BIG EGO Studios

BIG EGO Studios BIG EGO carries on the tradition of small town recording studios such as FAME in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Royal in Memphis, & Teatro in Oxnard, California.
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Located in Long Beach, California, BIG EGO carries on the tradition of small town recording studios such as FAME in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Royal in Memphis, and Teatro in Oxnard, California. BIG EGO is a place for musicians to be creative and inspired. Where you can sit down at our Yamaha Grand Piano or behind our 48 channel Audient recording console, knock back a Topo Chico, and make the best record of your life. Welcome home.

Tape Op Magazine reviewed my book, On Recording! They also compared it to Rick Rubin’s new book, “The Creative Act.” Las...
02/25/2024

Tape Op Magazine reviewed my book, On Recording! They also compared it to Rick Rubin’s new book, “The Creative Act.” Last year Aquarium Drunkard reviewed both books together so… Rick! It’s no problem… I’m happy to help get you some press! Anyway, I don’t want to spoil the review but they did use the words “brilliant” and “inspiring.”

For the last year we’ve been shipping copies all over the world. Writing a book - or manifesto or pamphlet - feels inherently presumptuous. There was a big part of me that didn’t want to do it but I’m glad I stuck with it. Thanks to everyone who has picked up a copy or listened to the audiobook and to Darryl Norsen for laying it all out, T.J. Masters for editing it, and to Dan Melnick for encouraging me to write it in the first place.

There’s a link down below if you want to pick up a copy from Bandcamp. Do it for Rick!

Drove out to the desert with friends old and new and recorded the ninth Psychic Temple album. Celebrated my 19th wedding...
03/14/2023

Drove out to the desert with friends old and new and recorded the ninth Psychic Temple album. Celebrated my 19th wedding anniversary and Tabor’s 34th birthday. Did some guitar weaving with Chris Forsyth and Max Knouse. Took Doug McCombs to Del Taco. Looked at the sky. Confirmed that Neve and Ampex preamps sound really good. Still happy.

Grateful to all the artists and musicians who made records at BIG EGO in 2022. We’ve got openings starting in March of n...
12/31/2022

Grateful to all the artists and musicians who made records at BIG EGO in 2022. We’ve got openings starting in March of next year. Drop us a line to put some dates on the calendar and thank you for listening. Photos by Devin O’Brien.

I was playing with a Roland Space Echo at Caveman Music when my phone rang. It was Jim Keltner so I stopped what I was d...
11/19/2022

I was playing with a Roland Space Echo at Caveman Music when my phone rang. It was Jim Keltner so I stopped what I was doing and answered his call. A couple months back I talked with Jim about scheduling a follow up recording session to “Wall of Flowers” with Mike Baggetta and Mike Watt. He was calling back to confirm at date.

I said, “How about November 24th?” “Too close to Thanksgiving,” he replied. “Let’s do the 23rd.” I bought the Space Echo and Baggetta used it all over the album.

It’s hard to believe this album is real. I’m proud to have produced and mixed the record. Honored to have shared the same dream and space with these artists. I think it’s Mike Baggetta’s best work — songs and musicianship — and that’s saying something. A few people have mentioned the possibility of a third Baggetta / Keltner / Watt album but I can’t imagine it. Then again, I never imagined the first two either. Film photos and audio engineering by Devin O’Brien. Link to bandcamp in the bio.

A couple years ago I found myself caught in a “Planet Caravan” loop. I just played the Black Sabbath tune over and over ...
10/21/2022

A couple years ago I found myself caught in a “Planet Caravan” loop. I just played the Black Sabbath tune over and over again. I wondered, innocently, if lightning could strike twice. Could we make another Psychic Temple Plays record? I wanted to set a few parameters so it didn’t feel like a re-run: two altos, two guitars, two drums, synthesizer, and double bass. I knew Heather’s work on the Prophet 10 would change the vibe all by itself. And using Isaiah Morfin and Alex Sadnik on alto sax would mean I couldn’t go too big with any horn arrangements. Tabor and Ben had never met before the recording but I knew they would sound perfect together. Billy Mohler’s double bass playing is absolutely vital. He gave the music everything he had. And what can you say about Jeff Parker? I’ve had the honor of sitting across from him with a guitar in my hands a few times— on this date it was my old Epiphone Les Paul. Humbling and thrilling adventures in music making.

I didn’t hear anything from these recordings for months after the session. I was POSITIVE my guitar playing rendered them unlistenable. I started coming up with all kinds of ways to “fix” my playing, “Hey! Maybe we need a string section!?” Turns out I just needed some time to listen to and understand what I did in the moment. I’m still learning so much about music everyday.

Vinyl and digital editions are available bandcamp today. Records ship in about three weeks. Spotify can wait. All photos by Devin O’Brien. Thank you for listening.

