Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Prairie Prince at Prairie Sun

We are proud to announce that Prairie Prince was in the studio recently recording drums on Billy Savoca’s newest project. Originally from  North Carolina, Prairie has been a founding member of art-rock band The Tubes since 1969. Since then he has racked up quite a resume, working with the likes of Brian Eno, Jefferson Airplane, George Harrison, Richard Marx, Todd Rundgren, and he even played an instrumental role in getting Journey off the ground. His credits, impressive as they may be, are nothing compared to his sheer brilliance on the drums. But don’t take our word for it, see for yourself as Billy destroys a 1970’s era Ludwig Vista lite (with a cameo appearance from studio owner Mooka Rennick). An artist at heart, Prairie has embraced   his creative brilliance far beyond the studio, designing stage sets, album art, and drum finishes. In fact, the “prairie room” is studio C features as wall to wall mural painted by the man himself. His extensive portfolio of photography, graphic art, and paintings can be viewed on his website<http://www.prairieprince.com/

Look for Prairie touring with his current band The New Cars (featuring old friend Todd Rundgren, and original Cars members Elliot Easton and Greg Hawkes)  and on Billy Savoca’s newest album. Look for more news as it nears completion. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Mark Vigil Project

Mark Vigil is back at Prairie Sun recording some new tunes with his merry band of musicians. This will be his second release, after his first release "Is That Really You?" His second album has a new modern sound to it while staying true to his unique style and wonderful musicianship.

After completing basic tracks in Studio C, Mark and Producer Steve Fontano (Santana, Marty Friedman) headed up to Studio B to track overdubs. Along with Mark singing lead vocals, he is joined by Tommy Miller (Gregg Allman, Eddie Money) on bass, Mark McGee (Gregg Allman, Vicious Rumors) and Josh Ramos (The Storm, Two Fires, Menuto) on guitar, T Moran (Starship, Pacific Brass & Electric, Danny Castro) on drums and Mike Mani (Cypress Hill, Michael Bolton, Backstreet Boys) on keys.   

His new 11 song album is a modern work stretching from country tunes (“Fooled Again”) to Latin influenced “border rock” (“Donʼt”). Also included is
a song written for his daughter which shares her name, “Chelsea”. One song recorded during these sessions, “I Believe In You”, was written for Mark Vigilʼs cardiologist at UCSF. It will not make it onto 
the new record, unfortunately... but maybe even better, it will be released on a re-release of "Is it Really You?"
When asked about whatʼs next after recording, he responded, “I just want to go play!”.

So keep one eye on the road and one eye on the record shelves for the Mark Vigil Project, coming soon to a town (or store) near you!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Doolin Run at Prairie Sun!

    One of Northern California’s hottest bands, Doolin Run is an original California rock ‘n roll band that plays country songs like no one else.  Known throughout California for their high energy, extremely danceable shows, Doolin Run is always going full speed ahead to bring you their own unique blend of soulful country/southern rock.
    Formed around lead vocalist, Wes Powell, Doolin Run takes it’s name from a road in New Martinsville, the town in West Virginia where Wes grew up.  After high school, Wesley began traveling the country working as a traveling nurse.  As Wes describes, “In my 12 years, as a nurse, I have been able to touch many lives... This overwhelming desire, to make a difference in this very unstable and at many times, cruel world, has lead me head first, into music.” 

    Backing up Wes are the Doolin Run band, a group of hand picked musicians from some of the best bands Northern California, unmatched in their respective instruments.  On lead guitar is Max Rich, with a rockin country tone.  Sing backup vocals along with Max is Allan Villassan playing 5-string bass.  In addition to these fine musicians are drummer Yo Yo Greve and keyboardist Hagana Kim.
    Doolin Run is already brimming with talent and constantly improving.  With a steadily growing fan base, there’s no where for them to go but up.  Go see them live for an unforgettable experience and keep an eye open for their new album when it is released.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Stoney Curtis Recording at Prairie Sun!

