Matt Ross-Spang joins me on the show this month from Sam Phillips Recording Service in Memphis, where he has set up shop as an engineer and producer over the last number of years. Matt cut his teeth as the house engineer at the historic Sun Studios before moving into Sam’s old digs and working on records for artists like John Prine, Margo Price, Jason Isbell, The Allman Betts Band, and Al Green. Matt was also tapped to mix a series of newly released recordings by Elvis Presley. His roots in Memphis music run deep, and he is a master of unique and vintage-inspired recording techniques and sounds, while embracing all of the advantages of modern technology in his recordings. We talked about many of his projects, his influences and early experiences in studios, as well as some of his upcoming adventures in his brand new studio that is about to open in Memphis. Enjoy, share the episode, and don’t forget to leave us a review, and subscribe to the show.
Matt Ross-Spang is a rising star. He began as an intern at legendary Sun Studio at age 16, and worked his way up to Chief Engineer in short order. After engineering Jason Isbell’s Something More Than Free, Matt Ross-Spang earned two Grammy's and credits with John Prine, Margot Price, Al Green, and—bringing it all back home—Elvis. But as you’ll hear, his attitude sets him apart: easy-going and hospitable, considerate, strikingly modest. In an industry filled with grifters, divas, and ne’erdowells, Matt Ross-Spang is proof that good things still happen to good people.Listen to Matt's Mix on Spotify:http://bit.ly/cmthemix1track9Matt Ross-Spang's Mix:1) R.E.M., "Man On The Moon"2) John Prine, "How Lucky"3) Dan Penn, "Nobody's Fool"4) Ann Peebles, "(You Keep Me) Hangin' On"5) Bobby Charles, "I Must Be In A Good Place Now"6) Courtney Marie Andrews, "Took You Up"7) Billy Swan, "Don't Be Cruel"8) Chuck Berry, "You Never Can Tell"9) Margot Price, "Four Years Of Chances"10) Chris Isaak, "Wicked Game"11) Bill Withers, "Let Me In Your Life"12) Al Green, "Simply Beautiful"
In a relatively short amount of time, Matt Ross-Spang has grown from Sun Studio tour guide to one of the most sought-after producers and engineers in music. Having moonlighted behind the boards at Sun after business hours while juggling high-school, Matt helped bring the historic studio back to its analog roots and eventually stepped out on his own at the behest of Grammy-winner and Nashville studio staple Dave Cobb. This led to Matt engineering releases for John Prine, Jason Isbell, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Amanda Shires and Josh Ritter, as well as helming records for Margo Price, Lucero and Iron & Wine's latest collaboration with Calexico. Recently, Amazon even plucked him to produce, curate and debut a unique digital audio series featuring Al Green's first new recording in nearly a decade. To sum it up best, NPR describes Ross-Spang as "a music history geek with a brilliant ear for blending studio precision with spontaneity," while Rolling Stone touts him as "one of the most trusted arbiters of the Memphis sound." That last moniker rings especially true this month, as Sony/Legacy celebrates the 50th anniversary of one of Elvis Presley's most pivotal years by releasing a massive 11CD box set and 2LP vinyl edition of performances from August 1969 at the International Hotel in Las Vegas. All originally recorded to 8-track and newly mixed to analog by Matt, this string of shows is especially notable for featuring a full orchestra and the live debut of one of the King's biggest hits, "Suspicious Minds." Recorded at Sam Phillips' iconic studio in Memphis, today's interview features Matt's insight on the psychology of recording, examples of records where the room acts as an instrument, his trajectory within the industry and how a career in documenting music has changed the way he listens. Matt's social media and additional information on his work can be found at southerngrooves.com. To learn more about Sam Phillips Recording Service, visit samphillipsrecording.com.