I’m taking a look at the credits and it says we recorded Psychic Temple Plays Music For Airports on August 16th, 2015. I...
10/21/2022

I’m taking a look at the credits and it says we recorded Psychic Temple Plays Music For Airports on August 16th, 2015. It was a short session. I think we were done by 2pm? Two full takes of each song and that was it.

There’s that old saying, “I’d rather be lucky than good.” I’ve worked hard to make records like this but I’ve also gotten pretty lucky. What an incredible group of musicians assembled in one room. A once in a lifetime session. Aren’t they all— potentially?

It has been a joy to re-issue this album on vinyl through BIG EGO Records. In many ways it felt like the prototype for the label. The first pressing on Joyful Noise sold out years ago and today we’ve got less than 100 copies left of this and Planet Caravan. If you’d like a physical copy jump over to bandcamp. Records ship in about three weeks time. Link in the bio and thank you for listening. All photos by Olivia Hemaratanatorn.

*VINYL PRE-ORDER IS LIVE*"Planet Caravan" might be my favorite Black Sabbath song. I've had periods of time where I just...
08/05/2022

*VINYL PRE-ORDER IS LIVE*

"Planet Caravan" might be my favorite Black Sabbath song. I've had periods of time where I just put the tune on repeat for hours and lost myself in its two chords and Leslie'd vocal melody. At some point during the pandemic I found myself itching to get back into the studio with everyone and cut a new, extended arrangement. On October 24th, 2021, we recorded our version of “Planet Caravan” as well as a new track I wrote called, "Essaouira". I have to express my gratitude for all the musicians on this record: Tabor Allen and Ben Lumsdaine on drums, Billy Mohler on double bass, Isaiah Morfin and Alex Sadnik on alto saxophones, Heather Sommerhauser on Prophet 10, and Jeff Parker (and myself) on electric guitars. Lars Gotrich provides the liner notes.

The other big news today is that Psychic Temple Plays Music For Airports is finally back in print for the first time in almost seven years. Featuring all new artwork by David J. Woodruff and additional color photos from the recording session, this new pressing should give everyone an affordable option to the $150 asking price on the used market for the original JNR188 edition. Vinyl ships in October. Bandcamp link in bio.

09/17/2021

The responsibilities of a producer change everyday. Sometimes you are a conductor and confidant. Sometimes an artist and abettor. Ultimately you are responsible for producing something; whether it’s a song or a spirit.

I’ve been working at this strange career for a while now and wanted to document what it meant to be a producer on Monday, September 13, 2021. By the way, if you’ve got a project that needs producing my schedule opens up in March 2022.

We are very proud to have two recent BIG EGO productions written up and featured by National Public Radio. Both Jeremiah...
04/10/2020

We are very proud to have two recent BIG EGO productions written up and featured by National Public Radio. Both Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon’s album “Namesake” and “Good Days” by Chicago Underground Quartet received enthusiastic write ups and are currently featured on NPR’s Viking’s Choice playlist on Spotify and Apple Music. Vinyl and CD editions of both albums are available now through Bandcamp. Link in bio. @ NPR Music

03/22/2020

The great Iggy Pop played “Hospital Song” from Wall of Flowers on BBC 6 and had some very kind words about the album. We still have a few copies on vinyl and are shipping orders out as often as possible. Thanks Iggy. You made our day. Hope everyone is staying safe out there.

BIG EGO Records finally has a bandcamp page where you can pre-order our two newest releases, “Namesake” by Jeremiah Lloy...
02/29/2020

BIG EGO Records finally has a bandcamp page where you can pre-order our two newest releases, “Namesake” by Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon and “The Ogre” by David Tranchina Large-Ish Ensemble. We recorded both of these albums at the studio last July and the vinyl pressings look and sound fantastic. If you were a 2019 subscriber, your copies have already been shipped and pre-orders will start going out next week. Thank you for supporting a legitimate family business and independent record label. We couldn’t do it without you. Link in bio. @ BIG EGO Studios

05/12/2019

We are honored and humbled to be working on Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon’s new album at BIG EGO. The current season of American Idol only helped to shine a brighter light on an artist we’ve been championing for years. Over the last two weeks we’ve been cutting rhythm section tracks and can’t wait to see where the muse (and Moog Grandmother) will take us.

Alto saxophonist, composer, and arranger Alex Sadnik with Tina Raymond on drums and Anna Butterss on bass during a recen...
05/01/2019

Alto saxophonist, composer, and arranger Alex Sadnik with Tina Raymond on drums and Anna Butterss on bass during a recent video & recording session at the studio. Over the last couple years Alex has become an invaluable part of the BIG EGO sound contributing to albums from Guma, Psychic Temple, Eamon Fogarty, Anthony Shadduck Double Quartet, Dana Telsrow, Jazzy Ash, and many more. We just finished mixing his newest EP, Londelius, which is slated for release later this month and also features Jeff Parker on electric guitar and Carey Frank on Hammond Organ. Alex is an extraordinary talent with an original voice and his music deserves your attention. Engineering and photography by Devin O'Brien.

