Welcome to the New Memphis Beat, a blog dedicated to covering the recording business in Memphis, Tennessee.
New Memphis Beat grew out of our desire to tell the continuing story of music being made in Memphis studios.
Few cities can boast of as many historically significant, still-operational, and analog-capable studios as Memphis. And while it’s true that Memphis has one of the richest and deepest musical legacies of any city in the world, it also has one of the brightest futures. The reason? Its world-class studios and recording professionals. Continue Reading
Lucero records at Sam Phillips Recording Service. Photo by Jamie Harmon.
Welcome to “Sounds Around Town”, a semi-regular column about who is recording what and where in Memphis.
- Memphis’ own Lucero just wrapped up their 12th studio album at Sam Phillips Recording with producer Matt Ross-Spang.
- Speaking of, last week saw the release of Sean Rowe‘s New Lore on Anti-Records, also produced by Matt at Phillips.
- Atlanta’s DJ Luke Nasty was working at Royal Studio last week.
- Matt Stansberry & The Romance, a 9-piece band from Oklahoma, recently finished up their 5th LP in Ardent‘s Studio A.
- Bruce Watson of Fat Possum Records has launched his new Memphis studio, Delta Sonic (more on that in a later post). Nashville’s Legendary Shack Shakers frontman J.D. Wilkes is there this week, recording a full-length for Fat Possum’s Big Legal Mess imprint, co-produced by Watson and Jimbo Mathus.
- Scott Bomar just wrapped up mixing my next full-length album last week at Electraphonic. The record was produced by Will Sexton, my bandmate in Motel Mirrors. We’re also currently getting Motel Mirrors long-overdue full-length, In The Meantime, ready for mastering. Scott and I also just finished up the new James and The Ultrasounds LP for Mad Jack Records. It was my first time producing another artist.
Welcome to a new type of post I hope to do at least somewhat regularly, where I give the lowdown on sessions happening around the Bluff City. Maybe we’ll do it once a week, maybe once a month, or maybe whenever I get around to it (the most likely scenario).
- I’ve been working a lot in Electraphonic myself lately. This week we start mixing my forthcoming record, produced by Will Sexton and engineered by Scott Bomar. We cut it on Scott’s Scully 8-track and are mixing to 1/4″.
- Next week, Scott and I resume tracking and mixing the next James & The Ultrasounds LP for Madjack Records, the followup to their Madjack debut, Bad to be Here. This project is my first time in the producer’s chair.
North Mississippi Allstars‘ new album Prayer For Peace will be released June 2 on Sony/Legacy. The album was recorded at Royal Studios in Memphis and the Zebra Ranch in Mississippi, as well as other spots around the country. More from the Commercial-Appeal and Rolling Stone.
Congratulations to Memphian Matt Ross-Spang, who produced and engineered Margo Price’s Midwest Famer’s Daughter. The album has won the 2017 American Music Prize for Best Debut Album. It was recorded in Memphis at Sun Studio and mixed at Ardent Studio B. Margo’s label, Jack White’s Third Man Records, surprised her with a party in Nashville. Full story from The Tennessean.
Philadelphia rock n rollers Low Cut Connie have a new album, Dirty Pictures (part 1), out May 19 on Contender Records. The album was recorded at Ardent.
(Full-disclosure: I shared the stage with these guys at Americana Fest ’15 in Nashville and they tore it up).
Royal Studios will be celebrating their 60th Anniversary on May 1 , 2017 with Poppa Willie’s Night: Rhythm on the River, at Beale Street Landing in Memphis.
In other Royal news, blues artist Robert Cray’s upcoming album, Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm, drops April 28th. As the title indicates, it was recorded with Royal’s legendary house band, Hi Rhythm, and was produced by Steve Jordan.
Thank you to Bob Mehr of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal for announcing the launch of New Memphis Beat:
Keith’s project is a do-it-yourself endeavor that he’s been putting together in his spare time, but he hopes to expand the site soon with some further backing. He says he’d eventually like to make it a one-stop clearinghouse for Memphis recording/studio information — with virtual studio tours of each recording facility, a complete list of session players and vocalists, and information on gear rental.
As you’ll see if you scroll through the site, I’ve been slowly posting articles on here for nearly a year, before announcing the site exists. Over that time, I have been working with some collaborators on both a short video trailer for the site, as well as a long-form interview podcast with Memphis recording professionals. Eventually I decided there was so much going on in the studios around town that I shouldn’t hold up the launch any longer. Hopefully we’ll have that multimedia content up here eventually. I also hope to have contributions from others as the site grows. Please bookmark us and follow us on social media, and thanks for stopping by.