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...
September 29, 2013

metal vest

Meanwhile, Ruby was back in to record some intros for her latest funducational project, and she left this metal vest thingie for me. Somehow, she always seems to know what I need.

Yes, I know what it is. See Clifton Chenier, King of Zydeco...

metal vest2

I've wanted one of these for about 30 years now... Thanks, Ruby!
September 28, 2013


So, tape restoration. I de-molded and baked the first tape with good results, but tape two was wound too roughly on the reel to clean. I baked it and then ran it through this tape machine with a piece of gauze (not shown) covering the heads.

revox heads

The mold had dried to a fine powder and came off the tape easily.

revox meters

This machine, a Revox 1/2 track 1/4" capable of loading 10" reels and running at 15 ips, is a great old chunk of iron- thanks, RB, for loaning it to the studio!

Tape number 7 turns out to be a well-mixed recording of a Moody Blues live show from '79 or '80, at a point on the tour when they'd worked out all the kinks. So far I've gotten 4 full reels transferred to my digital recorder, all various Moody's shows- there's a couple of short reels left to go.
September 26, 2013


I think Hitchcock's Rear Window is one of the best movies ever made. The last time I saw it I was struck by the soundtrack. Long scenes shot without dialog feature city sounds, music from the neighbor's radios and phonographs, and distant conversations. It completely sets the the mood of a city in summer. Books have been written about it.

Come to find out that Hitch directed the first British-made talkie, and it's well worth watching, even with ads, on You Tube. The soundtrack seems uneven, but this was with intent. Consider the potential if all movies were made this way, with moments of barely-heard dialogue, long stretches of silence, and dada-like sonic distortions.
September 23, 2013

moldy oldies

Here's a box of what are literally moldy oldies. Can't wait to find out what's on 'em!

track listing

Whoa. Live Moody Blues.

But you can't play them as they are- they are covered with mold, and the oxide coating shreds off. First you need to clean them, then you need to bake them.


That is what lies beneath, my friends. Nasty stuff. It comes up with H2O2 and elbow grease.

EZ bake

And, OMG, as much as I hate the thing that Wal-Mart is, when you need an oven that will bake stuff at low temperatures and relatively cheaply, they have 5 or 6 products that will do it. Capitalism!

So, supposedly, after baking these tapes for 10 plus hours at 51 degrees C, the binder that holds the oxide coating on will have re-polymerized enough to play back the tape without it falling apart. For a while. Next up- the Revox!
September 22, 2013

accordion selfie

I've been checking Craig's every day for one of these. My first accordion (christened Stanley by Dr. Mo) went south years ago. It was actually pretty bad from the git go, but then I broke a reed trying to tune it and that was all she wrote.

I own several others this size, but the original had a certain edge to it- something about the tone.

Stanley the first

Stanley II was sitting in someone's closet for the past 20 years waiting to become a Craigslist item. It has a few issues- a couple loose reed blocks, a warped panel- but it's more or less in tune and it has that special Adriatic tone.

For a good time check out this guy playing Gershwin on a 12 bass.

(I forgot to mention- one of the major reasons for choosing this particular accordion is that washboard grill, close at hand for those times when percussion is required.)
September 21, 2013

A recent update to the locals list- a quick count now reveals 521 entries.

September 20, 2013

Cheeky monkey!

I was thinking about old pipe organs, and where they got their wind, because of the series with Howard Goodall called How Music Works.

Imagine, having the brass to pretend to be able to explain how music works. Well, uh..., I actually learned a lot from watching this series, and while I may not actually know how it works, I've got a better idea of how to describe the various parts now.

How Music Works. Available for the time being, on UTube, in four segments of about 40 minutes. After that, check out his take on the Beatles!

September 19, 2013

I know you've all been wondering about this....

In olden times, the church pipe organ was the most complex thing made by man. Lots of levers and stuff, all intricately balanced and arranged.

Somehow, they had to provide air for the pipes... well, there was a stop on those organs, in addition to the ones that turned on the various rows of pipes, and this one simply rang a little bell. That bell alerted the Calcant, or "kicker", that it was time to start pumping the bellows.

Might be a good name for a recording studio...

September 14, 2013


September 11, 2013

I love updating the local bands page, because I discover bands like Younger Me. They're what I wished Modest Mouse was, if that makes any sense.
September 09, 2013

Jesse Nesser has released the film for which Rebecca Gildea recorded music for the soundtrack here, along with Bruce Campbell and Jeff Hostetter. Thanks to all our sponsors- this was one of the projects you helped make happen.


Nice to have another soundtrack credit for Steam Powered Studio!
September 08, 2013

Brethren. Looking... cover-ish.


Mixing went very well. Hello, XPN?
September 07, 2013

Brethren will be meeting here in the Church of the Mix this coming Sunday. I have been working on my sermon, and all the groundwork is in place for the service.

Mixing is about listening over and over again, and the hardest thing sometimes is to pay attention. But with these tracks, close attention is well-repayed. There's a lot of good playing and singing here. Can't wait to finish and share it.
September 02, 2013

Sadly, the video feed went dead shortly before the burn. Might have been caused by the aliens. They allowed this much to slip through, however. Notice they've cleverly taken the form of harmless red shawls...


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, 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.