In January of this year keyboardist / composer R. Scott Dibble brought his ambitious jazz odyssey, “Ghosts of Merced” in...
03/23/2019

In January of this year keyboardist / composer R. Scott Dibble brought his ambitious jazz odyssey, “Ghosts of Merced” into the studio. The record features Scott on grand piano, Hammond organ, and Moog, drummers Danny Frankel and Garrit Tillman, mallet percussionist Slam Nobles, and bassist Anthony Shadduck in the rhythm section. We also brought in string and horn sections featuring Nic Chaffee (trumpet), Alex Sadnik (alto), and Charles Sharp (baritone and bass clarinet) and Jeff Schwartz (double bass), Chris McCarthy (cello), and Philip Glenn (violin, arrangements). The record was record and mixed in six days and was just released digitally on Bandcamp and is a must listen for fans of Herbie Hancock, 70’s CTI records, and adventurous, polyrhythmic music of any kind. Mastered by Matt Lynch at Mysterious Mammal. Photos by Devin O’Brien.

03/04/2019

This week on BIG EGO Tapes Hand Habits alter ego Meg Duffy on the demos becoming the record, not sanding off the rough edges of art, working on Placeholder in Wisconsin, music as religion, and the transition from bartending to touring with Kevin Morby to going solo.

BIG EGO is proud to be involved on our second charity project with Record Store Day. Two years ago we worked on the Leon...
02/28/2019

BIG EGO is proud to be involved on our second charity project with Record Store Day. Two years ago we worked on the Leonard Cohen tribute album “Like A Drunk In A Midnight Choir” which raised over $10,000 for Pablove and children’s cancer research. This live WTF compilation, “In The Garage,” features J. Mascis, Margo Price, Jason Isbell, Aimee Mann, and an incredible performance of “The Beast in Me” by Nick Lowe. The album will be released on April 13th, Record Store Day 2019, and portion of the proceeds go to the Musicians On Call charity foundation.

02/18/2019

This week on BIG EGO Tapes fiddle shredder Philip Glenn on quitting his teaching job to become a full time musician, making his bluegrass album "Outsider" with non-bluegrass players, Nickel Creek and the Ska Crypt, working hard to sound like yourself, and why limitations make art (and Star Wars) better.

02/12/2019

This week on BIG EGO Tapes The Dream Syndicate co-founder and prolific singer/songwriter Steve Wynn on hitting his artistic stride, writing songs to fill an emptiness, meeting Kendra Smith at UC Davis, looking for musicians in The Recycler, and only wanting to be successful enough to keep working on music.

Drum legend Jim Keltner recording at BIG EGO during a trio session with Mike Baggetta and Mike Watt. The resulting album...
02/08/2019

Drum legend Jim Keltner recording at BIG EGO during a trio session with Mike Baggetta and Mike Watt. The resulting album, “Wall of Flowers” is one of those records that has to be heard to be believed. “What could that possibly sound like?” We’re excited to share the answer to that question very soon.

Thanks to Andy Hermann for mentioning BIG EGO alongside some of the most talented and hardworking musicians and labels i...
12/21/2018

Thanks to Andy Hermann for mentioning BIG EGO alongside some of the most talented and hardworking musicians and labels in Los Angeles. Also, trip out on David Crosby retweeting the article. Think he knows the studio was named after what Atlantic Records A&R guys said about the first Crosby, Stills, Nash album? “They should call this one Music From Big Ego!”

We are very proud to announce the release of the Christian Fellowship Chorale’s first single on BIG EGO Records. Recorde...
12/14/2018

We are very proud to announce the release of the Christian Fellowship Chorale’s first single on BIG EGO Records. Recorded live in the studio without overdubs the two song single was produced by Chris Schlarb and features the Andraé Crouch’s classic “Soon and Very Soon” with the great Donna Washington on lead vocals. The second song is a powerful a ca****la arrangement of Judee Sill’s “The Lamb Ran Away with the Crown” featuring Mildred Black and Philemon Hardy-Moore. The Chorale, under the direction of Maestro Timothy Williams will be performing at Knox Presbyterian Church (5840 La Tijera Blvd in Los Angeles) this Sunday at 5pm. We hope to see you there! Thanks to Aaron Lowell for his beautiful cover design and to Devin O'Brien for engineering and the cover photo. Spotify link below!

