Paul Riser has played trombone, wrote songs and arranged music with some of the biggest names in popular music. As a member of the fabled “Funk Brothers,” the mostly anonymous house band for Motown Records during its heyday, he worked with the likes of Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops, The Supremes and Smokey Robinson.
Riser will appear at the Detroit Institute of Music Education on Friday, Feb. 8 from 1-3 p.m., 1265 Griswold, for a “Paul Riser Masterclass” on lessons learned from his incredible 50-year career in music.
In today’s episode, Riser talks about how he started with the Funk Brothers, what he learned from playing with them in the studio, and what it’s like playing with Stevie Wonder. I also ask him what the drastic changes in the music industry mean for those trying to make a living on music, and who he likes from the current crop of pop musicians. We also hear from DIME President Kevin Nixon (“which makes me President Nixon,” he quipped to me before we recorded the conversation), himself an industry veteran, on what makes Riser unique.
Whether you’re a music lover like me, or just love hearing about Detroit’s history, you won’t want to miss this episode.