Bryan Daste

Pedal Steel, Banjo, Bass, Mix

starstarstarstarstar
36 Reviews (26 Verified)
Bryan Daste on SoundBetter

Lifelong musician Bryan Daste is maybe best known as a pedal steel guitarist, but also specializes in clawhammer banjo, upright bass, and backing vocals. Also a talented recording engineer and producer, Daste is as skilled as he is versatile. "Bryan Daste seems to be able to play just about anything he wants to" - Joe McSpadden, nodepression.com

***********************
Hi, I'm Bryan Daste.

I've been recording and touring with a wide variety of artists for about 13 years. Highlights include touring Europe with Courtney Marie Andrews (she had Rolling Stone's #1 Country/Americana song of 2018), playing with Joan Osborne and Matt the Electrician in Alaska, sharing the stage with The Head and the Heart as a member of Matt Hopper and the Roman Candles (as well as sitting in with Josiah Johnson on his solo show), countless shows with Emma Hill and Small Souls, and plenty of session work with the likes of Jeffrey Martin, Anna Tivel, Evan Phillips, Pretty Gritty, Myrrh Larsen and many others.

As a recording/mix engineer and producer, I've worked on many albums for a wide variety of artists and genres, from Americana to hip hop to opera.

"Daste's production adds an ethereal component to proceedings, imbuing what could otherwise be seen as traditional songwriting with unexpected twists and turns of the sonic variety." - Jonathan Frahm, PopMatters

Click the 'Contact' above to get in touch. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Credits

AllMusic verified credits for Bryan Daste
  • Jonathan J. Bower
  • Scotland Barr
  • Scotland Barr
  • Scotland Barr
  • Scotland Barr
  • Scotland Barr
  • Scotland Barr
  • Scotland Barr
  • Scotland Barr
  • Scotland Barr
  • Scotland Barr
  • Scotland Barr
  • Scotland Barr
  • Jacob Golden
  • Mister Cooper
  • Emma Hill
  • Emma Hill
  • Emma Hill
  • Emma Hill
  • Emma Hill
  • Emma Hill
  • Emma Hill
  • Jeffrey Martin
  • Small Souls
  • Small Souls
  • Small Souls
  • Small Souls
  • Small Souls
  • Small Souls
  • Small Souls
  • Small Souls
  • Small Souls
  • Small Souls
  • Small Souls
  • Small Souls
  • The Slow Drags
  • Scotland Barr & the Slow Drags
  • The Slow Drags
  • Scotland Barr & the Slow Drags
  • The Slow Drags
  • Scotland Barr & the Slow Drags
  • The Slow Drags
  • Scotland Barr & the Slow Drags
  • The Slow Drags
  • Scotland Barr & the Slow Drags
  • The Slow Drags
  • Scotland Barr & the Slow Drags
  • The Slow Drags
  • Scotland Barr & the Slow Drags
  • The Slow Drags
  • Scotland Barr & the Slow Drags
  • The Slow Drags
  • Scotland Barr & the Slow Drags
  • The Slow Drags
  • Scotland Barr & the Slow Drags
  • The Slow Drags
  • Scotland Barr & the Slow Drags
  • The Slow Drags
  • Scotland Barr & the Slow Drags
  • John Nilsen

36 Reviews - 6 Repeat Clients

Endorse Bryan Daste
  1. Review by EJ R.
    starstarstarstarstar
    by
    check_circleVerified

    Very pleased with the work on my track. Definitely will work with him again!

  2. Review by Mel W.
    starstarstarstarstar
    by
    check_circleVerified

    What a great, professional experience with Bryan!

  3. Review by Rina
    starstarstarstarstar
    by
    check_circleVerified

    Bryan is awesome!! Gave me great musical advice and made my song perfect! Will definitely work with him again!

  4. Review by DeAndre S.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Great job and very helpful throughout the process

  5. Review by ehagen08
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Bryan is a total pro. Superb playing. Will really take my tracks to the next level. Went above and beyond with the files he sent to make the mix what I want. Was great to work with and will definitely work with again!

