For three weeks in July, five Southern rockers set up shop in the newly renovated Capricorn Sound Studios.
The band, SouthernWings, was recording its first full-length album.
“There’s 11 songs on it,” band leader Eddie Johnson said as he took a short break during the second week of recording. “I think we’re gonna track a couple more because we’re nearly done. … Maybe have enough for a second album to put out later.“
The band includes Johnson, guitars, vocals; Justin Headly, drums; Tyler Mac, guitar, vocals; Jay Kendrick, bass; and Buddy Herrin, guitar.
Johnson originally put the band together about two years ago, but the current incarnation came together much more recently.
“We got together about three days before we came here,” he said. “I’ve had various lineups, but I called these guys in, and we’ve decided we’re gonna stay together.”
Hailing from Macon, Waycross, Statesboro and Pensacola, Florida, some of the band’s influences include Led Zeppelin, the Allman Brothers Band, Pink Floyd, Lynyrd Skynyrd and George Jones.
Johnson said he wanted to record at Capricorn because some of his favorite records came out of the studio, such as those from the Allman Brothers, Elvin Bishop, the Marshall Tucker Band and the album “Highway Call” from Dickey Betts, who went by Richard Betts at the time.
When Johnson saw the building many years ago, it was in “rough shape,” he said. But to see it now, “it’s amazing what they did to this place.”
He said working with Chief Engineer Rob Evans has been a great experience for the band.
“Rob’s more than an engineer. Actually, he’s kind of like a second producer,” Johnson said. “He’s got the best ideas. It’s unbelievable the things he does.
“He’s got great pitch too, so if you’re singing a line and you’re not doing it right, he can sing it for you, help you out. He’s kind of like a vocal coach, too.”
The custom-built API 40-channel 2448 Series sound console is “unbelievable,” Johnson said.
Evans said it’s been a great experience recording SouthernWings’ new album at Capricorn.
“With an immense amount of talent and great songwriting, they represent the next generation of Southern rock,” he said.
Capricorn Sound Studios is part of the 20,000-square-foot Mercer Music at Capricorn complex, which includes a museum and music incubator.
The band recorded in Historic Studio A, which maintains the look and feel of the original sound studio.
“When you first walk into that room, it feels kind of like it’s dead almost,” Johnson said. “But when you start playing music, something happens. I don’t know what happens in that room, but it comes alive that’s for sure. …
“Maybe ghosts in there make the music come alive. Who knows?”