In Nashville, the Buddy System - The Wall Street Journal
2/23/2013 (updated 2/23/2013)

In Nashville, the Buddy System

Mr. Thompson says he chose Buddy Miller's House over larger Los Angeles studios where he had recorded previous albums because he was attracted by "a certain sound" that he heard in records produced there. One was "Buddy Miller's Majestic Silver Strings," a 2011 labor of love that Mr. Miller recorded with friends and studio wizards Bill Frisell, Marc Ribot and Greg Leisz.

"The room has an ambience," Mr. Thompson says of the studio, which is made cozy as, well, home, with antique rugs, comfy sofas and easy chairs—as well as all manner of musical instruments, classic microphones from the 1940s and '50s and other vintage, state-of-the-lost-art analogue recording equipment. "It is not a sterile environment where the red light goes on and everybody tenses up."

And, he adds, the studio is warmed both by the sunlight that floods in through the living room windows and the good vibes of the host. "He is a sensitive musician; he knows how to listen. He is not a producer who is imposing his will on the proceedings. He brings the best out of artists."

"His band came in," recalls Mr. Miller, long a Richard Thompson fan. "I played some rhythm [guitar] with him but I didn't ruin the record."

Steve Dougherty, Wall Street Journal