Austin, Texas is HOT

The weather is hot. The food is hot. But most of all - given that Austin is the Live Music Capital of the World - the music is REALLY HOT. On any given evening, there are literally dozens of venues offering live music in and around the downtown area. Fortunately for us here at Austin Signal, this means that Austin is the home of some of the finest musicians in the country - and, they are available to play on your projects!

Introducing The Smoking Section

We've assembled a small number of very HOT session players of considerable renown, and named them The Smoking Section. The members of the Smoking Section are available to play on your sessions here at Austin Signal. If you plan on recording here and are interested in having any of these incredible musicians participate, just let us know.

Also, if you are not able to physically record here, we can arrange for these players to record tracks for your project remotely. In some cases, when you'd like to capture the sound of Austin Signal's rooms, mic's and gear, the recording will take place at Austin Signal. In other cases the artist may have their own recording rig, and simply record the tracks in their home studios. In the instances where recording will take place here at the studio, I've offered the Smoking Section Members a very aggressive hourly rate to accommodate this offering. In the end, the approach you select is entirely up to you and the artist. I will refer any inquiries (email or phone) for Smoking Section sessions to the appropriate musicians upon your request. For more information for an individual artist, please click on their NAME to visit their website.

Steve Bernal

Steve's list of accomplishments and credits reads like an atlas. From collaborations with eclectic pop artists such as Bill Callahan, Graham Reynolds, and Argentine guitarist Federico Aubele, to performances with the University Orchestra of U.T., Austin Symphony Orchestra, Imbroglio String Quartet, and avant garde artists Pauline Oliveros and Arnold Dreyblatt, among many others. His compositions have been featured in the PBS documentary series "State of Tomorrow" and, as performed by Steve, in First Night Austin New Year's Eve Celebrations of '07 & '08.   

Cindy Cashdollar

Austin-based lap steel, Dobro, and steel guitarist Cindy Cashdollar's career has taken some surprising twists and turns that have led her to work with many of the leading artists in contemporary music including Rod Stewart, Van Morrison, Ryan Adams, Bob Dylan, Asleep at the Wheel, Garrison Keillor, Marcia Ball, Jorma Kaukonen, Leon Redbone, BeauSoliel, Daniel Lanois, Redd Volkaert, and Dave Alvin.  Cindy was inducted into the Texas Steel Guitar Hall Of Fame in 2011 (the first female to be inducted), and The Texas Music Hall Of Fame in 2012. And, in answer to her most frequently asked question, yes, Cashdollar is a real name.    

David Grissom

David Grissom is one of Texas' premier Rock, Blues, and Americana guitarists who has toured and recorded with artists such as Storyville, John Mellencamp,  Joe Ely, , The Allman Brothers Band, Dixie Chicks, James McMurtry, Webb Wilder, Chris Isaak, Robben Ford, Ringo Starr, Buddy Guy, John Mayall, and many others.  “Way Down Deep” is David’s third solo release. Backed by the powerhouse rhythm section of J.J. Johnson (John Mayer, Derek Trucks) and Chris Maresh (Eric Johnson, Bonnie Raitt), this effort finds Grissom digging deeper into the Austin Blues/Rock vein he is well known for. Equally divided between vocal and instrumental tunes, Way Down Deep features blistering guitar work and lyrics reflecting an artist embracing change and growth.

Don Harvey

Raised in in New York, Don Harvey is a soulful drummer, composer & producer living in Austin, TX. He started drumming at 14 & hit the road by 19, making his first recordings in Tel Aviv (where he resided from '75-'80). After moving to Los Angeles, Don toured the world with Charlie Sexton.  He's performed & recorded with artists such as Faces Ronnie Lane & Ian McLagan (an 18-year veteran of McLagan's Bump Band), Joe Ely, Billy Bragg, Storyville, Tonio K, Alejandro Escovedo, Iain Matthews (Fairport Convention) & Martha Davis (the Motels). Don received the "Best Drummer" award at the '06-'07 Austin Music Awards & released two critically-acclaimed solo CD's; "A Dance in Red" (‘09) & "Light Shines Through" (‘12). Don co-owned the legendary Austin Rehearsal Complex with Wayne Nagel, where in ’95 Don & Wayne co-founded Austin’s SIMS Foundation. SIMS continues to provide access to mental health & addiction recovery services to this day.


Stefano Intelisano

Born and raised in Pavia, Italy, Stefano Intelisano grew up with a solid classical piano and organ education. Austin-based band collaborations (including at times production and co-writing): Seth Walker, Jimmy LaFave, Clay McClinton, Larry Joe Taylor, Mike Blakely, Boombox ATX, Mingo Fishtrap, the Grooveline Horns band, Atash, Don Harvey's "A is Red", Sauce, John Arthur Martinez. Remarkable, among these, is the one with the Diakonos Ministries church, whose band and choir perform weekly with fire and passion a wide repertoire of traditional and contemporary gospel tunes.Some other remarkable artists collaborations: Chuck Rainey, Roscoe Beck, John Popper (Blues Traveler's lead singer/ harmonica player), Tom Cochrane, Jeff "Skunk"Baxter, Delbert McClinton, Raul Malo, Hal Ketchum, Michael Des Barres, Gary Nicholson (Whitey Johnson), Ivan Neville, Cyril Neville, Marcia Ball, John McEuen, Buckwheat Zydeco, the contemporary gospel duo Mary Mary.  In 2011 Stefano joined guitar master David Grissom's band.