    Continuing on for nearly two weeks after finishing with basic tracking, Stoney Curtis has perfected the licks for his upcoming record The Cosmic Connection.  He has laid down some extremely blistering guitar over the top of already smashing tracks.  In addition to that, Stoney’s vocals have been finished and polished to a brilliant sheen. 

    Guiding the sessions is Mike Varney of Shrapnel Records fame.  Mike has worked with insanely talented individuals such as Eric Gales, Tony MacAlpine, Greg Howe, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Michael Schenker.  To add to that, Stoney Curtis certainly holds his own among these heavy hitters of the guitar world.  Not to be overlooked is Jason D’Ottavio (Eric Gales, Chris Duarte) at the board bringing out the gold in every note, lick, and riff. 

    Growing up on the South side of Chicago, Stoney grew up listening to the sounds of Black Sabbath, Robin Trower, Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Eric Clapton.  He combines all these influences.  Drawing on his background of psychedelic rock, traditional blues, and hard rock, Stoney Curtis has found a very comfortable niche in the blues community.  His world class sound is like no other and for good reason.  There are very few people that can play guitar as well as he can, and even fewer that have his charisma and none have his unique technique and flavor. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Condemned Records New Album!!

Keith, Slade and Billy in Studio A
    Condemned recently stayed with us while recording their new album scheduled for US release on February 22 of 2011.  Rocking out after a hefty hiatus for a release on Nuclear Blast Records, Condemned is proving that although the years may have past, they can still thrash with the best of them.  Among various BBQing sessions and copious joking around, they produced some of the most brutal old-school crossover metal/punk to hit the public since its inception in the 1980’s.
    Condemned originally started out as Condemned2Death (C2D) in the spring of 1983.  Keith Chatham got a hot tip about a band that was practicing in the old abandoned Hamms Brewery (aka “The Vats”) in San Francisco needed a bassist.  Consequently, Condemned2Death was born and soon recorded their demo tape.  Later that year, they recorded and release a self titled 7” on R Radical Records.  They followed that up in August of the next year with the Diary of a Love Monster LP (Landmine/R Radical Records).  After Diary of a Love Monster, the band encountered a few lineup changes until Keith left for Australia to play in Death Sentence and Vicious Circle. 
Billy and Slade mixing the new material

    After a few incarnations (Condemned Attitude, Condemned?) and many side projects for all musicians involved (Attitude Adjustment, Black Mackerel, Mercenary), Condemned was reborn sporting a great lineup of musicians.  Keith Chatham returns to Condemned on bass.  Joining him are fellow past Condemned Attitude member Rick Strahl and B. Scott Clayton of Black Mackerel on guitars.  Also from Black Mackerel is “Rotten” Scotty Gardner on lead vocals.  Slade Anderson returns on drums from the days when they were known as Condemned Attitude. 

Slade and Billy "discussing" changes
    Joining the band in the studio was producer/”engine-ear” Billy Anderson.  Billy has worked with quite an impressive number of bands, including: Neurosis, Mr. Bungle, The Melvins, Jawbreaker, 7 Year Bitch, Sick Of It All, Eyehategod, Buzzov’en, and Cathedral (just to name a few).  Bringing 20 years of “engine-earing” to the table, Billy kept the vibe alive and the tunes pouring out. 
    Condemned and Billy Anderson are a killer combo in the studio.  This record is set to tear the face off of anyone brave enough to listen.  We hope Condemned will be back again, with more bone melting guitars, throat crushing bass, head pounding drums and ripping vocals.  Until that day, we wait with baited breath for this February 2011 release from these veteran thrashers.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

