Interview with the Pros – Legendary Jim Gaines Producer-Engineer!
Making a Scene presents an interview with the Legendary Producer/Engineer Jim Gaines!
We talk to Jim about his career, his approach to producing and engineering that has become that “Jim Gaines” sound!
I have been an audio engineer for the last 30 years, there are a few names in the industry that have defined the sound of a musical era and have become part of the dream list of people I would love to meet. If you are not a student of liner notes, you may not know their names, but you know their music!
Jim Gaines is at the top of the list and is the person who created the “Sound” that propelled Huey Lewis and the News to the top of the charts, he gave Steve Miller the wings to “Fly Like an Eagle” and Santana that “Smooth” sound that made him “Supernatural”! His list of credits reads like a who’s who of hit recordings from the 70’s to the 21st century! So when Jim agreed to be interviewed, I was excited to have the chance to talk to someone who I truly looked up to as a producer, engineer and visionary in the music industry.
After working his way up from the mailroom to the control room at a Memphis jingles studio, Jim Gaines got his break in 1969 when he went to work for Steve Cropper at famed Stax Studios. After a brief but intense apprenticeship, he moved to San Francisco where made his name as a producer, amassing an incredible resume that includes work with Steve Miller, Carlos Santana, Van Morrison, and Blues Traveler. His Blues credits are even more impressive, having worked with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Collins, John Lee Hooker, Tower of Power, and Luther Allison among others.
Here is a small sampling of the albums that were produced and engineered by Jim Gaines to give you an idea of how large an influence he has had on the music industry!