Blue Rock Studio

Blue Rock Studio was an independent 16- and 24-track recording facility located in Manhattan’s SoHo district. Founded by owner Eddie Korvin, it opened in 1970 and was sold in 1986.[1][2]

Blue Rock Studio
Address29 Greene Street, New York City 10013
LocationNew York City
TypeRecording studio
Opened1970 (1970)
Blue Rock Studio flyer.jpg
Blue Rock recording studio.jpg
Blue Rock control room.jpg

Early yearsEdit

After meeting John Storyk, recent architecture graduate, at the Electric Circus and Cerebrum, a club Storyk designed, Korvin hired Storyk to design the new studio located in a 3 level, stand alone cast iron building on Greene Street. Storyk, whose first two studio jobs were Electric Lady Studios and Blue Rock, designed the recording room, control room and reception space on the street level floor.[3] Tom Dwyer and Ken Robertson, electronic designers and builders at one of New York’s major labels, worked nights and weekends building a custom solid state console, installing all additional equipment including Scully 16, 4, and 2 track tape machines. Seeking additional help, Korvin invited long time friend, Joe Schick, to return to New York and become a partner in the studio. Upon opening to clients, Schick served primarily as studio manager for about 4 years before departing Blue Rock. Korvin handled the majority of engineering duties and became chief engineer. Blue Rock was also one of the first New York studios to employ a female engineer, Jan Rathbun.[4]

Musically diverse, the first two 1971 sessions at Blue Rock for start up Perception Records were an American remix of the 45rpm hit single "Dancing in the Moonlight" by King Harvest and a mix down of a live club recording by jazz great James Moody. One of the attractions of Blue Rock was privacy and discretion. "I like it. I’ll be back", said Bob Dylan after checking out the studio one afternoon.[5] A three day booking was arranged for March 1971 where Dylan, backed by Leon Russell and band, jammed and recorded Watching the River Flow and When I Paint My Masterpiece. Both songs were subsequently released on CBS Records and Dylan returned to Blue Rock on two other occasions later in 1971.[6]

Later yearsEdit

Around 1975, Korvin decided a partial remodel and equipment upgrade were necessary. Estelle Lazarus was hired as studio manager and public relations person. Around the same time, Michael Ewasko joined the studio as assistant engineer to Eddie Korvin.[7] Later, Ewasko was promoted to chief engineer, a position he kept until the closing of the studio in 1986. Architect Storyk designed the control room remodel and the studio upgraded to Studer 24- and 2-track tape machines and a Neve 8058 console. Original audio designers Dwyer and Robertson oversaw the installation of the new equipment. Notable clients in the later years were The Kinks (2 albums and 1 soundtrack), The Spinners' single "Working My Way Back to You", Keith Richards and Screamin' Jay Hawkins 1979 version "I Put a Spell on You" and the Joe Jackson platinum-selling album, Night and Day, including the song "Steppin' Out", Grammy-nominated for 1983 Record of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.[8]

It is of interest to highlight the concentration of jazz composers and players who recorded at Blue Rock throughout its working years. Korvin had a business relationship with Mike Mantler and Carla Bley (Jazz Composers Orchestra) that produced many recording sessions and resulting albums. Later, the studio had a close working relationship with Manhattan-based Muse Records. This jazz-oriented company, headed by Joe Fields, was specifically interested in recording the diverse, vibrant and often experimental music that pervaded New York City. In fact, Eddie Korvin once recorded a visiting group of Swiss-German yodelers accompanied by 13-foot-long alphorns. In this pre-digital era, Blue Rock welcomed an eclectic group of clients and performers in the fields of rock, pop, jazz, folk, classical, dance, tv and radio commercials, film and tv scores, and sounds without category. Music, from the traditional to the interstellar, was played and recorded at Blue Rock Studio.

Partial list of artists recordedEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Billboard, 10 June 1972.
  2. ^ "Eddie Korvin". Discogs. Retrieved 2018-05-31.
  3. ^ "Blue Rock Studio". Interiors. 183. 1979. OCLC 1644189.
  4. ^ "Jan Rathbun". Discogs. Retrieved 2018-05-31.
  5. ^ Spitz, Bob. Dylan : a biography. New York. p. 405. OCLC 986783494.
  6. ^ "Studio Track" Billboard, 12 August 1972.
  7. ^ "Michael Ewasko". Discogs. Retrieved 2018-05-31.
  8. ^ "The Mood is 'Down-Home' at Blue Rock" Billboard, 25 December 1982.
  9. ^ Krogsgaard, Michael (1 August 1991). "Positively Bob Dylan: a thirty-year discography, concert & recording session guide, 1960-1991". Popular Culture. 33.
  10. ^ Salewicz, Chris. Bob Marley : the untold story (First American ed.). New York. OCLC 876041062.
  11. ^ "Fatback". Ace Records. Retrieved 2018-07-20.
  12. ^ Hinman, Doug (2004). The Kinks : all day and all of the night. San Francisco, Calif.: Backbeat Books. OCLC 52530349.
  13. ^ Stamey, Chris. A Spy in the House of Loud: New York Songs and Stories. Austin. OCLC 1007087985.
  14. ^ Sheppard, David (2009). On Some Faraway Beach: The Life and Times of Brian Eno. Chicago Review Press. pp. 319.