Reader Spotlight: Joel Gottschalk

Joel GottschalkMeet Joel Gottschalk, our bassist in the spotlight for January 5th, 2010.


A recent transplant to Los Angeles from Tucson, Arizona, Joel Gottschalk has already earned a solid rep as a session/live bass player including international tour and session work with guitarist/singer-songwriter Philip Sayce (Melissa Etheridge, Jeff Healey, Uncle Kracker). Most recently, Joel appears on Sayce’s latest full length recording, to be released this coming April 2010. In addition to his extreme dedication to playing both acoustic and electric bass, Joel lovingly spends additional energy on honing his audio/midi production chops from his ever-evolving home studio environment.


Los Angeles, CA USA

Day gig:

At the moment, I’m lucky to be supporting myself by playing music, although I’ve been known to also take delivery jobs and random side work to make ends meet during the slow season.

Years experience:

Since middle school, in 1994

Bands & Gigs:

Yes. Currently, I have the great pleasure of playing with Philip Sayce, both in the studio and live. Philip is a singer-songwriter/guitar player who most recently supported Melissa Etheridge, Uncle Kracker, and Jeff Healey. This coming April (2010), we are releasing an album that has just begin completed here in LA, with extensive touring planned this year in Europe and abroad. Locally, I play with the alt/jazz group Fred Heffelin 3, which is an instrumental quartet creating fresh jazz influenced arrangements of rock n’ roll standards.


  • Fender Jazz Basses
  • G&L Bass
  • Bob Mick Custom 5
  • Eminence Portable Acoustic
  • No-Name Upright Bass

Why I play the bass:

One day, my middle school band director asked all of the students in the symphonic band if anyone would be interested in learning the electric bass for the jazz band. Sinc I already played tuba and could read bass clef music, it seemed like it might be WAY cooler to play bass. I was lucky… no one else raised their hand that day and the school loaned me my first Fender Jazz and amplifier.

My bass superpower/claim to fame

While on the road with the Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus band, our drummer slept through a gig and I came to the rescue and filled in on drums that night. Every bass player’s dream right?

My influences

Rita Lee, Wayne Krantz, A Perfect Circle, Talib Kweli, James Taylor, Steve Jordan, John Allred, Harry Connick Jr, Esperanza Spalding, Radiohead, Los Van Van, Ivete Sangalo, Miles Davis, John Scofield, Calexico, Amy Winehouse, Caifanes, Joshua Redman, John Mayer, Hot Chip, David Wilcox, ASHES dIVIDE, Pat Metheny, Luis Miguel, Sara Barreiles, Slum Village, Bjork, Christian McBride, The Bad Plus, Jill Scott, Sergio Mendes, James Brown, Bamboleo, Tower of Power, Feist, Marisa Monte, Albert Collins, Freddie King, As Tall As Lions, Jimi Hendrix, Rosa Passos, Medeski, Martin, and Wood, The Meters, Kurt Elling, George Clinton, Erykah Badu, Steely Dan, The Roots, Common, Mos Def, Dr. Dre, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Alicia Keys, Maxwell, Snoop, Sting, Chet Baker, Earth, Wind, and Fire, Dave Holland, Jay Z., Djavan, Stevie Wonder, The Bird and the Bee, Van Halen, India Arie, Robin Trower, James Morrison, Etc.

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  1. beonthego

    Sweet stuff! I can dig what you're saying and what you're all about. Do it man and don't stop!! This was & is your Personal Legend. Very Proud indeed!! – Gemma

  2. beonthego

    Sweet stuff! I can dig what you're saying and what you're all about. Do it man and don't stop!! This was & is your Personal Legend. Very Proud indeed!! – Gemma