July 15, 2008

Using the quiet country as his lab

A country road where a sole pedestrian apologizes that “Someone ran over the street sign about a week and a half ago” is a surprising place to find a professional recording studio.  In Shelbyville, in a modest white farmhouse sitting on 140 acres, Paul Oldham dedicates months to producing quality albums at Rove Studio. 

Oldham developed an interest in recording early. He began working with his own music as well as friends’ music, and since, that aspect really hasn’t changed. Today Oldham still records his own band, Speed to Roam, his brother Will Oldham’s bands, friends’ music and numerous others. But now Oldham has fine-tuned his skills, developed a reputation for quality and obtained a place and equipment to put it all together.

Oldham always uses digital recording equipment. As for aesthetics, Rove is homey and low-key. Bands make themselves comfortable on couches and in the kitchen. If needed, they can sleep in the bedrooms upstairs. Some stay at Rove for days or even weeks while recording.

“The environment allows them to forget about the city. It is nice to be able to isolate oneself to fully focus on recording music,” Oldham said. Natural sounds, like insects, often make pleasant additions to the work at hand. 

Another benefit of the country setting is inspiration. “(My influences are) little bits from different places, mostly people I’ve worked with,” he says. “I’m not always aware of it … I just get inspired.” As he gestured toward the open window, you could see exactly what he meant.


More about Rove Studio at www.rovestudio.com. Contact the writer at leo@leoweekly.com