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Digital Subscriptions > Guitar Magazine > Mar 209 > CARDINAL VIRTUES


Bassist Catherine Popper has provided the four-string bedrock to some of the coolest names in music, including Jack White, Norah Jones, Willie Nelson and, as a member of The Cardinals, with Ryan Adams. She discusses her discovery of the bass, her memories of playing with Adams and the magic of vintage Precisions…

We meet in the warm and comfy surroundings of New York City’s Flux Studios, where Charlotte native Catherine Popper is busy recording with hardcore-punk pioneer Jesse Malin for his next solo record. On the other side of the studio glass, Lucinda Williams is sat in the producer’s chair – the multiple-Grammy-winning Americana veteran is one of a laundry list of A-list stars that Popper has worked with in her career, including Jack White, Willie Nelson, Norah Jones and, perhaps most famously, as a key creative component of Ryan Adams & The Cardinals for the classic Cold Roses album and beyond.

“She’s just a doll,” says Popper of her producer for the day. “Jesse invites all of our opinion, he does about 10 takes of a track. With Ryan, we had never heard the song and would be recording it trying to igure out what was coming next… like a G chord, or whatever. It’s cool that he trusts me – I’m a little sloppy, I’m not the player you call if you want precision. It’s going to be different each time.”

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