Our Studio Superheroes
These guitarists have played on some of the greatest records ever made. Their wisdom is priceless, so these brief biogs can’t come close to doing them justice.
Steve Lukather (b. 1957) is an A-list session guitarist in LA who has played on countless sessions. He is also a founding member of Toto, not to mention a busy solo artist. Highlights: Sessions with artists such as Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Paul McCartney, Earth Wind And Fire, Richard Marx, The Tubes, Olivia Newton John, Dolly Parton, Donna Summer, Quincy Jones. His most recent album is Transition. www.stevelukather.com
Louie Shelton (b.1941) is an A-list Los Angeles session guitarist, most prominent during 1960-1990. He was also a member of The Wrecking Crew.
Highlights: Ella Fitzgerald, Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, Whitney Houston, James Brown, Smokey Robinson, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Jackson Five, Otis Spann, Solomon Burke, T-Bone Walker; Joe Cocker, Boz Skaggs, Kenny Rogers, Neil Diamond, Michael McDonald. His most recent album is Bluesland. www.louieshelton.com
Jay Graydon (b. 1949) is an A-list LA session guitarist, most prominent between the ’60s through to the ’80s. Hi credits include Barbra Streisand, Dolly Parton, Diana Ross, The Jackson Five, Cheap Trick, Christopher Cross, Ray Charles, Donna Summer, Cher, Joe Cocker, Marvin Gaye, Hall & Oates, Olivia NewtonJohn, Albert King, Air Supply, George Benson, Al Jarreau, Art Garfunkel, Manhattan Transfer, Johnny Mathis, Patti LaBelle, Lou Rawls, Kenny Rogers and Dionne Warwick.
Highlights include: Sessions with Steely Dan, Manhattan Transfer, Christopher Cross, Earth Wind And Fire, George Benson, Barbara Streisand, Al Jarreau, Alice Cooper, Dolly Parton, Marvin Gaye, Hall And Oates, Ray Charles, Olivia Newton John, The Jackson Five, Randy Goodrum, David Foster. Latest album is Airplay For The Planet. www.jaygraydon.com
Dominic Miller (b. 1960) has been largely associated with Sting since the early ’90s but he is also a solo artist and has played on numerous sessions.
Highlights: Sessions with artists such as Phil Collins, Ronan Keating, Rod Stewart, The Pretenders, Julia Fordham, Level 42. dominicmiller.com
Dennis Coffey (b. 1940) was a prominent studio musician from the age of 15 onwards for many soul and R&B recordings, especially for Motown and with The Funk Brothers. Highlights: Sessions with artists such as Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Quincy Jones, Gladys Knight, The Miracles, Funkadelic, Wilson Pickett, Diana Ross And The Supremes, Stevie Wonder. His most recent album is Hot Coffey In The D; Burnin’ at Morey Baker’s Showplace Lounge. denniscoffeysite.com
Carl Verheyen (b. 1954) is an A-list session guitarist in LA, working on pop dates and movie soundtracks from the late ’80s onwards. He is also a prominent member of legendary British group Supertramp, as well as being a busy solo artist.
Highlights: Sessions with artists including The Bee Gees, Cher, David Benoit, Richard Elliot, Dan Siegal, Rick Braun; guitar for movie soundtracks such as The Crow, Dusk To Dawn, The Usual Suspects, Dark Water and Ratatouille His most recent album is The Grand Design. www.carlverheyen.com
Chris Spedding (b. 1944) is a busy UK session guitarist, working on rock, pop, blues sessions, TV and movies since the late ’60s.
Highlights: Sessions with Bryan Ferry, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Joan Armatrading, Katie Melua, The Wombles, and Jeff Wayne’s War Of The Worlds. His most recent album is Joyland. www.chrisspedding.com
Dennis Budimir (b. 1938) is one of the world’s most recorded and revered session guitarists. He has played on pop sessions through to Hollywood blockbusters since the mid ’50s. Highlights: Sessions with artists such as Barbra Streisand, Dean Martin, Barry Manilow, Elvis Presley, Natalie Cole, The Bee Gees, Linda Ronstadt, The Carpenters, Harry Nilsson, Quincy Jones, Robert Palmer, Sergio Mendes, Frank Zappa, Eric Dolphy; movie sessions with composers like Lalo Schifrin, Henry Mancini, Basil Poledouris, Dave Grusin. His most recent album is The Soul Of Dennis Budimir.
Reggie Young (b. 1936) is one of the most recorded of all session guitarists, having played on thousands of records from the ’50s until today. Two of his most famous include the legendary guitar work on Dusty Springfield’s Son Of A Preacher, and Suspicious Minds by Elvis Presley.
Highlights: Sessions with artists such as Elvis Presley, Boz Scaggs, Charlie Rich, Martina McBride, Eric Clapton, George Jones, Garth Brooks, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, BB King, Johnny Cash, Kenny Rodgers, Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, Ringo Starr, Etta james, Cat Stevens, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Dolly Parton, JJ Cale. His new album, Forever Young, is out on May 23.