mixing in Studio C w/ ORBO
ORBO tracking acoustic guitar
    Prairie Sun Recording is proud to welcome some great artists from abroad... Norwegian rockers ORBO and the Longshots have occupied all of our lodging here with their video crew for their 10 day stop  to record a new album.  This follows closely behind their latest release “LIVE 10”, a live album celebrating 10 years on the road.  Quite a ways from their native Bergen, Norway, ORBO and the Longshots seem to have found a haven for creativity here on the farm.
Erick at the helm
    They have stopped in at Prairie Sun in the midst of their US tour to spend some quality time in Studio C with their engineer/co producer Erick Jaskowiak who is based out of Nashville and has worked with the likes of (the Gibson Brothers, Trisha Yearwood, Vince Gill, Alison Krauss).  This will be Erick’s third album with Orbo and the Longshots, including “High Roller” which won the 2009 Spellemann award (Norwegian equivalent of a Grammy) for Best Blues Album.
Paul laying down some bass
Reidar recording backup vocals
    Generous and funny, this group of rockers are as much of a joy to hang out with as they are to listen to.  Any fan of rock and roll should be sure to keep an ear to the ground for ORBO and the Longshots.  From the bare roots of rock to slow blues the Longshots along with ORBO will be sure to warm any musical palette.

Curtis shreds again
    Blues guitar master Stoney Curtis has gone into the studio for what promises to be another amazing album.  The blues have been shaking the walls of our Studio B for a couple days while tracking the basics for his new release.  This recording session marks the beginning of Stoney’s third album here at Prairie Sun Studios.  When asked, Curtis replied that he has continued to choose Prairie Sun because here he can get “the best sounds, the best equipment and the best staff” at one place, “I just love it up here...it’s so peaceful”.
low end provided by Steve Evan
The Stoney Curtis Band spent two days tracking the basics in Studio B’s live room with Aaron Haggerty on drums (The Al McKay All Stars, Eric Gales) and Steve Evans on bass (Etta James, Bo Diddley, Coco Montoya, Roy Rogers) Stoney will be doing overdubs and mixing in the upcoming weeks, we will keep you posted. 
Aaron Haggerty on drums
Working alongside Stoney, Mike Varney of Shrapnel Records gave helpful insight to bring out the absolute best performance from Curtis, Aaron and Steve.  Their sound is huge.  Simple as that, this is really shaping up to be a monstrous sounding record.
The Stoney Curtis Band hard at work

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Kate Van Horn Goes To China

Local Sonoma County artist Kate Van Horn was born in San Francisco and has music flowing through her veins. From the age of six, she has been on a steady diet of singing, playing piano, and transforming her musical talents using influences from singer/songwriter Tori Amos as core inspiration. As of late Kate has been residing in beautiful wine country where there is certainly no shortage of creative inspiration.

Having recorded at Prairie Sun and been a part of the burgeoning North Bay scene, Kate will be lending here talents overseas as she recently flew the coop to film a travel documentary covering the illustrious folk music of the Xinjiang Province and the Uyghur people. It will be featured on PBS when production is complete.

Kate's music and voice has been described and lauded by many as powerfully delicate, complex, real, providing themes in her songs that people can actually relate to. The independent North Bay spirit carries on in her transcendent voice and lush piano is a testament to her schooling at the Blue Bear College in San Francisco.

For more on Kate and her adventures in China, check out her myspace blog here!

Here is a youtube video featuring the folk music of the Uygher people of the Xinjiang Province

