The Barnyard’s Carmel Music Studio opens state-of-the-art Carmel Music Live.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
“We want to wake up the Barnyard,” says Todd Flory, who’s opening a music venue there that will bring in national and international touring talent. An expansion of Flory’s Carmel Music Studio, Carmel Music Live will be a cozy performance space with excellent acoustics and the capability to record concerts through the adjacent recording studio.
According to Flory, CMS has been flourishing ever since it opened in December. In addition to the recording studio, which features a slick Protools HD recording system, the establishment includes a large music store featuring a wide selection of electronic and acoustic guitars, keyboards, and drum kits.
Located above the store and recording studio, the new performance venue features 150 seats, a brand new Kawai grand piano, and a state-of-the-art drum set and lighting system. “It will be a very intimate, relaxed venue,” Flory says. “You’ll be very close to the artists.”
CMS has been putting on a series of free shows featuring local bands in the Barnyard’s open-air courtyard called the Concert in the Garden Series for three months. This series will continue, but the grand opening of the performance space on May 8 will multiply the amount of Latin rock, blues, jazz and classical.
The opening show features Tony Lindsay, former lead singer for Carlos Santana. Lindsay sings smooth, passionate soul and R&B, often with an uplifting message. He pushes and pulls his strong voice, alternating between raspy and velvety qualities, for an expressive effect. Based in the Bay Area, Lindsay’s debut solo album, Tony Lindsay, is receiving airplay across the country and internationally.
As the venue matures, Flory hopes to start up warm-up shows by local musicians next to the fire pit just outside the performance space, where an outdoor beer and wine bar will invite guests to sip and mingle before going inside.
On May 9, acoustic guitarist and singer Peppino D’Agostino graces the newly opened performance space with his “Minestrone Music.” The Italian-born, long-time California resident’s music could be classified as classical or contemporary, but it definitely has an Italian flavor. On top of his exquisite, elaborate finger picking, for which he was voted Best Acoustic Guitarist in 2007 by readers of Guitar Player Magazine, his velvety voice stretches his lyrics as if he were savoring long strands of pasta with plenty of sensual sauce.
Several other well-known artists are lined up to take the stage at Carmel Music Live during May and June. On May 22, Alvon Johnson and the Used Blues Band will perform what the venue’s artist booker Liz Ashby calls “some serious blues.” Then, on May 27, East Bay Mudd, a brassy 10-piece ensemble from the Bay Area, will do some rhythmic, crooning Motown. On June 18, Bobby Clampett’s daughter, Katelyn Clampett, brings some sweet pop rock to the mix, and on the 19th, Jamie Davis, who Ashby calls “one of the most critically acclaimed baritone jazz vocalists,” will pour out his deep velvety tones.
With all these numbers lined up – and considering that 200 people showed up to the “soft opening” show in the studio two months ago – Carmel Music Live is poised to seriously wake up the Barnyard.