Houston, TX (November 8, 2006)–Billed as the oldest continuously operating facility in Texas, SugarHill Recording Studio, in Houston, has 65 years of music-making history. In very recent history, Frank Black brought his band into the studio to record some new songs, and producer Eric Jarvis collaborated with drummer Matt Johnson, the beat behind Jeff Buckley’s Grace, on some new music.
Black is the lead singer for The Pixies, but in his solo career, tours with his “Frank Black” band, which includes producer and long-time collaborator Eric Drew Feldman on bass, Duane Jarvis on guitars and Billy Block on drums. According to the SugarHill website, after performing at Houston-venue, The Meridian, on October 11th, Black and band arrived at SugarHill to track two songs in Studio A. Ben Mumphrey engineered the session, assisted by SugarHill’s senior staff engineer Steve Christensen and engineer Heba Kadry. They tracked drums, bass, guitars and vocals to 24-track, 2″ inch tape through the studio’s Neotek Elite console.
Feldman has worked with Black since his breakup with The Pixies in 1993 (they reunited in 2004), and is most known for being the former bassist and keyboard player for the avant-garde rock band Captain Beefheart. Feldman has also produced The Polyphonic Spree and worked with artists such as PJ Harvey, Pere Ubu and Snakefinger.
Drummer Billy Block returned to SugarHill after a 20-year absence. A native Houstonian, Block was a session drummer on many SugarHill recordings at the age of 19, particularly many of the Freddy Fender records done at SugarHill in the 70’s. In addition to playing guitars for Frank Black, Duane Jarvis is a solo artist playing alt-country rock, and is signed to Slewfoot Records. Because many of the studio staff were fans, emotions ran high during the session. SugarHill senior staff engineer Steve Christensen was quoted saying “Once Frank Black screamed into the microphone, I realized that this is the reason why I record music.”
Pictured at SugarHill are (l-r): Eric Jarvis, Matt Johnson, Engineer Steve Christensen and Darrin Love.Christensen also engineered the Jarvis-Johnson sessions. Jarvis is a Houston native and producer/arranger and multi-instrumentalist session player. He recruited Johnson, a long-time friend, to track drums at SugarHill’s Studio A for his newest productions, including the music of Anne Loo, (co-produced with SugarHill president, Dan Workman), and Darrin Love.
Johnson is best known as the drummer on Grace and subsequent Jeff Buckley live releases and mini albums, but he has also played with Duncan Sheik, Rufus Wainwright and Martha Wainwright, and has toured with John Mayer and Beth Orton. Jarvis, of recently-formed production company, Crushpad Productions, has worked with Charlie Sexton, Bob Schneider, NYC jazz singer Nina Belanger, recorded and produced by Dave McNair and Billy Harvey, Laidlaw, and Guatemalan Christian rock artist Gabriela.