The BIG EGO live room looking beautiful during a recent session for the new Katie Jo & The Mijos full length album. Come...
11/13/2018

The BIG EGO live room looking beautiful during a recent session for the new Katie Jo & The Mijos full length album. Come in and make a record with us. Full and self service options available. Photo by Devin O’Brien.

We started cutting the new Guma album with an impressive double rhythm section back in April of this year. In the follow...
07/26/2018

We started cutting the new Guma album with an impressive double rhythm section back in April of this year. In the following months guitarist/songwriter T.J. Masters headed for New York to record his vocals. Now in just a couple weeks he’s traveling out from Austin to mix the album back where it all started. It’s a brilliant piece of work and one that we around proud to be working on. Photo by Devin O’Brien.

Maestro Timothy Williams and the Christian Fellowship Chorale are finishing up their debut album at BIG EGO. The album h...
07/19/2018

Maestro Timothy Williams and the Christian Fellowship Chorale are finishing up their debut album at BIG EGO. The album has a sound that has been harder to find in gospel music over the last 30 years and that’s because the band and choir have been tracking live together. The sonic centerpiece for us has been the AEA R88 stereo ribbon mic. This is an incredibly special project and one that we’re honored to be involved with. More news soon. Photo by Devin O'Brien.

Drummers Chad Taylor and Danny Frankel catching up between takes for bassist Anthony Shadduck’s wild double quartet sess...
06/15/2018

Drummers Chad Taylor and Danny Frankel catching up between takes for bassist Anthony Shadduck’s wild double quartet session in December of 2016. The double quartet consisted of two basses, two drum sets, two reeds, and two brass. We’re putting the final touches on the album and will be releasing it on BIG EGO Records this summer. Photograph by Devin O'Brien.

Aerial view of the new Guma album in production this weekend at BIG EGO. T.J. Masters travelled from Austin, Texas to re...
05/06/2018

Aerial view of the new Guma album in production this weekend at BIG EGO. T.J. Masters travelled from Austin, Texas to record his music with some of the finest musicians in Los Angeles including Tabor Allen and Ana Barreiro on drums, Anna Butterss and Steuart Liebig on bass, and Tony Rinaldi on keys. Devin O’Brien engineering with Jason Chavez assisting. Each drum kit got three mics (kick, snare, overhead) if you were wondering.

Sometimes you have to let the strings out of the iso room to have a little fun. Another great session last week doing ov...
04/30/2018

Sometimes you have to let the strings out of the iso room to have a little fun. Another great session last week doing overdubs for STARMOB and cutting a song live with Ellen Warkentine.

11/21/2017

What makes a place home? Leeann Skoda’s songs aren’t documents of place so much as they are documents of the scenery around her. Call Me Back Home was recorded live in studio with her band and captures a particular honesty. There's a feeling of presence in these songs.

It’s rare for records to be made this way anymore but the spontaneous approach taps into a certain kind of magic. The sound of Leeann's songs filling up a room, making a moment into home, something to be lived in.

11/17/2017

There’s something evident about a good song — something that ties square dance music to punk rock anthems. A good interpreter knows how to look below the surface and see through to the core. On his solo debut Outsider, fiddle player Philip Glenn focuses on the center of ten songs, drawing threads that connect Appalachian music to the Ramones and Monk. A good song makes itself known, but it takes a good player to notice.

Glenn’s something of an anomaly, a self-described “Filipino kid from Los Angeles playing mountain music.” He began studying piano at four, and picked up the violin at 10, but specifically got into neo-bluegrass in college. From there, he began tracing the origins of the music back in time, discovering Bill Monroe and then going even deeper into the vast American folk tradition. He studied intently, attending the prestigious Mark O’Connor String Camp in Johnson City, Tennessee, where the rhythmic drive of old-time music grabbed him and never let go. His versatility landed him recording session and live work and in 2013 he became a founding member of The Show Ponies.

Folk music is centered on the idea of tradition, and while Glenn often approaches these songs with an archivist’s ear, he’s unafraid to interject his own idiosyncrasies and stylistic moves. In this way, he honors the foundational idea of bluegrass, itself an amalgamation of blues and English ballads that mutated and evolved as they took on new character in the Kentucky and Tennessee mountains. The moment a tradition stagnates, it begins the process of dying — with his adventurous playing, Philip Glenn finds his way into new territory.
Recorded in a whirlwind session — the album was tracked over a feverish day and a half — Glenn and his collaborators leaned on their years of playing, with no second guessing. First thought, best thought. The result puts you into the middle of a jam, offering a chance to lose yourself in a collective musical consciousness, as is Glenn’s preferred state of being. The outsider, totally inside. — Jason P. Woodbury, Phoenix, Arizona

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1435 E. South Street
Long Beach, CA
90805

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