  6. Review by AJ L.
    starstarstarstarstar
    by
    check_circleVerified

    If you're looking for quality instrumentation, recording, and professionalism look no further. Bryan was super easy going and his playing speaks for itself. Really could not have asked for a better experience. I will definitely be working with him again.

  7. Review by Magnus S.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Second time working with Bryan and it was awesome!
    A true professional and he once again provided me with exactly what I was looking for in the song.Very good understanding of what I was after.
    Bryan is great working with and highly recommended!

  8. Review by Matthias Piaux
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Real friendly, genuine and talented Pedal Steel player. Look no further he's your guy.

  9. Review by David L.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    definitely will be a return customer. Bryan is amazing at what he does and wont stop until you're satisfied. great guy, great engineer!

  10. Review by Andy L.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Bryan is an incredibly talented pedal steel guitar player. He listened to my direction and nailed down exactly what I wanted in the first pass. Turnaround was insanely quick too, a matter of a few hours!

  11. Review by Lee K.
    starstarstarstarstar
    by
    check_circleVerified

    Passionate beautiful work

  12. Review by Clinton
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Bryan was friendly, fast and professional. He delivered the perfect harmonies for my song, I highly recommend him.

  13. Review by Charlie R.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Bryan did a great job recording acoustic guitar and lapsteel guitar on my track! His arrangement was lovely and beautifully recorded. Thanks for all your help Bryan!

  14. Review by Matt J.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Brian knocked it out of the park for us. Super fast and easy to work with. Great voice as well!

  15. Review by Ekstent
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Fantastic as always! I will continue to hire him all the time!

  16. Review by Felix C.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Amazing work. Hired Bryan to play a short snippet of acoustic guitar, and not only did he actually ask me how I wanted it, but also included two muted guitar patterns. Again; amazing work! Thank you! :)

  17. Review by Magnus S.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Bryan was an absolute pleasure to work with.
    Professional, sincere, very communicative and interested in what I, as client wanted.
    Can really recommend Bryan.

  18. Review by Shawn JS
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Amazing pedal steel work!! Can't wait to do another project with Bryan.
    Super fast and professional to work with.

  19. Review by Matt J.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Bryan was super responsive, and had me a version of the track within 24 hours! Really happy with the work.

  20. Review by Bonnie R.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Bryan responded right away, and did exactly what he said he would do. He got the job done quickly.

  21. Review by Ekstent
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Excellent as usual! I really appreciate how quickly he works as well. Uber professional and after 4 tracks I’ve yet to have to ask him to adjust a take or give him any guidance. He just nails it!

  22. Review by Ekstent
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    I’ve worked with Bryan three times now and have never had to ask for a revision! Superb!!!!

  23. Review by Ekstent
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Absolutely fantastic! Exceeded all expectations. I will happily work with him on other songs and will keep him in mind for any future productions. SUPERB!

  24. Review by Ben Wallick
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Bryan's playing really meshed with the vibe we were going for on the track and was happy to accommodate our revisions. 5 stars!

  25. Review by Rudolf K.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Thanks so much again! Nailed it dude, I will send more when ready .
    Thanks again.

  26. Review by Rudolf K.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Bryan was super easy to work with. Great communication and chops. He nailed what I was going for. Looking forward to including him more of my music.

  27. Review by Bryn Loosley
    starstarstarstarstar
    by

    Bryan has mixed, sung, and played pedal steel on two of my albums, some of it remote and some of it in person. He is never anything less than perfect. His musicianship is top-notch, but more importantly, his instincts are right on. Moreover, he's a delight to work with. Hire him immediately.

  28. Review by Milo Fultz
    starstarstarstarstar

    Bryan is one of those artists that always plays what will sound good every time. I've performed and recorded with him in a few different groups and he always contributes great energy and musical ideas to every situation.

  29. Review by Tyler Fortier
    starstarstarstarstar

    I love the way Bryan approaches a song. I’ve hired him countless times as a pedal steel player for my own music, as well as for projects I’m producing for other songwriters. I’ve also used him for bass and dobro. He always knows where to be, what play, and what to highlight. Fantastic sensibility. I appreciate his communication, quick turn around times, and openness to feedback/direction. I can’t recommend him more.

