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Ira Blonder
Franklin, TN, United States
Ira Blonder is the Managing Partner of Sound Kitchen Studios ( The Blonder Group, LLC (
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Friday, December 18, 2009

Sound Kitchen Welcomes Brokenheartsville Records!

Sound Kitchen Studios welcomes Brokenheartsville Records and its founder, hit songwriter Randy Boudreaux, to the Kitchen. Randy moved the company's business operations into Sound Kitchen Studios. A few of Randy's hits include "Brokenheartsville" sung by Joe Nichols, "Goodnight Sweetheart" sung by David Kersh, and "Alibis" sung by Tracy Lawrence. Randy also co-wrote the song "Matthew, Mark, Luke and Earnhardt", recorded by former jockey, Shane Sellers.

Boudreaux also won a GMA Dove Award for Country Album of the Year in 1997 for producing Jeff Silvey's album, "Little Bit of Faith".

Sound Kitchen Welcomes Audioease to the Big Boy

Audioease recently traveled from the Netherlands to Sound Kitchen Studios to "shoot out" the Big Boy Studio and Studio A for their amazing Altiverb reverb plug-in.Audioease plans to release its new version in 2nd Quarter 2010, featuring Sound Kitchen's studios.

"Altiverb 6 is a convolution reverb plug-in for Mac OS X and Windows XP. It uses top quality samples of real spaces to create reverb, ranging from Sydney Opera House to the cockpit of a Jumbo Jet. Altiverb 6 offers the most extensive set of parameters, it supports all professional plug-in formats including protools TDM on the Mac, parameter automation and surround. Altiverb 6 gives you a choice between iLok SmartKey or Challenge/response copy protection, it lets you sample your own spaces (currently Mac only), and Altiverb is efficient on your cpu."

Be sure to pick up the next version of Altiverb to get that "Big Boy" drum sound that everyone raves about.



Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sound Kitchen Interviews Producer Skidd Mills

Skidd Mills is the owner of Skiddco Music, a production company based at Sound Kitchen Studios in Franklin, TN. Currently, Skiddco Music has 4 bands on its roster. Saving Abel, signed to Virgin Records. Tetanus, from Memphis TN, Deepfield from Charleston SC, and Brent James. Saving Abel's debut
self- titled platinum selling album is available everywhere on Virgin Records. The band is currently touring behind their hit single "Addicted." Tetanus is available on I-Tunes. A special pre-release EP of Deepfield new material is available now on I-Tunes. Brent James is currently in production.

Sound Kitchen
: How did you get your start in the music business?
Skidd Mills: Dumb luck. I was playing in a band in a club, and this guy walks up to me and asks me if I want a job at his studio. I was like “heck ya!”. I think he thought it would be easier to record my band if I was working there. So, I worked there for a few years, went to Fullsail for a year, and got a job at Ardent studios in Memphis TN. Just kind of worked my way up the ranks. Later, a producer friend, Paul Ebersold and I opened 747 Studios, and in June of this year, I moved my operation to The Sound Kitchen here in Franklin.

S.K. Who are your musical influences?
S.M. So many….My parents always encouraged anything musical. As a kid, I remember going to listen to my Mom practice organ and piano all the time. That really stuck with me through the years. Lots of classical stuff. And then I heard Moving Pictures by Rush and that blew me away. Then I got into Queen, Elton John, Genisis and then Metal came along and that was it. I liked all the 80’s bands. But I listen to everything….Rock, Pop….whatever.

S.K. How would you describe your role in the studio?
S.M. As a caretaker for songs. My job is to make the song the best it can be. Just serve the song always, on all levels…

S.K. What do you think makes a good producer?
S.M. I think being musical, and being able to bring out great songs.

S.K. What is in your CD player right now?
S.M. The only CD player I have is in my car, and whatever I’m working on now is what’s probably in there.

S.K. How did you get your first cut as a songwriter? Who was the artist?
S.M. My first cut was a song that I wrote with a band called Fighting Instinct. It was called “I Found Forever”. I was producing the song demos, and we just kind of came up with it. It ended up getting them a deal and cracked the top 30 on Active Rock I think.

S.K. What advice would you give to someone who wants to break into the music industry?
S.M. Good luck. Work hard. And…. My advice is that a great song will take you farther than anything. Once you can get past all the technical crap and truly focus on the song, then you can really start moving forward. I’m not saying technical stuff is not important, I’m just saying you gotta get to a point where you're not thinking about it and you are concentrating on the song.
Friday, December 4, 2009

WWE Super Star Mickie James Records at Sound Kitchen Studios!

Mickie James


(Nashville, TN) – Today WWE® Diva Mickie James announced the signing of an exclusive personal recording contract with famed Nashville music producer Kent Wells at Sound Kitchen Studios.

