The label’s focus — “quality music from new bands” – is his way of paying it forward in tribute to those who helped him along the journey from young picker to veteran sideman and studio boss. Working with newer bands also allows him to return to his roots as a music educator, a career stop that makes Stephen a patient mentor.
Bands on the label record at the Dark Shadow Recording studio in Joelton, Tenn., near Nashville. They benefit from Stephen’s considerable musical and teaching chops – he’s been playing and singing with Sam Bush since 2006, performing as half of the Nedski and Mojo duo since 2009, and has a long resume as a sideman. They also get to take advantage of his extensive experience as a producer and engineer for The Rigneys, The Bankesters, Breaking Grass, Bill Evans and others.
Dark Shadow Recording is equipped with the latest gear but is decidedly old school in its approach, offering a genuine partnership between the label and its artists, with the goal of making the best music possible. That’s an extension of Stephen’s belief in “the power of many.”
Here’s how Stephen sums up his approach to Dark Shadow Recording: “I’m thinking of label decisions from the point of view of the artist. While that may not be the most financially sound approach, I believe that by supporting the needs of the musicians, we will grow the label.”
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