  30. Review by Maria Francis
    starstarstarstarstar
    by

    Bryan Daste is the consummate professional musician. He has played pedal steel and dobro on our most recent recording project and we are beyond thrilled with his performance. He is a highly skilled player who not only has an intuitive feel for the music he is playing, he is also a great collaborator. Bryan is fun and easy to work with, I can't recommend him highly enough!

  31. Review by Jeff Overbo
    starstarstarstarstar
    by

    I have worked with Bryan as engineer, steel and dobro session player and live steel player. I absolutely love what he brings to the session. It is like he read my mind, but better. He is always prepared, shows up with out ego, and is super easy to work with.

  32. Review by Brian Rozendal
    starstarstarstarstar
    by

    I’ve been playing music with Bryan for nine years, and I can say without hesitation that his professionalism and craft are second to none. Whether collaborating on songwriting, writing melodies, producing recording sessions, mixing complicated arrangments, or touring and playing live every night, Bryan raises the level of everyone around him with his professional attitude and great sense of humor.

  33. Review by Blaine Heinonen
    starstarstarstarstar
    by

    Bryan Daste is the Swiss Army knife of musicians. Excelling in every avenue he chooses. Whether it be arranging, producing, engineering or simply playing any instrument he has in his aresenal. I feel that musicianship and taste can be hard to find in even the most learned of players. This is definitly NOT a problem for Bryan Daste. He truly is a stellar human both on and off the stage.

  34. Review by Sarah Wolff
    starstarstarstarstar
    by

    I have had the pleasure of working with Brian for over 2 years. Both in the studio and on gigs. He is truly a master at his crafts and he’s very easy to work with. Bryan is basically the poster child for integrity and professionalism. He has always been 100% reliable and never fails to make our music more compelling!

  35. Review by Felix Melamed
    starstarstarstarstar
    by

    I have worked with Bryan over the last three albums that I recorded. He recorded pedal steel, standup bass, and banjo for me. What can I say about Bryan? He is as good as it gets. Great chops, excellent equipment, and superb taste. He has got the goods to play with the best (not talking about myself now) and well deserves it. No attitude. No ego. Will use his services again and again.

  36. Review by Emma Hill
    starstarstarstarstar
    by

    I've worked with Bryan since 2007. At first as a producer and recording engineer and then as a player in my band. He is extremely talented in both fields. His ear for arrangement is tasteful and unique. Being a multi-instrumentalist, he brings a lot to the table as both a session and live player. His vocal harmony work is also stellar. I envision working with Bryan for the rest of my career.

Interview with Bryan Daste

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

  2. A: Yes - Tyler Fortier is a great producer. Kyleen King for strings.

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

  4. A: I recently finished an album called "Unheard, Unseen" for Small Souls, a duo I'm part of with a guy named Brian Rozendal. We worked on the album for about two years, start to finish, which included demoing out everything. We spent a ton of time in pre-production so that when we got to making the "real" album, we had already worked out the kinks. Sometimes you have to do the obvious thing first and then find something more interesting. Brian's songwriting is amazing, so I had great raw material to work with, but I'm really proud of how that album turned out. It's dark, challenging, and beautiful. Check it out - https://smallsouls.bandcamp.com/album/unheard-unseen

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

  6. A: Working on a couple steel tracks for Evan Phillips from Alaska. He's the frontman of the group The Whipsaws, as well as a solo artist.

  7. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  8. A: I like a big fat analog front end and the convenience of digital editing! Best of both worlds.

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

  10. A: I promise to listen deeply to both your music and your thoughts about what you want. I hate "one-size-fits-all."

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

  12. A: I love to make things sound cool!

  13. Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?

  14. A: "Where'd you learn that pedal steel thingie?" I took lessons here and there and picked up a lot from my fellow steel players. There's a great community and brotherhood surrounding pedal steel. Also, transcription is a powerful learning tool.

  15. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  16. A: That it's easy! Haha...

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

  18. A: What do you want the (steel, banjo, bass) to achieve in the song? What are the lyrics about? What emotions do you want to convey?

