uncle sam
Steam Powered Studio is an audio workshop in South-central PA,
featuring contributions from fine local artists.
Many of these projects have been funded by fine people like you!
Willie Marble

Willie Marble is back again, with Songs in the Key of Marble. Here's a track from the CD-

Cold Water
The Stray Birds

The Borderland EP began as demos for Maya DeVitry to take with her to school. It grew into something special.

Listen to
This started out when I got curious how many bands there were around here. Click the map below to see the amazing, growing list of locals.

local area

Then click through to visit their websites...
the Sporting Hill Ramblers

I feel privileged to be a member of the Sporting Hill Ramblers, purveyers of fine

News and schedule at the link.
Studio Blog
Dr. Mo was one of the first to contribute to this site.

Dr Mo

His latest project is a group of songs about the real America.

She came here with a song in her heart. It took a while, but we pried it loose.

Linzi wants to be
The Last Girl

I'm the guy with the hammer and tongs-

Jeff Coleman
Jeff Coleman

-trying to make stuff in the workshop.

Check me out on iTunes!
Mr. Bobby and I started posting songs to the internet back when being folkie wasn't cool.

Robert Bobby

It's Not the Heat
that's gettin' to me...
August 30, 2013

black rock city

The man burns tomorrow. I will probably be parked in front of the stream, which is now live, with a soundtrack from Soma FM. It's the next best thing to being there!
August 27, 2013


I appear to be using both hands to play, but let me assure you that there are fewer than 5 fingers actually pressing down keys at any given moment.
August 25, 2013

Scenes from the Binn's Park gig yesterday.

hanging out in the square

Our pal J.C. hanging out with Gary and Kenny before the show.

WMX onstage

Mr. Shade arrives in a timely fashion.

where's Mr Beebers?

Willie, Ezra, and the Marblettes. Having some fun now!

There may be some live audio of this...
August 23, 2013

It's here!

This CD...


...will hit the streets this Saturday around 4 PM at Binns Park in Lancaster.

This crew...


...will be among those playing.
August 18, 2013


We had a session last Friday with this man. Jamie brought in a crew, including Henry, a guy I've heard about for years but never met.


That's some instrument he's playing. I accused it of being a bouzouki, but it's actually a mandocello. My apologies.


Here's the rhythm section, LJ and Bruce. As you can see, the new gobo came in handy, mainly to keep the guitar from leaking into the bass mic. Bruce suggested using this side for a white board for charts- great idea!

They recorded the first song multitracked, but for this one they performed live. I was scrambling like mad to set mics while they rehearsed the arrangement- we all finished doing what we needed to do at about the same moment. Hope to have them back for more.
August 13, 2013

Misc news:
We've had a good vocal session for the Brethren project- next we will get together and mix It's No Use. I think you'll like it...

There's a session coming up on Friday with everyone's favorite upright bass player, Bruce Campbell! Also includes uke, but oddly enough, does NOT include anyone named Hummingbird, (or any guitars of that name, either). Strange!

Summer Thieves are now playing out as Perfect Fit. I enjoyed seeing them a week ago at the Symposium, and seeing Linzi onstage onect again.

The next Sporting Hill Ramblers gig will sport only two Ramblers. I suspect we will be doing songs about the Norden bombsight or something...
August 06, 2013

Some of that synchronicity that 'ol Sting used to sing about back when we recorded these tunes- the next song on my list to be added to the list was one with a chorus that repeats the phrase "I got a job". This morning, that actually came true. So here's something written and recorded in 1981 for this day in 2013.

Retail Market Boys.mp3

Was Blair King the Nostradamus of New Wave? You decide...
August 05, 2013

Here's a remix of a song by the Blame from one of those old reels- Lights Out.mp3

Yeah, it's a dark one...
August 04, 2013

Rumor has it that the Willy Marble CD Songs in the Key of Marble will be released in a few weeks. You may recall sessions involving choruses of people and trombones and other wacky things- soon you'll get to hear it!

Tonight I'm adding some songs to the list, a list which I have been keeping of the songs recorded and released through this humble audio workshop. These particular songs are long overdue, seeing as I recorded them more than 30 years ago.

They were by the Blame, from a cassette recorded at the Cat Ranch out in Paradise, long enough ago I didn't remember doing it. But it must have happened, because I found the tapes! Here's a recent photo of the house where Cat Ranch studio was located...

30 east

...the studio consisting of the first-floor room on the left and a couple of tiny rooms in back, behind the kitchen. The "big" room was where the band set up, and the tiny rooms were for vocals and the mixing board. All this happened within 30' of heavily traveled route 30 east, and it's somewhat amazing that the sounds of truck traffic are not more evident in the recordings.

I suppose the band was recorded by bouncing from stereo reel to reel to stereo reel to reel, because that's the way we did it back then. I would have been using two Sony machines, a 350 which I still own, and a 777 which was a big piece of iron I regret having parted with.

big iron

It had "soft touch" servo controls, three motors, and when it heated up it smelled great!

