It's difficult to write about Tommy Sims without wearing out the slash key on your word processor. Too bad there's not a more graceful way to write "producer/singer/songwriter/bassist/guitarist/keyboardist/drummer."
Singer/songwriter/producer Montell Jordan would be an R&B giant even if he weren't close to seven feet tall. Like clockwork, Jordan has delivered one Gold album per year since exploding onto the scene with the million-selling This Is How We Do It in 1995. Jordan has racked up hits in a variety of styles, from sophisticated, Armani-suited soul to risqué bedroom ballads to full-bore party anthems. Now he's busy at work on album number five.
Singer k.d. lang is admired both for her traditional pop and country skills and her restless desire to expand on those traditions. No surprise, then, that her current guitarists, Greg Leisz and Greg Arreguin, are possessed by the same retro-goes-radical spirit.
In a country scene increasingly centered on the quick crossover hit, Kathy Mattea's music stands out for its uncompromised purity and sincerity. Mattea's 11th studio album, The Innocent Years, may be her most personal disc yet. The West Virginia native contributes some her most touching songwriting to date and takes a bolder production role than ever before. "It's a really emotional record for me," she says. "I feel like I've done a lot of growing up during the process." We recently spoke to Mattea about how the disc came together.
Do the math. Paul Leim has manned the drum kit for literally hundreds of pop and country hits. More than 125 have been certified Gold or Platinum, and 75 have received Grammy, CMA, Dove, or Academy Awards. Leim estimates that records on which he's played have sold in excess of 200 million units, or well over two billion dollars in sales. Paul has been the drummer of choice for such artists as Shania Twain, Lonestar, Trisha Yearwood, Montgomery Gentry, Peter Cetera, Lionel Richie, Ricky Skaggs, Tom Jones, Randy Travis, Neil Diamond, Reba McEntire, Lyle Lovett, Amy Grant, Dolly Parton, Tanya Tucker and Michael W. Smith.
Pianist Ralph Sharon never set out to be an accompanist. When he left his native London for the States in 1953, he was one of England's hottest jazz instrumentalists. But soon after arriving on these shores, he started working with such jazz greats as Johnny Hartman, Chris Conner, Rosemary Clooney, Carmen McRae and, most notably, Tony Bennett, with whom Sharon has collaborated for over four decades.
When Boz Scaggs says his eclectic new album, Dig, is "all over the map," he's talking about its stylistic breadth. But the words refer just as handily to the city-hopping manner in which Scaggs and his co-producers, Toto keyboardist David Paich and guitarist/studio ace Danny "Kootch" Kortchmar, created the disc. The trio commenced work in Paich's Los Angeles studio, moved on to Kortchmar's home base in New York, and finished the tracks at Scaggs's place in San Francisco.
Drummer for Maze and Christina Aguilera...musical director for 980...currently rocking arenas behind the Backstreet Boys. How did Teddy Campbell rack up so many credits by the age of 26?