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

  20. A: Have an idea of what you want from the performer beforehand, and be descriptive, but leave room for the player to work his/her magic. That's why you hired them, right? :)

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

  22. A: Well, definitely my Emmons S-12 push/pull pedal steel. That thing is like my best friend. The Millennia mic pre and AKG 414 are both "Swiss Army knife" pieces of gear that are super versatile. Add my Goldtone banjo and Becker upright bass and I'm a happy guy!

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

  24. A: I have a degree in audio engineering from the University of Miami, and I started my professional career in audio post production (TV, radio). When I moved to Portland I transitioned to music full time and never looked back! I split time between the road and the studio. I love both and don't think I could choose if I had to!

  25. Q: How would you describe your style?

  26. A: Texture-based.

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

  28. A: Too many to list! I've always thought The Avett Brothers could use some steel guitar :-)

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

  30. A: Coco Chanel once said "before leaving the house, a lady should look in the mirror and remove one accessory."

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

  32. A: A lot of folk, Americana, and singer/songwriter material, though I do "get weird" every now and then. I've played on psychedelic rock records, aggressive goth-rock, pure country, cosmic country, high energy roots rock...

  33. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  34. A: Supporting the song.

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

  36. A: I really strive to listen with an arranger's ear. Nobody's interested in hearing me play a bunch of stuff "just because I can." The parts I play should really fit the song, and enhance the lyric rather than obscuring it. I try to find the push and release already inherent in the song and enhance it. In fact, that's my motto: "Enhance...enhance...enhance!" "His arrangements on Denali are incredibly intuitive, and the choices he makes underscore his knack for knowing exactly what is needed to best showcase each song. Daste has a light touch, avoiding the temptation to clutter, allowing the tunes to breathe. But his skills don’t stop there; Bryan Daste is an excellent harmony singer. Add to that his selfless work ethic; he does everything to support the artist and nothing to draw undue attention to himself. He faithfully serves the singer and the song, in the process becoming invaluable to both. The list of instruments he employs is lengthy, and the manner in which he wields them is tasteful and understated. His presence, indispensible, adds depth to the live performance of Hill's material." - Joe McSpadden, The Flame Still Burns

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

  38. A: For instrumental tracking, I usually start by charting out the song in the Nashville Number System, with as much rhythmic detail as I can. Then I set up a session with the rough mix of the song, a click if applicable, and track for the miked signal as well as a DI channel. I'll read over the client's notes and then take a rough pass at the song. Usually I will play the song between 5-10 times total, until I am pleased with every note. Sometimes I will edit together the take or replay sections to flow together seamlessly.

  39. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  40. A: I have several amps at my disposal, plus a selection of condensor, ribbon and dynamic microphones, including an AKG 414 and a Shure SM7B. I use a Millennia TD-1 mic pre, with an Empirical Labs Distressor when needed. I use a Kemper Profiler with a bunch of custom profiles I made myself, plus some purchased profiles from top profile makers.

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

  42. A: I love what Greg Leisz does on pedal steel for so many diverse artists...he really gets that beautiful, almost indescribable tone out of his instrument. And he plays an Emmons like me!

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

  44. A: A lot of my online work consists of playing pedal steel for clients. I also specialize in clawhammer banjo, which is a rhythmic/melodic style that has a warmer, less brash sound than the more typical bluegrass style. Those are my two main touring instruments as well. I've also added upright bass (always loved that sound) into the mix, plus electric bass. I also work as a recording and mixing engineer in Portland and remotely.

loading
play_arrowpause
skip_previous
skip_next
Demo reel (various artists)

I was the pedal steel, banjo, bass player (also mixed most of these) in this production


  1. play_arrow
    pause
    Demo reel (various artists)
  2. play_arrow
    pause
    "Magnesium Dreams" by Emma Hill
  3. play_arrow
    pause
    "Tender" by Silver Lake 66
  4. play_arrow
    pause
    "Furiously Happy" by Emma Hill
Terms Of Service

For instrumental work, two revisions included.

GenresSounds Like
  • The Avett Brothers
  • The Jayhawks
  • First Aid Kit
Gear Highlights
  • Emmons S-12 extended E9 push/pull pedal steel
  • Goldtone MM-150 openback banjo
  • Becker upright bass
More Photos
More Samples
SoundBetter Deal

Bulk discounts - ask!