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6 – Southern Bell // Brandon Bell, Chief Engineer at Southern Ground Nashville

This week, the SMI guides head over to Southern Ground and talk shop with the Chief Engineer at Zac Brown’s Southern Ground Nashville studio, Brandon Bell. Bell talks about playing the snot out of some clarinet as a kid, being nominated for his first Grammy at 23 (whaaatttt????), working with Zac and Dave Grohl on the Grohl Sessions, and much, MUCH more. Southern Ground + Brandon Bell = SOUTHERN BELL.

BONUS CONTENT BELOW

SMI Brandon Bell Web 685

EXTRA CONTENT: The guides catch up with Brandon this week and he tells us some Southern Ground ghost stories:

Brandon took us on a tour of Southern Ground Nashville! Check it out:

Grammy action, bro!!

Grammy
Brandon was originally nominated at age 23 for his work on Alan Jackson’s “Like Red On A Rose” album. He won a Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album six years later for mixing and engineering the Steep Canyon Rangers album “Nobody Knows You.” Dude has serious skillz.

Check out this Rolling Stone piece on the Foo Fighters’ time at Southern Ground, one of Brandon’s favorite career experiences:
This undated image released by Southern Reel shows Zac Brown, left, and Dave Grohl during a collaboration for the "The Grohl Sessions Vol. 1." When Zac Brown bumped into Dave Grohl while picking up some altered clothes for the Grammy Awards, he didn't let the random meeting go to waste. They bonded over their love of analog recording gear and their new friendship eventually resulted in Zac Brown Band's newest release: "The Grohl Sessions Vol. 1." (AP Photo/Southern Reel)
This undated image released by Southern Reel shows Zac Brown, left, and Dave Grohl during a collaboration for the “The Grohl Sessions Vol. 1.” When Zac Brown bumped into Dave Grohl while picking up some altered clothes for the Grammy Awards, he didn’t let the random meeting go to waste. They bonded over their love of analog recording gear and their new friendship eventually resulted in Zac Brown Band’s newest release: “The Grohl Sessions Vol. 1.” (AP Photo/Southern Reel)
Brandon Bell started off the day by paying homage to his Heber Springs Marching Band clarinet days:

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Wanna be an engineer one day, or are you music tech curious?

Check out this awesome history of Neve consoles and/or the history of recording microphones. Will give great insight and context for the studio gurus of the future.

Brandon Bell has worked on more cool albums than your mother:

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Two of Brandon’s career highlights came from working with Steve Martin and Earl Scruggs on separate occasions. Here they are together, coincidentally, on Letterman:

Credits

Brandon Harrington // SMI Co-Host, A&R, Music Director, Video Editing
Jason Kurkimilis // SMI Co-Host, Lead Audio Production & Engineering
Christian Barker // Executive Producer

Special thanks goes out our episode sponsor, Fat Bottom Brewing.

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