Wells has produced projects for country artists Dolly Parton, Michael Peterson, and Neal McCoy among others. He also played guitar on and co-produced Dolly Parton’s GRAMMY-nominated album, “Halos And Horns” and the GRAMMY and Oscar-nominated song “Travelin’ Through.” He also produced Parton’s most recent album, “Backwoods Barbie,” which was the highest debuting Billboard Chart album release of her historic career.

James and Wells are currently in Sound Kitchen Studios working on her first recording project. A spring 2010 debut release is anticipated. Last month, James announced signings with Sherry Massaro’s Nashville-based Skyline Management Group, Inc., as well as Don Grubbs’ Absolute Publicity, Inc. for public relations representation.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sound Kitchen Studios Records Jessie James

Jessie James recently paid a visit to The Sound Kitchen to record vocals for her new song "Bullet", (co-written with Katy Perry). Jessie has teamed with Fox-TV's cable network Speed as the face for their upcoming "Speed Dream Ride" programming and promotional event. The promotion is scheduled to run from Thanksgiving day through New Year's Day.

Jessie James,sound kitchen,speed,Fox
Monday, November 23, 2009

New Video Page at Sound Kitchen Site!

We wanted to let you know we added a video page to our website. Some of the music videos which have been shot at the Sound Kitchen are now available for viewing on our Video Page. Artists ranging from Keith Urban to LeAnn Womack to Rascal Flatts to Taylor Swift were filmed in our Big Boy Studio. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What We Love About Country Star, Danielle Peck

Country Music Star Danielle Peck recorded a music video at Sound Kitchen Studios. Country TV Host, Ashlie Kolb interviewed Danielle in the Big Boy Studio for her upcoming album. Danielle recorded her first album at the Sound Kitchen; however it is interesting to note that Danielle has been writing songs since she was ten years old.

Here are just a few things The Sound Kitchen love’s about Danielle:

1. Maxim Magazine recently named her one of the
Hottest Women in Country Music.

2. If every waiter in Nashville is an aspiring musician, Danielle was no different. She started off in Nashville with a schedule of writing from eight in the morning until she had to work, often from 2PM until 3AM. Starbucks was her best friend.

3. She was recently honored in her hometown of Zanesville, Ohio with her own day. October 17th is now officially “Danielle Peck Day.” She said, “I was so shocked and frazzled by the news that I actually forgot the words to one of my songs once we began the show!"

You can check out Danielle at: or visit her site at

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nick Raskulinecz mixes Alice in Chains at The Sound Kitchen

Famed rock producer, Nick Raskulinecz (Rush, Foo Fighters, Paramore), recently mixed some live Alice in Chains tracks in Sound Kitchen Studio E. Check out the article about the making of the newest Alice in Chains record in the latest issue of Mix Magazine.


Congratulations to Darius Rucker and Frank Rogers!

Sound Kitchen Studios congratulates Darius Rucker on his 2009 CMA win of "New Artist of the Year". Darius recorded his latest album with producer Frank Rogers in Sound Kitchen's Studio B with engineer Richard Barrow.

Check out Darius' CMA performance on youtube!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Congrats to Country Artist, Mark Connors!

Country recording artist, Mark Connors, just completed his album at Sound Kitchen Studios. Mark was recently featured in November's People Magazine Country Edition. Congrats to Mark on his smash singles "You" and "I Think She Loves Me". Mark tracked his songs in Sound Kitchen's Studio E, with Producer/Engineer Mike Puwal.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Interview with Little River band founding member, Beeb Birtles

Yesterday, we had the amazing opportunity to sit down with Beeb Birtles, founding member and guitar player for the Little River Band, and ask him a few questions while he was recording in the Sound Kitchen.

Background; The Little River Band was formed in Melbourne, Australia in 1975 and since then have sold over 25 million records with 13 American top 40 hits.

Sound Kitchen: What projects are you currently working on?

Beeb Birtles: Right now I'm actually writing with a couple of different people. My last project was "Fall With Me" by Lauren Moses, a young woman from Charleston, WV. My partner, Bill Cuomo and I produced that together. It was Lauren's debut CD that consisted of seven tracks.

SK What advice would you give to independent musicians who are considering recording a demo?

BB I would advice them to work with experienced producers and recording engineers. If you would be so lucky as to have one of your demos recorded by an established recording artist, the A team studio musicians here in Nashville usually copy note for note what they hear on the demo.

SK What advice would you give to independent musicians who are trying to promote themselves?

BB You can never go wrong with a publicity photo and a bio to hand out to people. Plus nowadays you have to join MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to network.

SK Who are you listening to currently?

