For years it was just the building across from the little shop with the great gyros.
It’s funny how perspective can drastically change even though our surroundings don’t change much at all. As my musical talents and tastes grew so grew the way I looked at the brick building that housed Ardent Studios. I spent a long time looking in from the outside as a musician in Memphis, but as our band grew and as our sound melded I found myself bumping into Ardent a little more each year. I remember seeing Jason Gillespie at one of our shows in November of 2006. I could tell there was something about that guy but it was until a full two years later that the seed was germinated. I suppose things that are meant to be will stick around one another without always understanding why.
After forging a synergistic relationship with two sound engineers from Ardent we were set to record a 5 song EP and begin building the foundation of our relationship with the studio as well. As a musician it’s a very special moment pulling into the Ardent parking lot for business purposes. It’s a fairly inconspicuous building (like most great places in Memphis). You can see a kiddy pool or two in the adjacent houses that back up to Ardent and it’s shaded by a heavy canopy of Midtown trees that makes it blend in to the neighboring buildings.
Opening the door is a different experience though. It’s still just as cozy but the history and spirit of the building really come in focus as you pass by gold record after gold record. Movements of soul, rock, grunge and everything in between have come through Ardent and it’s an honest pleasure just to be invited in the building. That’s why when Rachel contacted us about playing an Ardent Session I got the same giddy feeling I did the first time pulling in the parking lot.
I really can’t imagine a more comfortable studio situation. The staff is passionate about music from top to bottom and the standards of quality are set very high. To be able to invite all our friends inside was even better than just experiencing it by ourselves. I can’t recall a single person not having a big smile on their face that night. I couldn’t help but think about the great artists that had been in the spot I was standing while we went through our set. I can highly advise anyone that’s a fellow musician or fan of music to check out the next Ardent Session. Whether it’s a local act or someone national coming through, you’re going to have an unforgettable experience. The music is palpable in Ardent Studios. Oh and the place across the street has great gyros.