It’s About More Than Just Dave Cobb Taking Over Nashville’s Studio ‘A’
“Damn it, the fight isn’t in Austin and it isn’t in Los Angeles. It’s right here in Nashville … and if we winand if our winning is ever going to amount to anything in the long runwe’ve got to beat them on their own turf.” Tompall Glaser
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Are you beginning to get that tingling feeling you get when you know something monumental is happening and it can only lead to great things?
Producer Dave Cobb—known for his work with Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell, and so many more—has signed on to be the new caretaker of the historic Studio ‘A’ on Music Row starting April 1st. Performer and pianist Ben Folds has been in charge of the space for the last 14 years, including helping to shepherd Studio ‘A’ and the building surrounding it through a stretch in 2014 where investors wanted to bulldoze it and build a condominium development. Ben Folds is citing his touring schedule and other demands as the reason he’s vacating the stewardship as the official renter of the space.
“I know the studio will be in good hands with Dave Cobb,” says Folds. “Dave is familiar with the history and inner workings of Studio A and he represents a bright future for Music Row.”
Many of Dave Cobb’s projects have already been utilizing the studio.
30 Music Square West was originally built in 1964 by guitarist/producer Chet Atkins, studio guitarist Harold Bradley, and producer Owen Bradley. It was originally known as “RCA Victor Nashville Sound Studio,” or “RCA Studio ‘A’. Half of the building is offices that include high profile tenants such as Jamey Johnson, and the other half is the oversized Studio ‘A’ space originally built to facilitate the recording of string sections that were often used during country music’s Countrypolitan era.
In 2014, the building was bought by Bravo Development who originally said they would try to preserve the space, then ultimately sent tenants eviction notices and made their plans to bulldoze the building known. At the 11th hour, philanthropist Aubrey Preston swept in to preserve the building before placing it in a trust owned by multiple investors, including large Music Row property owner Mike Curb, and healthcare executive Chuck Elcan. Despite the age of the studio, it continues to be in high demand because of the history of the space, and the sound it brings to recordings.
“I’m proud to be entrusted with the keys to one of the best-sounding rooms in the world,” says Cobb. “My plan is simple: Honor the history of Studio A while making sure its unique sound carries forward onto new songs and albums with new artists.”
But this is more than just Dave Cobb signing up to rent a studio space. It feels like a very symbolic enshrining of the new spirit taking over Nashville and Music Row amid the successes of many of Dave Cobb’s studio projects, and the organic approach he brings to the recording process.
Dave Cobb is up for Producer of the Year at the 2016 Grammy Awards in February.
READ: 2016 Could Be 1975 All Over Again in Country Music
January 16, 2016 @ 10:55 am
Damn I wish he’d produce a Jamey Johnson album already.
January 16, 2016 @ 7:57 pm
He was a producer on “The Guitar Song”. But at this point, I would take any full length Jamey Johnson album.
January 17, 2016 @ 9:42 am
I’d take a 45 of 2 Jamey songs. We’re long overdue
January 17, 2016 @ 9:48 pm
He produced “That Lonesome Song” as well.
January 16, 2016 @ 11:27 am
I wish that Jamey Johnson would produce himself with his band @ T.W. Cargile! He has the talent to just let it flow… We, the fans, love his attitude towards the record label moguls!
January 16, 2016 @ 12:22 pm
Well, this is perfect. I would say Dave Cobb and his crew are right up in Music Row’s backyard now, except they’re actually on Music Row itself, occupying a permanent space in one of Nashville most historic studios. Obviously, this move further legitimizes Cobb and the various artists associated with him. Honestly, the speed at which he has built his little empire in Nashville is amazing. Just a couple months ago, it seemed unusual to see a kinda underground guy like Dave Cobb up on stage during the CMA Awards. Next time, he’ll probably have a dang front row seat.
January 16, 2016 @ 12:36 pm
Also, even though he’s leaving as the studio tenant, I have to say major respect is owed to Ben Folds for doing what he did to help preserve Studio A, and to start the conversation about the overall conversation about preservation in Nashville. In the Tennessean article about this, it says Folds claims that over the last couple years he’s been just as recognized around the world for saving the studio as for being a recording artist.
I know some people in the real estate and business communities probably thought Ben Folds was out of place in speaking publicly about the future of a property he didn’t actually own, or that he was just being an idealistic pain in the ass, but he did the right thing.
January 16, 2016 @ 2:38 pm
The development in and around music row over the last 15 or so years has been so sad at the loss of buildings that once were host’s to many a musical happenings that are history and so many of us lived that life right there and created the history we call music row. Tearing down our history and replacing them with ugly buildings that have no character is a crying shame and slowly all that’s left is memories. No place to go where the ghosts still walk the halls…So glad when Ben spoke up and others who want to preserve our heritage for our next generation. Thank you…
January 16, 2016 @ 3:07 pm
I miss the old Country Music Hall of Fame with its walkway of stars and the fountain… with the big tree next to it… Was a nice place to sit down and relax and think about all those pictures being taken there…
January 16, 2016 @ 2:41 pm
If people start calling this potential new era “The Cobb Era” I’m gonna start laughing because I think he’d be the last guy to agree with that
January 16, 2016 @ 4:46 pm
Wow. That’s cool. Places matter. As do people. It’s what makes “art”…meaning: something that matters to the person who creates it AND the person who consumes it.
That’s what no commercial-first enterprise ever understands.
January 16, 2016 @ 5:46 pm
Gotta love some of the things brewing in Nashville. Growing up I hated Country music, only to find out in my early 20’s that I had been listening to the wrong kind of country music, the kind on the radio. I discovered people like Hank 3, Jamey, Sturgill, Whitey, etc. and have never looked back. I don’t blame people that make fun of country because all they ever hear is pop songs with a fake twang. I used to be like them until I discovered lesser known artists.
Fuzzy Two Shits
January 16, 2016 @ 6:04 pm
Dave Cobb is the behind the scenes guy we’ve needed for a long time. We’ve been looking for a messiah, first Sturgill Simpson and now Chris Stapleton. Meanwhile Dave Cobb has been in the back rooms doing just as much as either of those guys, and arguably they needed him to get where they are today.
The man is the gatekeeper we need, and he’s the only person save for Marty Stuart who should be entrusted with the keeping of Studio A.
January 16, 2016 @ 8:33 pm
Dave Cobb. Don’t know that I’ve heard a producer’s name mentioned more than his ever. I think it’s pretty dang cool. I’m wondering if he has a protoge? Who is the next cool producer? He’s been at this a while. But we need more like him. Artists are gonna be banging down his door for a while, and his calendar is probably full for the next 5 years.
January 17, 2016 @ 8:50 am
John Paul White formerly of The Civil Wars has really stepped up and is doing a lot of producing of great records, really in the shadows of Cobb. If it wasn’t for Cobb getting so much attention, he would probably be the hot producer right now.
January 17, 2016 @ 2:55 am
what’s Andy Gibson been up to?