Jeff Root
Jeff Root

When you have the support of George Martin and Ray Davies, it's OK to work out of your basement.

Littleton native Jeff Root has worked with many musicians over the years in his professional basement studio, where he's produced tracks as well as played on them. His show at Bull Run Restaurant in Shirley on Sunday is a triple CD release party for his own record, The Wild Fandango, along with two that he produced, Marty Nestor's Saint of the Highway and Jane Fallon's Tangled in a Tree. To Root, every project is different.

"It all depends on the artist," says Root. "Some folks just want someone doing the engineering to give them a professional sound, but others are pretty much songwriters and singers and don't have much of a concept of where to go with their songs. For those people, it's all about guiding them into a sound."

For Nestor, a veteran of the Lowell and central Massachusetts music scene, Root helped co-write some songs while playing bass and helped him put a band together to fill out a sound in the style of the Rolling Stones and The Band. Root assisted Fallon, a stripped-down folk artist, in trying to expand her sound to have a more pop-country tinge.

But Root hasn't forgotten about his own music -- not with all the positive feedback from some of his heroes.


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In the mid-70s, he sent a demo to legendary Beatles producer George Martin, who sent him back an encouraging personal letter. Root also collaborated with Ray Davies at a songwriters workshop in 2011, a thrill for someone so influenced by the music of The Kinks.

"He really likes talking shop with folks interested in songwriting and who have a real passion for it, so it was really cool to hear his feedback," says Root, who opened a couple of Davies' Boston shows with songs initiated by Davies in his workshop. Root's been a staple in the Boston music scene since 1978, but don't expect him to go away any time soon.

The Root Cellar Triple CD Release Party is Sunday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m., at the Bull Run Restaurant in Shirley. For tickets ($10), visit bullrunrestaurant.com.