Bryan Daste

Multi-instrumentalist/engineer

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8 Reviews (1 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

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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 (one of Rolling Stone's "10 New Country Artists You Should Know"), sharing the stage with The Head and the Heart as a member of Matt Hopper and the Roman Candles, countless shows with Emma Hill and Small Souls, and plenty of session work with the likes of Jeffrey Martin, Evan Phillips, Pretty Gritty, Myrrh Larsen, Anna Tivel and many others.

As a recording/mix engineer and producer, I've worked on many albums for a wide variety of artists and genres.

"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

I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.

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

8 Reviews

Endorse Bryan Daste
  1. Review by Rudolf K.
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    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.

  2. Review by Maria Francis
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    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!

  3. Review by Jeff Overbo
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    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.

  4. Review by Brian Rozendal
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    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.

  5. Review by Blaine Heinonen
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    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.

  6. Review by Sarah Wolff
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    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!

  7. Review by Felix Melamed
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    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.

  8. Review by Emma Hill
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    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: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  2. 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

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

  4. 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.

  5. Q: Analog or digital and why?

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

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

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

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

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

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

  12. 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.

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

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

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

  16. 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?

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

  18. 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? :)

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

  20. 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!

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

  22. 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!

  23. Q: How would you describe your style?

  24. A: Texture-based.

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

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

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

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

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

  30. 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...

  31. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  32. A: Supporting the song.

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

  34. 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

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

  36. 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.

  37. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  38. A: I use the Avid Eleven Rack as my main interface for recording instruments. I have several amps at my disposal, plus a selection of condensor, ribbon and dynamic microphones, including an AKG 414. I use a Millennia TD-1 mic pre, with an Empirical Labs Distressor when needed.

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

  40. 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!

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

  42. 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.

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Demo Reel by Bryan Daste

I was the pedal steel, banjo, & upright bass player, mixer and string arranger in this production

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