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Session with Vinnie Colaiuta, Abraham Laboriel Sr., Mike Miller, and Mitch Forman  2010-06-27 16:21:52

We just did a session for composer Steve Kusaba for his monumental Opera.  The first session for this large work included Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, Abraham Laboriel Sr. on bass, Mitch Forman on piano and keys, Mike Miller on Guitar and Billy Hulting (me) on vibes.  Troy King and I produced the session. Andy Waterman engineered the session at Umbrella Media.

 Steve's Opera could be described as a pop opera with very compositional elements and a strong tie to classical music.  Watching these musicians work together to create the tracks was, not only a lot of fun, but really showed their expertise in the studio.

 Mitch had to play piano parts that, at times, bordered on concerto difficulty while all of Mike's guitar parts were written out classical guitar pieces.  Okay - not all of them - there were some spots where the guys could groove and add their personal signatures to the music.

At the session we determined the written bass parts may be better suited to being played on cello so with little guidance other than his ears and the experience of doing a million recordings, Abraham came up with parts that made the music come alive, add exactly what was needed, and bore his personal mucical mark.

 And then there is Vinnie - it was truly magic to watch him rehearse a piece of music and create a part especially where there were almost no specific charted-out parts for him to play.  He listens and remembers so well that after the first take he already knows what everyone else was playing and came up with parts that really set up and drive the music.  I had never worked with Vinnie in the studio and it was a joy to watch.

We're working on another article about recording full rhythm sections for recordings in which we'll have a few audio examples showing how we got from the demo to the finished tracks.
Steve, the composer, was great to work with and very excited so I'm sure we'll be doing more with him.  He already has some ideas in the works and we are getting to booking these sessions.  I had the chance to meet him in Salt Lake City recently while I was on tour.  We'll keep you posted. 

Grammy News  2009-02-09 19:31:59

Hello Everyone,

Today we have a Grammy Update.  I was at the the Grammy Awards yesterday and saw a lot of great friends there.  In the afternoon they hold what is called the Pre-Telecast Program where they give out 100 awards.

The house band was filled with Session Pros Artists and a few who are signing up soon.

Our Artists in the band were Luis Conte - percussion, Jacques Voyemont - trombone, and Dwayne "Smitty" Smith - bass.  Both trumpet players - Ron King and Tony Bonsera are in the process of signing up and we're contacting the rest of the band to get on our roster as well.

The big news of the night (for me anyway) is that I (Session Pros co-founder and artist Billy Hulting) won a Grammy along with fellow Session Pros artists Aaron Arntz - keyboards, Scheila Gongalez - sax, flute, and keyboards, Pete Griffin - bass, and Jamie Kime - guitar in the "Best Rock Instrumental Performance" category for Zappa Plays Zappa's recording of Peaches en Regalia.  This is quite an honor considering we were up against Mettalica, Rush, Nine Inch Nails, and David Gilmour.

You can watch a vide of the entire Pre-Telecast Program at  If you want to see the Zappa Plays Zappa segment - fast forward to 2:53 - it takes place in the last ten minutes of the three hour broadcast.  But - also check out the great hose band they had on stage!

 - Billy

Our First Blog entry  2009-01-29 17:56:27

Hey Everyone,


Today we start our Session Pros Blog.  We've recently uploaded our first video interview check it out on the video page.  We started with Herman Matthews.  He's a blast on video and a great drummer.  Since we've put Herman up there we are getting requests from our other artists (especially drummers) to do interviews so keep a lookout for those in the future.  Is there anyone on our roster you'd like to see an interview of?  Let us know.  You can email us at  Even better - go to our Ask-a-Pro page and pick the artist and send us your questions.  We'll put it up in a blog, podcast or interview.

 Check back here for the latest and greatest at Session pros or subscribe to our RSS feed and have the news delivered to your computer.  

 See you in the Studio!

  - Billy

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