Basket Case: A Nashville Session Player Band

Basket Case

Basket Case

Basket Case at 3rd & Lindsley, Left to Rt: Steve King (keyboard); Holly Steele (background vocals); Rodney Ingle (background vocals); Tom Wild (guitar); Kristen McNamara (lead vocals); Bill Watson (bass guitar/bandleader); Tigar Bell (fiddle) ; John Heinrick, (sax). Background: David Northrup, (drums).

I received the first e-mail from songwriter Jon Smith back in my short hair days, 2005 I believe, saying he was disappointed with the work he’d received on his songs at several other Nashville studios and asking that 5 songs be produced for him at a budget far higher than any I’d experienced up to that point. The previous attempts to record his songs were interesting and the musicians competent, Jon said, but the music was flat, bland. There was no magic that he was sure was there.

We found it.

That initial e-mail led to multiple sessions totaling over 80 songs, a friendship, lots of rehearsals at S.I.R, and Soundcheck Nashville, a CD release, two videos and this live band that played Jon Smith tunes at venues in the greater Nashville area. What great fun it was!

Over the years of producing those sessions I used a lot of different top Nashville session players, excellent musicians all, but when Jon asked that a band be assembled so he could hear his songs performed live, I chose the ones I considered not just great musicians and singers, but also friends.

And my friends came through big time, the band sounded fantastic!

We initially resisted Jon’s suggestion that the male members wear white coats, but it turned out to be simply one more stroke of Jon genius. We only did a few gigs but quickly became known as “the white coat band” and it was memorable enough people still mention it occasionally, always referencing the white coats.

Here’s a swingin’ little tune that always made the setlist:

My Tears Are Puttin’ Out Your Fire is © 2007 Jon Smith. Co-writers: Jon Smith/Bill Watson, produced by Bill Watson. Used by permission.

That’s the studio version of MTAPOYF I produced in ’07 using mostly the same band pictured above.

Jon’s work was where I learned how to use horns effectively as opposed to creating a train wreck. Arranging, doubling, combining different horns together, stabs, swells, stacked horn tracks… if you have a tune you need sax, trumpet, clarinet or trombone on, or any combination of them, you’re at the right place! Send out an e-mail to nashtrax@bellsouth.net and ask for a quote!

I have the vids around of the band yet too and when I get around to it, will post some footage- b.e.

David Northrup & Bill Watson in a Basket Case video capture

Left: David Northrup drums, Bill Watson Bass Guitar. No wonder the band was called Basket Case. Two prime examples for sure!