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Week of Aug 29

Shadi Shamsavari
This week we were pleased to welcome Shadi Shamsavari into Studio A on Tuesday to mix some of her new material with engineer Oz Fritz.  Her music is inspirational.  Whether she’s sending goosebumps down your spine with her haunting melodies, smoothing out a rough day with a jazz influenced jam or letting it all out with soulful blues inspired tune, she draws from nearly every genre of music to dial in on pure emotion.
A true talent also in on Tuesday, was established guitarist, pianist, and songwriter David Wailin.  David spent some quality time in our Studio B with Matt Wright mixing songs for an upcoming album.  With credentials to back him up, David is a true artist, creating catchy riffs and explosive melodies that draw you in.  Then he keeps you there with classic styling with a fresh view and sound that no one else has.
David Wailin
On Wednesday and Thursday Matt Wright was back behind the console again (this time in Studio C) recording overdubs with Salty DeVito for an upcoming self-titled EP.  This quintet knows how to have a good time and definitely knows how to lay down some seriously brilliant performances.  Whether they’re smoothing it out or rocking it out Salty DeVito uses just enough pop to sweeten just about any musical palate.  Salty DeVito kicks with a lot of rock ‘n roll and an emotional edge that’s hard to stop listening to.
Salty DeVito
Also on Wednesday and Thursday The Americans were up from Los Angeles mixing with veteran engineer Oz Fritz rollin’ in the tradition of true american rockabilly in Studio A.  While finishing mixes here, they are taking some time to play an impromptu show at Kodiak Jack’s in Petaluma, Friday the 3rd at 9:00pm.  Reminiscent of a bluesy Johnny Cash, The Americans are at the roots of what we know as rock and roll.  A throwback to 50’s rock, it’s rare to see a band of such a high caliber in this genre.  Driving rhythms and hypnotic guitars are only a small slice of what this group delivers.
The Americans

Friday, August 20, 2010

Omar Torrez

Dubbed by the Seattle Times as the “Latin Hendrix”, Omar Torrez is indeed a rare talent in today’s world. Born of Spanish, Native American, Russian, and Norwegian roots, Omar was raised in the musical hotbed of Seattle. After winning the Hendrix competition at the annual Bumbershoot festival, he left for a journey that took him around the world, studying gypsy music, Flamenco, and classical guitar. Learning from such greats as Carlos del Puerto, Jr. and Juan Serrano, he came back to the states and immersed his guitar talents  back into the world of Rock and Roll.

Forming his own band shortly after, Omar Torrez toured the US and overseas in support of his two releases on Russian Label Soyuz Music. Tom Waits took notice of Omar’s gift and asked him to be on the “Glitter and Doom” tour in the summer of 2008. They embarked on a North American and European Tour to great success.

Recently, Omar has been working with Prairie Sun mainstay and sound wizard Oz Fritz on his new EP, where they spent a few days mixing in Studio A. We at Prairie Sun are excited to hear more new material from this talented young artist. Keep your ears close to the ground as we plan on releasing more tidbits of studio happenings in the near future!


Check out more on Omar Torrez here:


Friday, June 11, 2010

The new Raga Bop Trio album recorded at Prairie Sun set to release July 20th!

The New Release from the Raga Bop Trio is set to release July 20th, 2010 on the Abstract Logix imprint. The Raga Bop Trio, consisting of Steve Smith (Drums, Konnakol), Prasanna (Guitar), and George Brooks (Saxophone). The trio's music is inspired by Indian classical rhythms and Western Harmonies giving their sound a unique blend of Jazz, rock, and Indian Classical music.

The Band started putting material together in May of 2009 and camped out at Prairie Sun Recording for a four day recording session that August. The chemistry between the band members is undeniable as their experimentation with drum and guitar sounds to fully explore sonic creativity. Each member contributed their unique flavors of style for the project and it has paid off handsomely. 

After rehearsing and jamming diligently, the trio created all the music for the album in just 3 days which is a testament to their musical prowess, professionalism, and creative drive.

The Raga Bop Trio are touring this fall in support of the new album. Check the dates out for a time and place near you! It was definitely a pleasure having the band at Prairie Sun Recording and look forward to their success this year.

Check them out for more info at:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mr. December Sessions

Prairie Sun Recording has seen some serious local talent grace our studios this week as Mr. December recorded new material in Studio C. Recorded by bay area local Matt Wright, the band is inspired by an eclectic brew of folk, bluegrass, and acoustic. 

They call it “folk stomp” and we couldn’t agree more as they are set to do some amazing things with their music in the near future.  

The dapper gents laid down some fine danceable and fun lovin’ tracks like “money disappears”. The track is sure to be a toe tappin’ hit with Andy Tester’s ultra catchy bass lines and Jimmy Horn’s smooth uke playing and sincere vocals.

It has definitely been an entertaining week so far at week at Prairie Sun Recording. Check them out at: