better experience with Matt. His string arrangements were brilliant and he truly elevated our tracks to a higher level. He was always quick to respond to emails and a true pleasure to work with. If you need strings, contact Matt right now!

Interview with Matt Combs

  1. Q: How would you describe your style?

  2. A: I always try to be a servant to the song. Depending on what's needed, my string arrangement style can lean toward the sounds found on old Al Green recording, toward more modern sounds, or more like a classic lush arrangement. Strings can be heard in every style of music and I enjoy supplying that unique sound to any song in any genre.

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

  4. A: Stylistically, I'm all over the map, but I've been arranging and playing on a lot of rock and roll and Americana styles. Although, I'm equally versed in country styles and classical music. I also really enjoy writing for screen.

  5. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  6. A: I have a 900 square foot studio attached to the back of my house where I do all of my recording. My room is nicely tuned and is a good mixture between live and fully treated. I have a fine selection of mics that are complimentary to strings (AEA,Peluso, AKG) and some top shelf mic pre amps (Grace, Shadow Hills, Focusrite).

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

  8. A: I love Dan Auerbach's 2016 album called "Waiting on a Song". It was the first time I started working with Dan and since then I've played on nearly all of Easy Eye Sound's releases. Working with Dan really opened up my mind to the possibilities of what can be done with strings in a rock and roll-ish setting.

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

  10. A: A theme song for an upcoming TV show.

  11. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  12. A: I work digitally for ease of editing and self producing.

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

  14. A: You're going to be happy with what I provide.

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

  16. A: My favorite part about being a session musician is making other people's music sound better. I also enjoy the immediate creativity.

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

  18. A: What is it that YOU want to hear? Do you have specific ideas, or do you want me to just "do my thing?"

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

  20. A: Check out my Spotify playlist--it gives you a wide range of what it is that I can offer.

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

  22. A: I could get by with one violin, one mic and a computer, but I certainly love my studio and wouldn't want to get sand in my fiddle.

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

  24. A: I have been working in Nashville in various musical capacities since 1997. After earning a bachelors of music of University of Michigan, I moved to Nashville to be around the best musicians in the world. I have worked in the live fields playing fiddle and touring with many top acts (John Hartford, Reba, Patty Loveless) then I became the house fiddler and mandolin player for the Grand Ole Opry. in 2015 I quit my job at the Opry to focus more on being a session musician which is my passion.

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

  26. A: I would love to work with Adele. She has a classic sound while still being innovative. I would also love to work with Childish Gambino because..obviously.

  27. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  28. A: When stacking strings, to avoid phase issues, I incorporate different instruments, mutes and playing styles to sound more like a section and less like one person playing everything.

  29. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  30. A: My strongest skill is listening to a track and finding the spots where I need to play that makes the track sound better. Be it a beautiful intro, a lift to the Chorus or background pads, I always strive to bring out the best in a song.

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

  32. A: Strings bring a very special magic to a song. They do a very unique and special thing and really help a track sound full. I can make your track sound "expensive" without hiring an arranger and a room full of string players.

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

  34. A: In string arranging, my first step is to work with the artist to first see if there are any ideas or lines that are already baked in the track that I can double or accent, then I take a fresh pass to see what ideas pop out. Once a general line is developed, I work with the other instruments in the string family to make a full arrangement. How large the arrangement gets is often dictated by the track itself, or by the artist or producer.

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

  36. A: In the string arrangement world, my main influences are Dan Auerbach, Willie Mitchell, and David Campbell. In the folk and Americana field, my main influence and mentor is/was John Hartford.

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

  38. A: I mostly do string overdubs at my home studio in Nashville, TN. Anything from solo violin (or fiddle) to a full string section.

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Dan Auerbach "King of a One Horse Town"

I was the string arranger and sole string performer in this production

GenresSounds Like
  • Dan Auerbach
  • Al Green
  • John Hartford
Gear Highlights
  • A selection of fine string instruments (violin
  • viola
  • cello bass)
  • AEA ribbon mics
  • Grace
  • Shadow Hills and Focusrite Mic PreAmps.
More Photos
More Samples