Heart of Louisiana: Studio in the Country

Washington Parish -- Just north of Bogalusa, past an unmarked gate, sits one of the premier recording studios in the state. And after nearly 40 years, they're still putting together great New Orleans sounds and rock and roll at the studio in the country.

This is not the way most rock and roll bands record a new album. But then most rock bands are not at the Studio in the Country.

Nestled in the piney woods, this state-of-the-art recording studio was built when classic rock was in its prime.

"It's sort of a country escape if you will," says studio engineer Ben Mumphrey. "So, they really spared no expense when they built this back in '72."

Today, the New Orleans rock bank Dash Rip Rock is recording a new song for a new album.

"Everyone thinks that when you're in music or any sort of tech business is you have to update and upgrade," says Bill Davis of Dash Rip Rock, "and I think the cool thing about Studio in the Country is they held onto a lot of their old microphones and old processors, and it's just, you can get that sound that everyone's seeking out new."

Acoustically, the building is a sound engineering wonder, with each room isolated on separate slabs. There are no parallel walls or right angles. Depending on where you are, the wall textures enhance different sounds. They have high-end analog and digital recorders. These days, most reverb or echo is added electronically.

At Studio in the Country, they do it the old fashioned, purely acoustic way, piping in the band's sound, capturing the live echo on microphones and mixing it back in with the performance.

You can see the history of this studio hanging on the walls. Some of the biggest artists of the last 40 years made some of their sounds inside this building.

"And the biggest stuff probably I would say is the Kansas, "Carry on My Wayward Son" album," says Mumphrey. "Lots of Maze, Willie Nelson, Stevie Wonder, Louis Prima, Professor Longhair -- they were all in here in the 70's, doing great stuff."

On this night, Dash Rip Rock is adding to the long list of musicians who have performed and recorded here. And in only a couple of hours, they track two new songs.

"I think nowadays, people are more respectful of stuff you do straight out," says Davis. "It shows your talent and it shows that you're working well with your band."

Songs recorded here have a little of that acoustic magic that the studio has become known for, for the past 40 years.

The studio is not open for tours. In fact they keep a low profile, and offer country lodging for musical artists who record at the Bogalusa facility.