BB Right now for pure pop I'm loving Jack McManus' "Either Side of Midnight" CD. I love Jem's music. Her first CD was called, "Finally Woken" and her second one is called, "Down To Earth". I also love "Gossip In The Grain" by Ray LaMontagne. And Kings of Leon, of course!

SK What studio in the Sound Kitchen do you prefer?

BB The Big Boy studio is very impressive but I would probably feel more comfortable in one of the smaller, more intimate studios. But I'm sure that every room will produce the desired effect.

SK What do you enjoy doing around Nashville when not in the studio.

BB I certainly like driving around the countryside on those days when you just want to get away. My wife and I have started canoeing on the Duck River. That's fun to do! I like trying different ethnic restaurants that are springing up all around Nashville.

SK Any last words of advice?

BB When it comes to recording, remember that LESS IS MORE. You know what they say about opinions, don't you? Yeah, everybody's got one! In other words, it's not what you add to your recording, the secret is knowing what to leave out. The Beatles recorded on 4 track recorders!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Artist News: New Album from Steven Curtis Chapman

Renowned Christian artist and Dove award winner, Steven Curtis Chapman, held his CD listening party, Beauty Will Rise, at Sound Kitchen Studios, Franklin, TN, this past weekend. Chapman's album was written about the loss of his youngest daughter, Mary Sue Chapman, who was tragically killed in a car accident on May 21, 2008. Chapman started recording the album last year while he was on the road with Michael W. Smith; recording it from the Rupp Arena locker room to a hotel lobby. For more info on Steven’s album or his charitable works, please check out his video blog here 
Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sound Kitchen Mic Pre Shootout

We recently held a "Microphone Pre-amp Shootout" with our class of interns in the Big Boy Studio. We had a singer repeat the same lines of a song for easy comparison. The signal flow was as follows...

A Neumann U-67 going to a "selected mic pre" going through a Purple Audio M76 compressor to Pro Tools.

Our Mic Pre list was as follows

API 212L

Avalon M-5

DBX 786

Martech MSS-10

Neve 1073

Summit Audio Dual Tube Pre

Take a moment to listen to the differences below.

Which vocal chain do you think sounds the best and why?

Are there any other vocal chains that you think sound amazing?

Please let us know what you think.

All of these outboard mic pres are available for rental when you book any studio at The Sound Kitchen.

Sound Kitchen Mic Pre Shootout

Billy Ray Cyrus In Sound Kitchen Studios For His New Movie

Nashville native TV, Movie Star, and Country Artist, Billy Ray Cyrus just finished recording his voiceovers here in the Big Boy at Sound Kitchen Studios yesterday for his new movie, Christmas in Canaan. (Canaan, Texas that is.) The movie is based off of a book he and Kenny Rogers Co-wrote in 2002, (For more info, check out the book here) and premiers December 12th at 7 pm CST on the Hallmark Channel.

In the movie, Cyrus plays a widowed father trying to raise three children in Canaan, Tex. during the Civil Rights Movement. We will keep you updated! In the meantime check out the cast list at IMDB.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Saving Abel Records at Sound Kitchen Studios!

If you're a fan of Saving Abel, don't miss the great article did on their new album release and tour. Check it out here!

So why do we at the Sound Kitchen care? Saving Abel has just recorded their new album (not yet out) in our studios and recently played a sold out benefit show in the Big Boy Studio at the Sound Kitchen. Check out the pictures from the night!

saving abel,Sound Kitchen

Saving Abel,Sound Kitchen

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saving abel,Sound Kitchen

saving abel,Sound Kitchen

saving abel,Sound Kitchen
Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Keith Urban records in The Sound Kitchen Studio A

Very cool 7 minute video of Keith and band in the studio making the "Love Pain and the Whole Crazy Thing" record in 2006.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sound Kitchen Tech Sean Shannon

With the help of our new tech, Sean Shannon, Sound Kitchen has made some awesome upgrades around the facility. If you have any tech-related questions about any of our studios, feel free to contact Sean directly at
Friday, August 28, 2009


GAC, Katie Armiger and the Sound Kitchen Bring Major Prize to West Virginian

March 18, 2009 — Stephen Shumacher, a 56-year-old country music fan from Charleston, W.Va., has the chance of a lifetime next week when he heads to Nashville to write a love song with Katie Armiger.

Stephen was one of more than 50,000 fans who took part in GAC’s February contest, Kapturing A Love Song With Katie Armiger, and he’ll co-write his piece with Katie and Love And Theft, a new band that will also produce a final version of the song at the Legendary Sound Kitchen Studios in Franklin, TN.

"I have always wanted the opportunity to be a part of writing a song, so this is truly a dream come true for me," Stephen says. "I sincerely want to thank Katie and GAC for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. As both a singer and songwriter, Katie has a combination that makes her a truly gifted talent whose music belies her age. I still can’t believe that I won and get to write with her."