 Roberto Riggio

Roberto Riggio's musical painting, as a composer and violinist, utilizes a rich palette made up of colours from around the world. He has collaborated with artists such as international superstar Youssou N'Dour (Senegal), icons of Arabic song Fairuz (Lebanon) and Kazem Al-Saher (Iraq), and experimental composer Eyvind Kang (US/Iceland/Korea). He directs the global-grooving band Atash, a collaborative ensemble featuring masterful musicians from the Americas, the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and Africa. He is also the artistic director of Ars Mundi Artists International, an organization devoted to fostering creativity across cultural and disciplinary boundaries. He resides in Austin, Texas.

Kevin McKinney

Texas Music Hall of Famer. Austin Music Icon. Gifted and Talented Song Writer. Character. All easy to say. All hard to live up to.  Kevin does.   An Austin fixture since the 90′s, Kevin–for better or for worse–can be held responsible for an entire sub genre of local and regional music. With his band Soulhat he helped turn the Black Cat Lounge on 6th Street from a biker bar into what amounts to a jam/ funk myth. And today his songs, old and new, live on, making people happy and continually inspiring other Austin musicians who’s respect Kevin holds in spades.  Prolific doesn’t even begin to describe his current musical state. One record just released, and two awaiting release, Kevin is back in full force and playing Austin and its surrounds.

Glenn Fukunaga

Playing the bass guitar and doing it exceptionally well has given Glenn Fukunaga an all but magical life in popular music. The Austin, TX-based player has not only become one of the very musical city’s premier bassists on recordings and performances with top artists in the Texas music scene, but he has also played with such legends and stars from an array of musical styles as Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan, Robert Plant, Dr. John, The Dixie Chicks, James Cotton, Freddy Fender, Brian Setzer, Earl King, Flaco Jimenez, Junior Wells, David Amram and others. In 2012, Glenn released an extraordinary solo album, Not A Word. 

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Kevin Flatt

Starting in Austin around 2002 and getting a Bachelors of Music in Trumpet Performance from The University of Texas at Austin, Kevin Flatt has played trumpet with many great bands & musicians including Spoon, What Made Milwaukee Famous, Band of Heathens, Boombox ATX, Dahebegebees, Curtis Lee, Tameca Jones, Dave Scher, Sauce, Matt Wilson & The Matt Wilson Band, Grant Ewing Band, Austin Jazz Band, NAJO Band, Austin Pops, Austin Symphony Big Band, Don Harvey & A is Red, The Original Recipe Big Band, & many more. Kevin has also played trumpet on many recordings throughout the area. Some of the latest few recordings Kevin has performed on include Glenn Fukunaga’s solo album entitled Not A Word as well as Dahebegebees latest album Grateful in which Kevin performed, co-engineered, and wrote the horn charts and arrangements Kevin has also played lead guitar for Matt Wilson & The Matt Wilson Band, CandiLand, The Raven Tree, FM Underground, Clouds are Ghosts, & numerous other bands around town.

Connor Forsyth

Connor Forsyth is an Austin, TX musician whose influences vary widely and who has worked with several well known musical acts. Connor studied classical music for over a decade, then during his college years in New Orleans took an interest in the stride and boogie woogie styles of jazz, and studied under Ellis Marsalis. After starting the Belleville Outfit with some college friends, he moved with the band to Austin and has been here ever since. His musical tastes vary from swing, jazz, gypsy jazz, old-school rock , funk, soul, and folk. He plays with such acts as Ray Price, Ghosts Along the Brazos, Toni Price, Phoebe Hunt, The Love Leighs, Brian Hudson, Anastasia Van Wingerden, and many other projects in Austin and around the country. Connor is available for recording or live performance and touring projects.

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Tony Kamel

Tony Kamel is relatively new to the Austin music scene,  and is quickly becoming known for his strong signing and bluegrass-tyle flatpicking guitar skills.  Tony also plays mandolin, harmonica, and claw hammer banjo.  As the lead singer and guitarist for one of Austin's hottest new bands,  Wood & Wire,  Tony 's talents have increasingly become in demand for session work.   He has worked in studios in Austin and Nashville, and played on sessions with Brendan Benson, The Howlin Brothers, and Graham Wilkinson.  His singing and playing is most often compared to the legendary Tim O'brien, prompting a joke among  locals  that he is Tim's nephew.  Wood & Wire's debut album was released in February, 2013 to critical acclaim.  Tony and the other members of Wood & Wire are committed to growing and promoting  the local bluegrass and acoustic scene.