It seems that about every five years we check in with Ardent Studios, the legendary Memphis facility owned by John Fry. Maybe it’s because of the simple fact that they’ve survived for 35 years outside of a major market. Or maybe it’s because of the classic music that has come out of Ardent, going way back to Sam and Dave with “Soul Man,” to ZZ Top’s “Cheap Sunglasses,” to R.E.M.’s “Orange Crush,” to last year’s Platinum work with 3 Doors Down and “The Better Life.” Throw in Led Zeppelin, Al Green, Big Star, Gin Blossoms, Robert Cray, B.B. King, Steve Earle, Primal Scream, Coco Montoya…it’s quite a legacy.
Fry has always preached the vibe, the technology and the talent, in whatever order suits the project. From his humble 1966 beginnings in a garage to his present three-room-plus-a-mastering-suite facility, Fry has learned to survive and thrive. He’s relied on and learned from top-level producers and engineers such as Terry Manning, John Hampton, Pete Matthews, Skidd Mills and Matt Martone. And in his humble manner, he’s always given the proper credit.
So, after 35 years, a hearty congratulations to Fry and his team at Ardent.