Garth Brooks & The G-Men
Garth Brooks, the first artist to see seven of his albums sell more than 10 million albums each and earning him seven Diamond Awards from the Recording Industry Association of America, has sold more than 138 million albums in his career to date.
Garth came to Nashville in 1987 and began recording demos with a core group of studio musicians: Bruce Bouton (Steel Guitar), Mark Casstevens (Rhythm Guitar), Mike Chapman (Bass), Rob Hajocos (Fiddle), Chris Leuzinger (Lead Guitar), Milton Sledge (Drums) and Bobby Wood (Keyboards). That core group, now known as “The G-Men,” recorded all of Garth’s studio albums and singles. “The G-Men,” along with Garth on rhythm guitar, have defined the Garth Brooks sound as one that is tight, energetic, smooth, authentic and commercial.
Jerry Reed Hubbard was a guitarist, singer, songwriter and actor known professionally as Jerry Reed. He was born in Atlanta, GA and at age 18 was signed by famed music publisher, Bill Lowery, where he became part of Lowery’s staff band with Joe South and Ray Stevens. After serving two years in the Army, Jerry moved to Nashville, TN where he recorded with Chet Atkins. Reed picked guitar and used unusual tunings for many of his songs. His biggest hits “Amos Moses,” “When Your’re Hot, You’re Hot,” and “Eastbound And Down” featured his unique songwriting and his impressive guitar picking. Jerry Reed was one of only five guitarists who Chet Atkins knighted as C.G.P. (Certified Guitar Player).
Sigma Sound Rhythm Section
The Sigma Sound Studio Rhythm Section included drummers Earl Young and Charles Collins, guitar players Norman Harris, Bobby Eli, T.J. Tindall, Roland Chambers III and Dennis Harris, bass players Ronnie Baker and Jimmie Williams, congas Larry Washington, keyboards Thom Bell, and vibes Vince Montana. The Sigma Sound Studio Rhythm Section was a stable group of session musicians who worked together to develop the unique Philadelphia sound used as backing for many different artists such as Hall & Oates, Patti LaBelle, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, The O’Jays, Billy Paul, Teddy Pendergrass, Lou Rawls and The Stylistics, providing the musical background for such standards as “Backstabbers,” “For The Love Of Money,” “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” and “Love Train.”
Rickie Lee Skaggs, known professionally as Ricky Skaggs, was born in Cordell, KY and started playing music at age 5. He is a country, bluegrass, gospel and folk singer, musician, producer, and composer. In addition to playing the mandolin, he plays fiddle, guitar, mandocaster and banjo. Ricky Skaggs is a musicians musician and has performed and / or recorded with Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, Ralph Stanley and his Clinch Mountain Boys, J.D. Crowe and new South, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Jack White, Ry Cooder, Phish, The Raconteurs, Bruce Hornsby and The Whites, to name just a few. Skaggs has many awards and accolades including 14 GRAMMY Awards, eight CMA Awards, eight ACM Awards and 13 IBMA Awards.
Donald William Felder, known professionally as Don Felder, was born in Gainesville, FL. He acquired his first guitar when he was 10 years old and is a self-taught musician. At the age of 15, he started his first band, The Continentals, which included Stephen Stills. He also gave guitar lessons to Tom Petty at a local music shop in Gainesville at which time he learned how to play slide guitar from Duane Allman. Don was invited to join The Eagles in 1974 when membership in the band was changing along with its musical style. Don wrote the music for the album’s title cut, “Hotel California” and while doing so created one of the most iconic riffs in recording history, which makes “Hotel California” immediately recognizable.
Allen Reynolds, from North Little Rock, Arkansas, attended Southwestern College (now known as Rhodes College) in Memphis, TN where he met Cowboy Jack Clement at Sun Studios. When Clement moved to Beaumont, TX to build and run a recording studio, Allen followed. In 1964, when back in Memphis, Allen and his college friend, Dicky Lee, formed a publishing and production company. In 1965, Allen had national success as a songwriter penning the pop group The Vogues’ hit single, “Five O’Clock World.” In 1970, he moved to Nashville and joined Cowboy Jack Clement’s label, JMI Records. The first hit he produced was “Catfish John” for Johnny Russell. In the ’70’s he began working with Don Williams and produced numerous albums.
In 1975, Reynolds purchased Jack Clement’s Studio, Jack’s Tracks, where he produced ten of Crystal Gayle’s albums. Allen also produced commercially successful albums on Emmylou Harris, Kathy Mattea, and Hal Ketchum. Allen produced Garth Brooks’ first
album, “Garth Brooks,” which was released in 1987 and working with The G-Men session players, produced all of Brooks’ albums until he recently retired.
Lou Bradley began his career working in radio in his hometown of Pensacola, FL. After serving in the Army, he worked at WLAW radio in Lawrenceville, GA and attended electronics school. While in GA, he worked in the studio for a highly successful music publisher, Bill Lowrey. While there, Lou worked with recording artists that included Mac Davis, Razzy Bailey, Joe South, Johnny Christopher, engineering a number of national hits such as “Cherry Hill Park” by Billy Joe Royal. IN 1969, while working at Columbia Recording Studios in Nashville, TN for famed music producer Billy Sherrill, Lou engineered projects for Charlie Rich, Tammy Wynette, George Arnold and Bob Dylan, to name a few. Lou engineered the last studio session in the famed Quonset Hut (Columbia Recording Studio B) in June, 1982 when John Anderson recorded “Swingin’.” After the Columbia Recording Studios closed, Lou became a freelance engineer and worked with Merle Haggard in Redding, CA.
While working with producer Allen Reynolds at Jack’s Tracks Studio in Nashville, Mark engineered numerous albums with artists including Hal Ketchum, Don Williams, Kathy Mattea, Crystal Gayle, Garth Brooks, Emmylou Harris, Paul Simon, and George Jones. Mark has engineered some of the biggest songs in country music history, including “Friends in Low Places,” “The Thunder Rolls” and “The Dance.”
Ron “Snake” Reynolds
Ron “Snake” Reynolds, born in Nashville, TN, began his career as a teenager singing and playing guitar in local Top 40 and R&B
bands before becoming an in demand recording engineer. He was chief recording engineer at Fred Carter, Jr.’s Nugget Studio and a staff engineer at Columbia Recording Studios in Nashville where he recorded George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Charlie Rich, Marie Osmond, Dave Loggins, Elvis Costello, John Hiatt, and J.J. Cale, to name a few. As a freelance engineer, he worked with Merle Haggard, Ray Charles, John Denver, Keith Urban, Shania Twain as well as actors Steve Martin, Steven Seagal and Billy Bob Thornton. During his career he has engineered over 600 Billboard Top 40 hits including 60 number one hits. He engineered over 100 gold, platinum and multi-platinum records, received nine GRAMMY citations, and six Golden Reel Awards.
Joe Tarsia grew up in Philadelphia with a love of music and electronics. His recording engineer skills can be heard on classic pop music tracks by such artists as Thom Bell, Chubby Checker, Dee Dee Sharp, The Dovells, Bobby Rydell, Billy Paul and Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. Engineering these artists and many others earned him over 150 gold and platinum record awards. He was also the founder and owner of the legendary Sigma Sound Studio which was the recording base of Gamble and Huff’s Philadelphia International Records. Joe Tarsia and Sigma Sound Studio became synonymous with “The Sound of Philadelphia.”