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Pat Sansone

RSR068 – Pat Sansone – Recording with The Autumn Defense & Wilco

RSR068 – Pat Sansone – Recording with The Autumn Defense & Wilco

My guest today is my good friend Pat Sansone, a prolific, and talented multi instrumentalist, songwriter, and Grammy nominated producer.  Pat’s early bands included playing guitar with Beagle Voyage and Stretch Armstrong, a rock band influenced by Black Sabbath and the Butthole Surfers, and then his own power pop band Birdy. In 1999, Pat formed The Autumn Defense, in New Orleans, with his friend John Stirratt of Wilco.

They went on to record four full-length albums: The Green Hour in 2000, Which I helped record at Alex The Great in Nashville, and then Engine in Chicago, and then Circles in 2003, which I recorded right here at The Toy Box Studio when it was in my house, with cables running all over the place. In fact it was Pat who aptly named my studio The Toy Box Studio after recording here while surrounded by my collection of toy instruments. The Autumn Defense then went on to make their self-titled album The Autumn Defense in 2006, and Once Around in 2010.

While living in both Nashville and New York, Pat working as a producer and studio musician. He contributed to albums by Joseph Arthur, Andrew Bird, Josh Rouse, Mavis Staples, Swan Dive, Jenifer Jackson, Ryan Adams, The Clientele, and others.

In 2004 Pat joined Wilco following the departure of multi-instrumentalist Leroy Bach. And now Pat plays guitar, keyboard, maracas, and several other instruments, as well as singing backup vocals with Wilco. He was also involved in the writing and recording of Wilco’s albums: Sky Blue Sky, Wilco, and co producing The Whole Love in 2011.

Pat has also created a book of photography called 100 Polaroids, a collection of polaroid photographs taken with an SX70 camera, from his travels with Wilco and The Autumn Defense. And he has worked with many great musicians and artists along the way including: Dawes, Jamie Lidell, Phil Selway of Radiohead, The Future Monarchs with Josh Shapera, Elizabeth Cook, Garrison Starr, Richard Julian, and Will Kimbrough.

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 Cool stuff we talked about on the show:
  • Pat’s musical beginnings in Meridian MS.
  • Peavey headquarters.
  • Recording Heartbreaker with Ryan Adams.
  • Recording at the Wilco loft, at Easley Studio, and with Josh Shapera at the Mixin Administration.
  • How to record fantastic drums on your record.
  • Recording Wilco acoustic guitars with an iPhone.
  • Why Freddie Mercuries sound great in the mix.
  • Working with Richard Dodd
  • Recording Hammond B3, Leslie, piano, and Wurly.
  • Why Jeff Tweedy prefers recording his vocals with an Shure SM7.

This is the great video showing you how a Shure SM57 sounds on electric guitar in 7 different mic positions!

Here is Brand New Song from Americanitis by Will Kimbrough and co produced by Lij Shaw using the iPod mic for vocal and acoustic guitar.

Jeff Tweedy Sukierae with more demo guitars recorded on iPhone that became part of the record.


Here is Jack Ashford from the Funk Brothers of Motown showing us how Tamborine is really done right!

Tack Piano

Autumn Defense performing at East Side Manor, a beautiful studio in East Nashville.


Leave a comment at the bottom of the post and let us know what you think, and thanks for being a Rockstar!

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