Dan Rattiner's Stories

A Recording Studio Deep in the Woods

Photo by Richard Lewin

Great news! Cynthia Daniels, the renowned Grammy– and Emmy-winning recording engineer, has a new cutting-edge recording studio, Monk Music, up and running. The ambitious project by Architect Jon Storyk (of New York’s Electric Lady Studios fame) is now complete, and world-class recording and mixing is now available on the East End of Long Island.

Located between Sag Harbor and East Hampton, Daniels’ Monk Music Recording Studio will now offer both local and visiting artists access to “two acoustically perfect” live recording rooms. I went to watch some of the first recordings there and was amazed by the facility, which features an extra-large control room with  5.1 surround sound mixing capabilities. Daniels said, “There just isn’t anything like this anywhere on the East End…nor has there ever been!” She continued, “It’s perfect for TV, film or just good old rock and roll.” [expand]

And rock and roll was what was happening as I watched local artist Nancy Atlas lay down some vocals for longtime musician/singer/keyboard master and songwriter Joe Delia for his upcoming album/CD Smoke and Mirrors. Delia was a longtime homeowner in Montauk and still summers there. Many believe he looks like Mick Jagger, me included. He told me in between takes, “After summering in Montauk for over 20 straight years, I feel like I am beginning to know the place.” That is why his song, “Under the Montauk Moon,” has been getting play on a few of the local radio stations, usually on full moon nights. I watched Atlas record vocals for another version of “Under the Montauk Moon” for Smoke and Mirrors, with Delia’s band Joe Delia & Thieves. The band consists of Joe Delia (piano, organ, bass, vocals); Steven “Muddy” Roues (bass, harmonica, vocals); Billy Roues (guitar, vocals); James Benard (drums, vocals); P.J. Delia (background vocals). But the drums for “Under the Montauk Moon” are played by Max Weinberg, who has played with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, and the “Conan O’Brien Show” band.

In between takes Atlas explained how she got to know the Delia during “Tuesday Night Songwriters in the Round,” which she has hosted at The Stephen Talkhouse since last fall. Last year was the first year  of the program and Atlas looks forward to another successful year. She said, “It was a great experience all those Tuesday nights; this fall I think it will be even better—it’s really good stuff.” Delia, who has sung and performed with the likes of Bruce Springsteen, recently backed up Richard Belzer’s act at Bay Street Theatre. He said he enjoyed the “cool atmosphere” of Tuesday Night Songwriters and getting to know the “genius of Nancy’s talent.”

Also a connecting cord is Cynthia Daniels, who has produced and recorded Atlas’s CDs with skills Daniels acquired over a long career, starting as an assistant to legendary Phil Ramone in 1979. She has a wonderful radio show, Monk Music Radio from the East End, on WEER 88.7 FM, on which she talks with local artists. She has earned multiple Emmy Awards as well as a Grammy for recording and mixing The Producers. Her many other achievements are listed on her website’s TV/Discography, which is about three pages long and well worth a visit!


For information on booking recording studio time at Monk Music visit www.cynthiadaniels.net.

For more information on Joe Delia & Thieves go to www.joethelia-thieves.com

Information on Nancy Atlas can be found at www.nancyatlas.com.

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