The songs might have been recorded in this order- drums and bass to stereo, then keyboards/rhythm guitars over top of that, then vocals/leads over that. Only two bounces, and if you made a mistake you just tracked it again. You'd be stuck with whatever effects and eq you had used on the early tracks once you'd bounced, but by this time I was pretty much aware of what the sound would be like in the end. There was no compression, other than tape saturation, and the only effects at this time would have been the spring reverb in the Peavey board and an analog delay unit- maybe. All things considered, we did alright.
August 03, 2013

My profile has been included in the Music Makers of Lancaster series. Thanks to Linda and Bob and everyone who makes this happen. Now get crackin'- if you've seen the Local Bands page lately, you know you've got your work cut out for ya!

chef Jeff

I have a trustworthy new spokesperson.
August 02, 2013

Sorry for the brief outage this morning- gotta renew those domain registrations!
Joe Ellis

Without a doubt, Joe Ellis has provided some of our most rewarding moments.

And we just
Slough it Off.

Who are these loonies anyway?

Woggi Noggi

Why, it's those cute lil' Woggi Noggi girls!

Find out why
Goats are Great!

Summer Thieves

I see the boys of Summer Thieves in their ruin. (that's poetry, you kneau)

Here's their song
You Can't Lie.

There's memes for everything that wingers love.
end gun violence

I made some to post if you're not crazy about guns.
and also...
Mission Statement:

Only pretentious asshats post mission statements on their websites. Be that as it may, I do have a mission here, and that is to discover if there's a better way to make a living making music than by selling little round pieces of plastic. Or charging big money for recording.

I'm looking for a bunch of small-scale sponsors willing to support my work as a musician, singer/songwriter and recording engineer, work that often includes recording up and coming artists for free.

If you like what you hear, and want to keep me going in the future, please sponsor the studio. It's that simple.
I got on a kick of making videos for a while. Here's one now-

Jeff Coleman
Save to Serve Her

It's a song about drinking...

...from a bitter cup.
Jeff Coleman
48 eagles

This is one of my art pieces. Heh.

But seriously, ever notice how may eagle n' flag things there are?

It's an entire industry unto itself I bet.
There really is a history to this website. It started out with mp3.com, then moved to onlinerock before I figured out how to just rent my own space.

One of Lancaster county's first punk/new wave bands
the Blame
the Blame had a good run back in the last century. Here's some of that for those who remember...

The Kids are Alright (live)
For Hire:
Yes, the studio is for hire. We will record your song, your CD, your steam whistle or your grandmother. Rates on request, generally vary reasonably.

Room and Equipment:
1,000 sq ft open space with way too many guitar amps and old keyboards, some drums and percussion, some interesting mics, a comfy couch.

It's all about relaxing and making good music. I sweat the tech stuff so you don't have to. We can get just about any kind of session player you need.

These gentlemen have recorded here-

The Gadjo Playboys
The Gadjo Playboys

We've done about 2 1/2 CDs worth of stuff.

Some of it is still unreleased!
Jenny's Diner
Jen and Charlie

Jen Starsinic went on to collect a songwriting award the year we recorded this.

Birdy in a Cage

Charlie Muench went on to join the Stray Birds.
Craig Wise is one of those good old boys.
He brought a lot of his friends in here.

Craig Wise

And they're

Still Makin' Sunshine

All the Marbles was the first Willie Marble CD.

Commit a Crime

We sure had some good times down in the basement working on this one.

There was a bunch of kids making interesting music...

Old Time Liberation Front
The Old Time Liberation Front

Feeder Mice Jig

Most of them still are...

Kenny was one hell of a songwriter. Back in Paradise, way last century, I managed to get a few of his songs recorded.

The Taking

Kenny Gross
Kenny Gross

A lot of music gets made here by a mixed crew known as-

The Stokers
The Stokers

You never know what to expect!

The Wreck of the Frisco Pier
Dark 30
This band had a good run, and made some good recordings in my tiny studio in Paradise.

Toward the Light

Listen to Bob and that Funky Snakefoot hook into the bottom!
Liv Pooleside has a blog-

studio blog
Steam Powered Studio

It features even more babbling about a wider variety of stuff.

You can leave comments there...

Night Wolf
Night Wolf

He's gone on to the other shore, but he left a couple of songs with us.

Walkin' Blues

Young Fashioned Ways

A guy came in with a couple of old reel-to-reel tapes his dad made in the '70's.
Ron Cook
Ronnie Cook

Dad played a 5 string electric fiddle. One of the tapes was a make-believe radio show.
Dave Francis has had some awesome jam sessions at his place. I recorded the Honeycut Brothers (and others) live.
9 lb Hammer

Foggy Mt. Breakdown

Stable Jam
Stable Jam

Olds Sleeper

Olds Sleeper has created a whole lot of good music in the wee small hours. I got to work with him on a few tunes at my old place.

Olds #3

Me and Ben recorded Blind Joe Death in a round building at a scout camp.

live at the round house

You Got to Love Somebody

Made a pretty good CD-
Live at the Roundhouse
Old Ezra Shade gets in here every so often.

Ezra Shade

Here's a little something seasonal...

Christmas Time
Dr Mo
Dr. Mo

We have stuff here going back years...

Junko Partner

...and new stuff in the works.
One of his recent songs has been animated by Brian McCall.