Leif Vollebekk with Cindy Cashdollar

We were super stoked to have Leif Vollebekk in the studio recently. Lief was recording some tunes with engineer John Valesio. Woodstock legend Cindy Cashdollar joined for some magical lap steel and dobro playing.

Leif is a Canadian indie folk singer-songwriter, whose 2017 album Twin Solitude was a shortlisted finalist for the 2017 Polaris Music Prize and the 2018 Juno Award for Adult Alternative Album of the Year. His fourth album, New Ways, was released in 2019 on Secret City Records

Cindy Cashdollar received five Grammy awards while playing for eight years with Asleep at the Wheel, and has also backed such noted performers as Bob Dylan, Leon Redbone, Redd Volkaert, Carla Olson and Ryan Adams as a member of his band The Cardinals.

Leif Vollebekk and Cindy Cashdollar with John Valesio and Todd Adelman

We were lucky to have Kevin DeForrest at the studio recently, working on his new album, tentatively titled “One More Time Today.” Kevin seemlessly blends elements of blugrass, country, and folk into his timeless compositions.

For these sessions, produced by Todd Adelman and engineered by John Valesio, Kevin was joined by a fantastic band:

Kevin DeForrest – Vocals
Jim Christie – Drums
Taras Prodaniuk – Bass
Doug Pettibone – Electric Guitars, Pedal Steel Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Dobro
John Putnam – Acoustic and Resophonic Guitar
Brian Mitchell – Piano, B3, Accordion and Wurlitzer Electric Piano

All the photos here were taken by James Kegley.

One of the many great things about the location of our studio is its proximity to Woodstock, NY, a town with a rich musical history. The area attracts some incredible talent. You can’t shake a stick without hitting a world class musician.

To wit, we’ve recently had the honor of hosting Larry Campbell, John Medeski, and Jefferson Hamer, who all tracked on Todd Adelman’s upcoming album.

Here’s keyboard maestro John Medeski (of Medesiki, Martin & Wood) wrecking our Farfisa.

And here’s Jefferson Hamer singing some sweet harmonies.

The new single “January” from The Century Band featuring Marc Delgado, recorded at The Woods recently, is now available on all platforms.

Marc writes: “A collaboration w a ton of friends!!! The whole thing was put together by our pal from NYC Dan Klug of The Century Band. He wrote the tune & played piano! It was recorded & engineered by Todd Adelman at his amazing studio here in Woodstock. Co-written & produced by Justin Tracy. He also played acoustic guitar, drums AND keys!!!! Todd Nelson played slide guitar and James Alanson Kirk played bass. Co-written & sung by yours truly!!”

The video footage was shot by Tim Geaney and edited by @l.ittle.bit, @richardhll and Mimi Young.

We recently had The Century Band (featuring Marc Delgado) at The Woods for a day of recording with Justin Tracy producing.

Marc said: “Fantastic day of recording at The Woods!! The vibe was spot-on. Everybody had a great time and the sounds and gear are second to none! Best studio experience I’ve ever had… period!”

In addition to Marc, the band featured Justin on drums, Dan Klug on Piano, James Alanson Kirk on Bass, and Todd Nelson on guitar.

Todd Adelman engineered the session.

The Woods was truly inaugurated in late April, when Todd Adelman recorded his Seventh full length album with Danny Blume producing. Tracking was for Todd’s forthcoming release Western Soul, due out in late 2022.  

The band recorded live to 16 track 2 inch tape at 15 ips on an Ampex MM1200. Todd and Danny were joined by engineer Nic Hard, as well as Jim Christie on Drums, Taras Prodaniuk on Bass and BGVX, Doug Pettibone on Electric Guitar, Resonator Guitar, Dobro, Pedal Steel and BGVX and Pete Rubens on Piano and BGVX.

We were thrilled that classical pianist Marisa Gupta recently swung by the studio on her way back to Paris to record on our Steinway D Concert Grand. The session was produced by renowned classical producer Marlan Barry.

Here’s a couple samples from the session:

Variations on a Theme of Chopin by Federico Mompou: Variation 11
Variations on a Theme of Chopin by Federico Mompou: Variation 12

Marlan noted that he used a pair of piano mics Neumann M49 tubes with K49 capsules, as well Coles 4038 Ribbon mic at foot. The room mics were Schoeps 221b Omni’s. The mic pres were GML and Neve.

A bit more about Marissa: 

Pianist Marisa Gupta has a versatile musical life, comprised of solo and chamber music performances, ranging from rare repertoire of the past to a deep commitment towards music of today, performed with heartfelt conviction and a deep intellectual engagement. Born in the USA of Thai and Indian parentage, pianist Marisa Gupta made her debut performing Prokofiev’s 1st Piano Concerto with the Houston Symphony. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including top prizes at the Concours Maria Canals (Barcelona), the Viotti Competition (Vercelli, Italy), Corpus Christi and Kingsville International Music Competitions, a Solti Foundation Award, a Fulbright scholarship for study in the UK, and many others. She was an Edison Visiting Fellow at the British Library (for the study of early chamber music recordings and performance styles) and was named a finalist by the BBC for its New Generations Thinkers Scheme, an initiative inviting leading British thinkers to broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

Here’s a clip of Marisa performing Haydn, Mompou, and Chopin:

More about Marlan: 

Marlan Barry specializes in orchestral, chamber, operatic, electro-acoustic and jazz recordings. In addition to recording and producing acclaimed musicians, chamber groups and orchestras in New York, Marlan served as the head recording engineer and musical producer for Houston Grand Opera for 15 years, producing its commercial releases and national radio broadcasts.

Steve Koester of Two Dark Birds recently spent an afternoon at The Woods sketching out a new song, called “The Song To End It All.”  Studio Owner Todd Adelman acted as engineer for the session. Look for release plans on Vfib Recordings in the near future. 

Two Dark Birds is a band from the Catskill Mountains formed by singer, songwriter, guitarist Steve Koester.  The band has released four critically acclaimed albums. 

Here’s a video from their 2017 album “Bow.” 

Soren Song, Musician

Soren recently visited the studio to spend time on our Steinway D tracking piano and vocals with Producer Danny Danny Blume. Look for a release date soon.​

Soren Song (they/them) is a singer/songwriter from New York. Over the past few decades they have gained a reputation as a performer who taps into the human experience and takes their listeners through the highs and lows of it all with startling honesty. There is no difference between the performer and the performance. When you listen to Soren you get all of them – in whatever way it happens to come out. 

Soren has worked with Grammy and Juno winning producer Danny Blume on their last two releases, “Beloved (Home)” and “Boundaries (Hell)”, and is currently working on a third album called “Believe (Heal)”. 

Here’s a “Be Still My Mind” from Soren’s last full length release: