083 – Rob McNelley: ACM Guitar Player of the Year, Everything You Wanted to Know About Sessions (But Were Afraid to Ask), Recording with Buddy Guy, Need to Know Advice for Drummers
Rob McNelley is an accomplished session guitarist in Nashville who has landed a string of high-profile gigs and awards including “Guitarist of the Year” from the Academy of Country Music in 2014.
Rob’s father, Bobby Gene McNelley, was the lead singer of McGuffey Lane, a southern-rock band based out of Columbus in the 1980s. Rob spent much of his young life listening to his father’s band, and gradually picking up the guitar. Rob became a huge fan of the Rolling Stones, and an even bigger fan of the blues artists they covered including Jimmy Reed, Chuck Berry, Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters.
Rob eventually moved to Nashville, where he landed a job as Delbert McClinton‘s guitarist and toured with the Grammy-winning blues musician for years, often doubling as McClinton’s opening act. As Delbert’s touring schedule was winding down, Rob was spending more time in the studio and groups like Lady Antebellum began hiring McNelley to play on their multi-platinum albums. Other artists followed, from Bob Seger to Buddy Guy, Kacey Musgraves and Rascal Flatts.
Rob performs with his own band, The Rob McNelley Band, AKA – RNB, regularly in Nashville.
In this podcast, Rob talks about:
Touring with Delbert McClinton
Demos vs. Master sessions in Nashville
Old and new ways of producing
Connecting with the drummer in the studio
Drummers that take a compositional approach and create signature parts
Checking your ego at the door
Advice for young drummers and experienced drummers
Growing up in a musical house
Recording with Buddy Guy
This episode is sponsored by Sakae Drums