Artist Creates Ranch Recording Studio
by Rod Harwood Star Tribune

Musicians now have a Wyoming location, where they can preserve their sounds, far from the glitter of Los Angeles or Nashville.

Four year’s ago, local musician Michael DeGreve’s dream of building a professional recording studio on his 40-acre ranch 20 miles north of Cheyenne came true. With the recent creation of Spirit Wind Records, others have joined him in the goal of making and recording music in Wyoming.

DeGreve’s own work has been produced for People Records. He has recorded with Graham Nash, Randy Meisner, and others. Now, for DeGreve, “making music” includes producing other people’s sound.

“The music business is changing rapidly. We’re all trying to compete in the market place. There’s still people with huge studio support behind them that sell trillions of records, but there are an awful lot of smaller labels and independent people making a fine living doing this,” explained DeGreve, who recorded his first release, Gypsy’s lament in 1990, in Los Angeles.

“ Spirit Wind Records came about by accident,” he said. “ I enjoy doing this but I didn’t know that I would like doing other people’s stuff. It’s fun to see their faces light up when we do a track and a playback.”

DeGreve has been working on his own material since the studio’s inception in 1994, but he has just recently extended recording time to others.

He plays six nights a week at the Hitching Post in Cheyenne. He is also a regular each summer at the Mishawaka Amphitheatre in the Poudre canyon west of Fort Collins, Colo. As a music maker himself, he sees switching roles to engineer and production work as completing the circle of his talent.

In 1998, he started working at his recording studio with a Cheyenne band named Graffiti Bridge, by spring, Disruption Theory, another local act, sought him out with the idea of putting a C D together.

In all, there are four bands recording in DeGreve’s studio under the Spirit Wind Records. Cheyenne blues artists Fatt Cat Freddie and Karis Rowley, who creates an alternative, world-beat sound, have also joined the mix.

‘ I’ve worked with others where there’s pressure to get in and get it done. With Michael, it’s more like burning incense and getting the vibe right,” said long-time Cheyenne musician Terry Kilpatrick of Graffiti Bridge. “ It’s almost like recording in a mill because of the wood he used to build it.

Fatt Cat Freddie lead guitarist Brian Leneschmidt had never been into a studio prior to the recording of their first CD, “Crusin for a Bluesin”.

“ We were going to go to the Bay Area (San Francisco) to do this at one time,” said Leneschnidt. “ Then we started talking with Michael and he said to come out and look at the place first and it blew our socks off. We didn’t have any problems matching our live sound at all, which is what we were looking to do.”

Said DeGreve, “ I tell everyone when they come out here, there’s no egos – not their’s, not mine. We’re all here for a common goal, which is to get the best out of the art and I’ll do whatever I can.”

DeGreve said he had no intention of requiring contracts to record at his studio.

“ Nobody has signed anything, and I’m not going to ask them to. If they get an offer from Warner Brothers, I want them free to go.”

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