Professional session multi-instrumentalist. Seven years of professional level touring based out of Nashville, TN before moving to Los Angeles in 2014, where I signed a record deal with my band, Mount Holly, within six months of forming the band. Our debut album reach #32 on the iTunes Alternative charts the same day it was released.
I have been playing at a professional level for over 10 years. I am very proficient on lead guitar, bass, vocals, and lyric writing. My ear is one of my greatest strengths and I am very quick to create and record parts. I have a deep background in a variety of genres including: blues, rock, pop, funk, r&b, soul, folk, americana, country, and jazz. I can also offer a bit of keys, synth, and over all production.
I got my start in Nashville, TN back in 2007, where I achieved regional and international success with original rock group, Blackwater James. We were featured in several issues of Classic Rock magazine as well as landing top 40 radio play on over 2 dozen radio stations in the UK. After my time in Blackwater, I quickly landed a gig as the touring lead guitarist for platinum selling country artist, Chase Rice. Upon moving to LA, I formed original Alternative group, Mount Holly. Within 6 months of being a band we signed a record deal with Razor & Tie Records and began touring both nationally and internationally. Our debut album reach #32 on the iTunes Alternative charts the same day it was released.
I am currently freelancing session work. I have professional level gear and a fast turn-around rate on recording and sending back parts.
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Interview with Deanna Passarella
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Mount Holly's debut album, Stride By Stride. I was a co-writer for the entire album as well as played bass and sang background vocals. We recorded live to an Ampex MM1000 2" 16 track tape machine. It came from Quonset Hut Studios on Nashville's Music Row and was used to cut Johnny Cash's "Ring Of Fire" and countless other classic records. So that was a cool experience. The album also did really well upon release.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Currently I am working on my first ever single for my solo project. I'm in the process of editing and mixing. I also freelance live performance in and around the Los Angeles area.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Mostly analog but digital has come a long way. I prefer the warmth and fuller tone that analog provides, especially a tube amp for guitars.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I can work fast and am very open to receiving as much creative input as you like to give. I want you to be happy with the product so I put your vision of the song over my own opinions and style. I am very adaptable.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I am very passionate about music. I've been playing for 15 years and grew up in a family of musicians. It's been my entire life. This is what I love to do.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I ask for samples of songs or artists they want the recording to be in the same vibe as. I ask for references for tones.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My grandfather's 1963 Gibson 335, my 1961 Gibson SG, Martin D-41, Supro amp, a reverb pedal.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started off in Nashville with an original rock group, Blackwater James. We wrote two albums that had some regional and international success. After leaving the group, I went on the road as lead guitarist for platinum selling country artist, Chase Rice. I moved to Los Angeles in 2014 where I quickly formed original group, Mount Holly. We quickly signed a record deal with Razor & Tie Records and began touring nationally as well as internationally. Our debut album was release at #32 on the iTunes Alternative charts the same day it was released. We also wrote the title track, Roll Out, for the Transformers franchise themed compilation album that was released by Hasbro and Sony Entertainment.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Blues/Americana with a splash of funk and soul.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Bill Withers....the man knows how to groove. His songs just make your feel something good.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Getting good clean tone with the right levels is key.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Blues, funk, rock, soul, Americana, folk, and country.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My ear and quick ability to create/learn parts. I am super fast to hear parts and perform them. I have a constant flow of ideas in my head that allows me to track rather quickly. I also have a strong sense of rhythm and phrasing.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I am really good about not over playing. I understand the music is a conversation between instruments and its purpose is to tell a story, to convey emotion. I focus on creating parts the compliment each other and service the song, rather than trying to throw in a bunch of notes that are out of context. I have a strong sense of rhythm and pocket as well. I know how to make it groove.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Jeff Beck, John Mayer, Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers, Al Green, Gary Clark Jr., The Black Keys, Little Dragon,
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Guitar: rhythm and lead, bass, vocals: melody, harmony, & lyrics, song composition, music for film, keys, synth