Music history and nostalgia is almost as important to me as the music itself. Fortunately, Austin has such a rich and diverse music history, the city pulsates with it. One of my tasks to accomplish over my stay, given to me by Time Out New York Magazine and Booking.com, was to find a spot where something notable in music history occurred. After doing some research, I discovered there was no better place for me to experience than Arlyn Studios.
Here's a small list of some of my favorite musicians who have recorded at Arlyn...Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Neil Young, Bonnie Raitt, Jennifer Nettles, The Toadies, Snoop Dogg, Ray Charles, Phish, and Sublime. Some other biggies include: Wilco, Eli Young Band, Lorde, Merle Haggard, Les Paul, Gary Clark Jr., Coldplay, and Buddy Guy. Not a shabby line up.
Arlyn Studios also boasts a one-of-a-kind vintage Neve console. If you've ever seen Dave Grohl's documentary, Sound City, you would know that the Neve console is the holy grail of all mixing/recording consoles. They are rare and have been out of production for decades. Records from some of the world's most acclaimed artists such as, Nirvana (Nevermind), Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac (Rumors), and Tom Petty, were recorded on a similar console. Arlyn's is actually a Neve and API hybrid... the only one like it in the world.
I was fortunate enough to get a tour from the current owner, Lisa Fletcher, whose husband/co-owner is also Willie Nelson's nephew. Her graciousness was only exceeded by her music knowledge. After she poured me a Sunday-Funday cocktail, we began our tour. First stop was the control room... and the Neve console.
Seeing this board was surreal; as I was looking at a piece of equipment that some of my favorite artists of all time, recorded their masterpieces on. Sublime's entire 1996 self titled album was recorded on this board. Unreal. Not to mention some of Waylon's later works, Willie's current works, and dozens of others, many of whom are mentioned above.
I got a full history of the studio, as it has been transformed over the years from an opera house, to a recording studio, to a restaurant (part of it was), and finally was re-launched in 2012 to get back to its authentic heart and soul. I absolutely cannot wait to come back and visit and see Arlyn Studios in action... see some tracks being laid down. Hmmmm Austin City Limits is right around the corner... time to plan my next trip!!