How does a Memphis-born teen become an intern, and eventually chief engineer, at Sun Studio? How does the same guy go on to record Jason Isbell, Margo Price, Chris Isaak, Drive By Truckers, the Rival Sons, and Kris Kristofferson, as well as win a Grammy? And how the heck did he follow in Sam Phillips' legendary footsteps to end up recording at Sam Phillips Recording Service and mixing Elvis records?How did he end up working on amazing upcoming releases, including albums by Emily Barker, Sean Rowe, Patrick Sweany, and Margo Price's follow up to Midwest Farmer's Daughter? We find out in this interview with the affable Matt Ross-Spang. Enjoy!Disclaimer: This audio recording was not originally tracked with the intent of using for a podcast. It was recorded solely for transcription for our print interview (see issue #117). Please forgive any balance issues, background sounds, and lack of clarity.Sponsored by Universal Audiohttp://www.uaudio.com
Working Class Audio Session #097 with Matt Ross-Spang!!! Matt Ross-Spang , born in Memphis, began working at the Legendary Sun Studio when he was just 16, working his way up from intern to the Chief Engineer. He championed to bring the recording studio back to its origin, working hard to find, install and use the same period equipment that Sam Phillips engineered with in the 1950s. His 11 years of dedication to Sun and its signature sound garnered national attention when he was featured by Lester Holt for NBC’s Nightly News and the Today Show. NPR also featured Matt and his work on All Things Considered. "It's fantastic that [Ross-Spang] has pursued this with such scholarly devotion," says Peter Guralnick, author of the definitive, two-part Presley biography, Last Train to Memphis and the recently released biography, Sam Phillips The Man Who Invented Rock and Roll.. "Sam was systematic in thinking about sound and gave great thought to it — no square angles; the tiles. In addition, he felt there was something unique about the room at 706 Union. He didn't know it when he rented it. To have reconstituted it is an exercise in creative archeology." In 2015 Matt left Sun to venture out on his own as an engineer and producer. His first project post Sun was to engineer and mix Jason Isbell’s “Something More Than Free” for acclaimed Producer Dave Cobb which would award him his first Grammy. The record broke several records debuting at #1 on the Country, Rock, Folk and Indie Charts. It also broke Americana Radio chart records , staying #1 for over 25 weeks. The record won Grammys for Best Americana Album and Best Americana Song for (24 Frames). Since then Matt hasn’t slowed down ...engineering recent releases by The Drive By Truckers, Elle King, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Chris Isaak, The Rival Sons, Corb Lund, Lori Mckenna, Brett Dennen, Brent Cobb, Amanda Shires, Anderson East, The Sheepdogs and the concept album “Southern Family”. Matt also engineered, mixed and Co-Produced Margo Price’s debut album; entitled “Midwestern Farmer’s Daughter” the record was made in 3 days in 2014 at Sun Studio and released on Third Man Records. The record debuted in the top 10 Billboard country charts to critical acclaim and is already considered one of the best albums of 2016. Matt most recently was hired by Sony Records to mix 18 previously unreleased songs by Elvis Presley from historic 1976 sessions in the Jungle Room at Graceland which was released in August of 2016. Matt also recently produced albums on Sean Rowe, Patrick Sweany and UK artist Emily Barker. The City of Memphis named him one of its “30 under 30” Memphians in 2015 as well as honoring him with a key to the city in 2016. The City of Germantown also named a day after Ross-Spang in 2016. Matt and Matt join each other over Skype for a conversation about's Matt's journey.
RSR040 – Matt Ross-Spang - Working at the Famous Sun Studio, Learning from the Great Sam Phillips
Recording Studio Rockstars
Get over two hours of FREE Mix Training, Multitracks, and eBook at... MixMasterBundle.com My guest today is Matt Ross-Spang, a Grammy winning engineer, mixer, producer and recording historian. Matt began his career at Sun Studio in Memphis TN, which he revitalized during his decade of work there bringing it back to it’s original analog roots. After his time at Sun Studio he migrated over to Sam Phillips Recording Services. Get full show notes at RecordingStudioRockstars.com
Interview With Matt Ross-Spang, Engineer at the Legendary Sun Studio
I’ve got a really cool thing for you today. I had a chance to interview Matt Ross-Spang, studio engineer over at Sun Studio, arguably the most famous recording studio in the world. In case you didn’t know, Sun Studio is where Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, B.B. King and so many other legendary... The post Interview With Matt Ross-Spang, Engineer at the Legendary Sun Studio appeared first on Audio Issues.