My guest today is Mr. John Leventhal. John is a guitarist, songwriter and producer, having won 5 Grammys and 16 nominations for records he has produced. (I may be incorrect about this, it might actually be more…)
As usual on the Riff Raff, I have “selfish” ulterior motives and tend to interview people who were influential to me as a guitarist/producer and John is at the top of that list. He was a big influence on the way I approach working with singers and in the studio. His uncoventional approachs to folk, country and rock/pop genres is hard to pin down and that’s exactly why I like his sound so much.
John is married to Roseanne Cash, an amazing singer/songwriter and the daughter of country legend Johnny Cash. (For this interview I get to play one of Johnny Cash’s guitars!)
In this interview we discuss guitars, producing, working with singers, songwriting, alternate tunings, his early career, “letting go” of preconceived ideas, the importance of good time, and much more. We also do quite a bit of playing and you get to hear John do his thing. There is some really great gems at the end so if you are a fan of John's we were really just getting going....
This interview took place on a snowy day at John’s studio in New York City, March 2017.