The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s, Will The Circle Be Unbroken Volumes 2 & 3 were recorded at Scruggs Sound Studios. Will The Circle Be Unbroken Volume 2, produced by Scruggs, won CMA album of the year in 1989. The collection featured Bruce Hornsby, John Hiatt, Rosanne Cash, Johnny Cash, Roy Acuff, Earl Scruggs, John Denver, Emmylou Harris and others.
Reid, a JUNO Award-winning singer/songwriter, has lived in Nashville for 20 years and had a studio in an old barn near his previous home on Nashville’s Old Hillsboro Road until a Tennessee Titans football player bought the property.
When Reid began scouting for a new studio, his friend artist/publisher Butch Baker suggested Scruggs Sound and put him in touch with Scruggs’ assistant. Reid bought the studio in 2018 for $700,000, and after renovations, has invested $2.2 million in rebuilding the facility. “We basically took the place back to the studs,” says Reid. “We basically did 19, almost 20, months of renovation and literally just finished.”
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Reid was still very active on the road, so he brought in Grammy nominated engineer Justin Cortelyou, who had worked with mix-master Mike Shipley at The Animal House in Los Angeles, to run the studio.
Reid also enlisted Canadian musician/songwriter/producer/engineer Tawgs Salter, who has worked with artists ranging from Josh Groban, Lights and Lenka to Chantal Kreviazuk and Fefe Dobson.
Scruggs sold the studio to Reid with most all of the old equipment still inside. “We stumbled on this closet full of old German microphones, over $100,000 worth of microphones,” he says. “A lot of the vintage equipment is still usable. We have a beautiful Yamaha C7 piano that Bruce Hornsby played. I’ve got all the microphones and equipment that was used on Will The Circle Be Unbroken.” He also installed all new windows to brighten up the studio.
Reid named the new venture Soultrain Sound Studios after his hit single “Soultrain” and his affinity for soul/R&B music. (Though similar to the long-running TV show’s title, the studio name cleared in a title search.)
Reid has been in the studio producing Grammy Award-winning reggae star Gramps Morgan, and he’s excited that new music is once again being created in the historic space. “The thing that I’m most thankful about is that I kept my promise. That really was the most important thing to me,” Reid says.