Katie, Stephen and Love And Theft will all write and record their song at the Sound Kitchen Studios in Franklin, Tenn., where such artists as Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, Lonestar and the Dixie Chicks have recorded their major albums. In the meantime, Katie has other moments worthy of celebration. She makes her network television debut Saturday on the "CBS Early Show." And her "Trail Of Lies" video is currently ranked No. 12 on GAC’s Top 20 Country Countdown.
Friday, June 12, 2009


When music aficionados debate rock n' roll greats, you may hear names like Elvis Presley and The Beatles tossed around. If the name Cliff Richard came up in that conversation, your immediate response might be "Who?"Most people from this area would probably not put Cliff Richard and Elvis Presley in the same category nor mention them in the same conversation for that matter. In fact, most people from this area would be hard pressed to tell you who Cliff Richard is or what songs he has sung over the years.Cliff Richard is a name people might not recognize until you play one of his hit songs, such as "Devil Woman" or "We Don't Talk Any More." That's when people have that look on their face like "Yeah, I remember that song."Cliff Richard holds the record with Elvis Presley as the only act to make the UK single's charts in all of its decades (1950s-2000). He is the only singer to have had a number one single in the UK in five consecutive decades. On the British charts, Richard has had more than 130 singles, albums and EP's make the top 20, more than any other artist. He has sold more than 260 million records and has spent the second highest time on the British charts of any act, second only to Elvis and ahead of The Beatles and Elton John.One must wonder with all the success in the UK and all over the world why he isn't recognizable in the United States. Richard used to worry about his lack of popularity in the States. Now he enjoys the anonymity that he doesn't receive anywhere else in the world.Richard was in Franklin recently to record a new record at the Sound Kitchen Studio. "I will be spending five or six days in the studio, recording a whole album in a week." said Richard. "I have recorded 14 songs in two and half days; it's a marathon."The new record, which will be a "jazz bluesy swinging" sound, will feature Cliff Richard singing hits from artist such as Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, and Etta James. According to Richard, this record is different than anything he has ever done. "This has been a bit of a stretch for me, I have never sung these types of songs before," said Richard. "It's (jazz) an alien world. It took me two days to get used to the chord progressions. I love challenges and this has been out of my comfort zone, but working with producer Michael Omartian, the musicians, and the studio has been phenomenal." Michael Omartian is an accomplished producer of such acts as Michael Bolton, Whitney Houston, Rod Stewart, Clint Black, Amy Grant, and Steely Dan to name a few. He is probably best known as the co-producer of the No. 1 hit "We Are the World" in 1985.Cliff Richard has recorded in Nashville before, once in 1962, and at the Sound Kitchen four years ago. You can tell that Richard loves the time he spends in this area, as he raved about the geography, the studio, and the musicians he worked with. "I love the rolling hills of this area, and everything is so green. It's beautiful here. We have used 14 musicians on this album, all local musicians. They are like a community. There is a real sense of community with all of them and they are so talented. The studio is fantastic, small, and comfortable. I have really enjoyed making this record here."Ira Blonder, managing partner of Sound Kitchen Studios, lists Cliff Richards as one of his favorite clients. Blonder and Richard have worked together before when Richard was in the studio four years ago."Cliff Richard is an amazing talent and a gentleman to work with," said Blonder. "When artists come to record here, we typically get them back because of the experience, and Cliff is an example of the relationships we build here at the Sound Kitchen Studios. Cliff has already scheduled a return to record a follow up album next year," said Blonder.Richard was already talking about the next album. "I would love to name it Bold as Brass," said Richard. "I would love to do this as my follow up, maybe add string instruments in the studio."The comparisons to Elvis may be a distant memory to Cliff Richard, but Richard still welcomes the discussion and credits Elvis with influencing not only himself but all of rock n' roll."The British press called me the answer to Elvis," said Richard. "We were battling it out on the UK charts for years. Rock and Roll would have been much different without Elvis. He gave us our shapes; he influenced us. I look back on my career and when someone mentions me in the same breath as Elvis, I appreciate it."Blonder noted that he was always intrigued with Richard's relationship with Elvis. "Imagine being as big as Elvis everywhere in the world and not being able to walk out in public without being mobbed. Here in the U.S., Cliff doesn't get the attention he deserves," said Blonder.While visits to local restaurants like Sperry's and J. Alexander's went without any fanfare, a trip to the Ryman to see the Patsy Cline musical "Always" was a different story."There was a big group traveling from Europe on vacation and they noticed me at the show," said Richards. "The group was ecstatic that they came to Nashville to see country stars and they ran into Cliff Richard."At age 68, looking fit, trim, and youthful, Cliff Richards is not slowing down and ponders all the possibilities out there for him. "I love country music; maybe I could record with Allison Krauss sometime."