Neither national holidays nor summer festivals or travel plans could stop an influx of talent from stopping by the Paste Studio in New York City last month. We welcomed a range of artists playing everything from dobros and pedal steels to hubcaps-embedded resonators to traditional acoustic and electric guitars to play all kinds of tunes. Check out five of our favorite studio sessions from July 2017 below.
Julian Lage is known as a jazz guitar prodigy and Chris “Critter” Eldridge is recognized for his work in nu-grass supergroup The Punch Brothers and The Infamous Stringdusters. Together, however, the two six-string slingers mesh their noted styles into genre-pushing territory that’s objectively virtuosic. When Lage and Eldridge came to the studio, they played three songs off their second LP, Mount Royal, including two instruments and an Americana standard with vocals by Eldridge. —Hilary Saunders
Sara Evans has spent the last two decades generating country hits, releasing a total of nine albums with songs climbing up Billboard’s Hot Country Songs and crossing over into the Billboard Hot 100 charts. But for Evans, making music is a family affair. Her younger sister, Lesley, performs background vocals in the studio and on tour with her. Her sister Ashley and her daughter Olivia also sang on Evans’ latest album, Words, while her brother Matt plays guitar in her band. Sara, Lesley and bandmates stopped by Paste Studios last week to perform several tracks off of Words, including the first single, “Marquee Sign.” — Katherine Logan
Dobro master and 14-time Grammy winner Jerry Douglas visited the Paste Studio, where he offered a few tracks from his new album, What If. We were particularly stuck by his countrified take on “Hey Joe,” which many rock fans simply think of as a Jimi Hendrix hit—the first single from his earth-shattering debut album of 1967, Are You Experienced?. But Douglas gives the murder ballad an up-tempo, bluegrass styling with some jazzy, improvised solos. Check it out below. — Katherine Logan
Back in June, Nicole Atkins gave us a heads up on this Nashville instrumental band, so when they were passing through New York, we jumped on the opportunity to have Steelism play the studio. The band’s newest album, ism is out now and features guest vocals from other Nashvillians and Paste Studio alumni like Tristen and Andrew Combs (whose respective sessions are linked here). —Hilary Saunders
St. Louis-based singer/songwriter Pokey LaFarge stopped by with his six-piece band to perform a couple of tracks off of his latest record, Manic Revelations. LaFarge’s seventh full-length LP represents a departure from his earlier folksy songs, which could’ve been straight out of the Dustbowl era. By incorporating a saxophone player and trumpet player who are versed in traditional and modern jazz, respectively, the band’s sound adopts a more soulful retro vibe evocative of the ‘50s. In fact, LaFarge described the amalgamation of influences they channeled on the first track they performed, “Good Luck Charm,” as “The Kinks meets Cajun meets South City St. Louis.” — Katherine Logan