For over twenty years, Greg Cole has produced records in Nashville. For a kid from Ohio, it’s been a dream come true.
Nicknamed “Slaw Dawg” by his childhood friends due to his last name (Get it? Cole slaw), Greg grew up in a family of four brothers and a sister. He had extended relatives who were musical, and Greg played drums and piano. “I was in a few bands in high school.” When he was 21, he moved to Nashville from his hometown, close to Akron. “I traveled with a few country bands playing drums,” he says.
Recording music was something Greg enjoyed. “I always had a home studio, and over the years, that expanded into something pretty big.” As his family grew with children, it became harder for Greg to be out on the road. “When I was home from being on the road, I found myself spending more and more time recording and producing. I realized I could stay home and do that all the time. The studio was in our home, so I was more present for my family.”
Over the years, Greg’s studio, which he calls Slawdawg Productions after his nickname, has expanded into all sorts of recording and mixing. “I’m working on a television show right now, The Dailey Vincent Show for RFD-TV. I am doing the sound mixing for the show.” Back in 1991, Greg was involved with a short-lived early-morning television show. Jimmy Capps, Stu Basore, Larry Barnes, and Greg were in the band, and Melvin Sloan and Johnny Carver manned the hosting duties, often joined by Leon Rhodes.
Greg also does a lot of recording for bluegrass artists. “I am working on Danny Paisley’s album right now. I also do a lot of Gospel work. I worked on Jeff and Sheri Easter’s new album, Treasure, and their song, ‘One Name,’ from the album was the number one recording on Southern Gospel Radio for the month of September.”
And, of course, being in Nashville, Greg also works on a lot of country music.
“I have worked on five albums for Daryle Singletary.” Greg toured with Singletary from 1995 to 2002. Then, he left the road to run his recording studio full-time. “My daughter was five years old at the time.” Greg says he feels he has seen more of the country since leaving the road. “My wife likes to travel, and traveling with her is much different than touring with a band. We never really saw anything in a town other than the venue we played in.”
Slawdawg is a state-of-the-art facility with all an artist needs to sound their best. The assortment of mics alone is impressive: Neumann U87, AT4060, AT4050, AT4033, four AT4041s, Townsend Sphere, four Sennheiser 421s, Royer 121, Royer 122, two AKG D112s, lots of SM57s and others. Greg also has a Neve 1073 DPX, six API512c, UA6176, an Antelope MP32 and others. He has Focal Twin 6 Be, Avantone Cubes and Mackie 824 MKII monitors and Apollo 16x, two Apollo 16 MKII, two Apollo Quad and an Apollo Octo Satellite interfaces.
What do all those letters and numbers mean? It means that Greg has invested in his production company over the years to obtain the best results for his clients.
While he works to record other artists, Greg keeps his toe in the music world by playing drums on the weekends with a band in town. “We call ourselves Organic Country and play regularly at The Local in Nashville.” The band represents Nashville with a well-balanced lineup of musicians, with Kevin Denney as the lead singer, Joe Spivey on fiddle, Steve Henson on steel guitar, and Rick L. D. Wayne on guitar.
In addition to drums, Greg also plays the steel guitar and piano. “I have a good-sized collection of guitars that I enjoy playing as well.”
Greg’s children are now grown with families of their own. His son is a fireman who plays guitar, and his daughter is a graphic designer. He says if he had more time, he’d love to spend it fishing and being outdoors. But for now, he’s happy behind the control board of his thriving production company, working with artists to share their music with the world.