Photo: Lily Nelson
Alana Springsteen Isn't Just Living Her Teenage Dream. She's Speaking To An Entire Generation.
Budding country star Alana Springsteen details how her debut album, 'TWENTY SOMETHING,' completes a journey of self-expression — and helps others do the same.
By the time Alana Springsteen was 9 years old, she knew she was destined to be a singer/songwriter — so much so that she wrote a song about it.
"It was called 'Believe,' as cheesy as it sounds," the rising country star recalls with a laugh. "It was about believing in myself and how my parents believed in me, and knowing, even from that young, that I was going to do this and I could do this. I remember playing it for my parents and they were in tears. They were like, 'Okay, we get it. We're gonna do this. We're gonna take you to Nashville.'"
Sure enough, that November, Springsteen and her family headed to Nashville, meeting with folks at Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) and Broadcast Music Inc (BMI). Instead of brushing off the then-10-year-old, each person she met invited more people to come hear her, and eventually got her set up with some writing sessions. At 14, she moved to Nashville, and officially began her career with her first publishing deal.
Now 22, Springsteen just released her debut studio album, TWENTY SOMETHING. The album carries the same conviction and authenticity that she showed in those rooms when she was 10. Over its 18 tracks, TWENTY SOMETHING intricately details the woes of growing up in three parts: messing it up, figuring it out and getting it right.
A major theme on TWENTY SOMETHING is also one of Springsteen's mantras: "we don't chase, we attract" (a line that sneaks its way into the flirty "look i like"). While that sentiment can seem ironic for someone who has been chasing her dream for 13 years, it's a perfect portrayal of who she is as an artist — one whose confidence radiates and resonates.
Whether she's owning her own faults on "if you love me now" and "hypocrite," expressing insecurities on "chameleon" and the title track, or reclaiming her narrative post-breakup on "you don't deserve a country song" and "tennessee is mine," Springsteen's self-awareness is remarkable for someone so young. Her perceptive storytelling and pop sensibilities make for a captivating kind of country reminiscent of young Taylor Swift (who is, perhaps unsurprisingly, one of Springsteen's biggest inspirations, as she details in "taylor did").
One of her most powerful statements comes on album closer "amen," an acoustic tune in which she gives herself permission to navigate life on her terms. At her album release party in Nashville on Aug. 15, Springsteen closed her set singing "amen" on her own, stepping out into the crowd to declare its final verse a cappella: "And no I ain't got all the answers/ But I'm finding mine for damn sure/ And I mean it, so I'm sayin' it again/ Amen."
"The best thing that I ever did was double down on my truth and my story," Springsteen says. "Never giving up on that vision that I had in my gut, listening to that. My blind faith and blind confidence has been my superpower."
One of the biggest factors in Springsteen's decade-plus journey to TWENTY SOMETHING was the struggle to find the right team, which she's now found in people like her manager, Basak Kizilisik. But even before she felt things were completely right, others around her could feel her star power — including superstar songwriter Liz Rose, with whom Springsteen co-wrote two songs on the album.
"I've known her since she moved to town, and we never really wrote until the last year and a half. I was like, 'Why the f— am I not writing with Alana Springsteen?'" Rose says. "She knows who she is as an artist, and she's spent a lot of time not taking anything for granted. She just knows that she doesn't know everything, [which makes her] a fantastic songwriter."
Country star Mitchell Tenpenny — who co-wrote and features on "goodbye looks good on you" — has seen that same spark since he began working with Springsteen in 2021, and especially while they were on tour together in early 2022. "I watched her control the crowd with just an acoustic guitar. And that's when you know, man," Tenpenny says, referring to Springsteen as a "little sister." "She is just the total freaking package."
Springsteen is the lead songwriter on all 18 tracks and co-producer on all but two, with guitar and piano credits across the album as well. Not only does that add to the intention behind her music, but it's an indication of the growth that she's felt — and presented — with TWENTY SOMETHING.
"The entire goal of this record, for me, is to really get to know myself for the first time," she says. "It was about acceptance, growth, empowerment, learning to trust myself again. And that's a journey that I hope everybody has the courage to go on when they listen to this album."
While the numbers show that she is certainly making an impact — with more than 100 million career streams to date — Springsteen's autobiographical style and knack for catchy melodies resulted in a slew of recognition even before TWENTY SOMETHING arrived. Along with being honored as part of 2023's CMT Next Women of Country Class and MusicRow's Next Big Thing, the singer was also one of eight rising country stars selected to perform at Nissan Stadium during CMA Fest in June.
And accolades aside, the fan reaction is enough evidence that she's achieving her goals. "As someone who just turned 18 and about to go to college this album to me is like a guidebook on how to navigate this part," one fan wrote in an Instagram comment. As another added, "This is what new + upcoming artists should be aiming for on debut or sophomore releases."
As she continues to grow her budding career, Springsteen will likely also continue hearing the inevitable question, "Are you related to Bruce?" The answer is no — but she's also not keeping the name for clout.
"I never wanted it to feel like I'm just taking advantage of that name and using that as, like, clickbait or anything," she asserts. "That's the opposite of what I'm trying to do."
Though Springsteen says that she's "definitely thought about" a stage name in the past, using her birth name is the only way her music would feel as true as she's always intended it to be. And as she's proved so far, she knows she has what it takes to compete with big guns like The Boss: "I'm making my own name."
Photo: Courtesy of Prateek Kuhad
ReImagined: Prateek Kuhad Delivers A Poignant Acoustic Cover Of John Mayer's "Waiting On The World To Change"
Indian singer/songwriter Prateek Kuhad delivers a stripped-down performance of John Mayer's GRAMMY-winning single, "Waiting on the World to Change."
In 2006, John Mayer wrote "Waiting on the World to Change," feeling hopeless about the ongoing wars and society's future. Almost twenty years later, the track still finds relevancy in a world, once again, ridden by political tension.
"We see everything that's going wrong/ With the world and those who lead it/ We just feel like we don't have the means/ To rise above and beat it," Mayer croons in the opening verse. "So we keep waiting/ Waiting on the world to change."
In this episode of ReImagined, Indian singer Prateek Kuhad offers his take on Mayer's GRAMMY-winning call for peace. He remains faithful to Mayer's signature acoustic sound with a stripped-down performance, using only a guitar and a piano.
Along with Mayer, Kuhad also calls blues and folk singers Elliot Smith and Bob Dylan the primary influences on his songwriting.
Kuhad's cover comes on the heels of his latest project, Mulaqat, which was written exclusively in Hindi. In a social media post on the eve of the EP's release, Kuhad shared that the five-song collection is "stories from my life this year and are very close to my heart."
Press play on the video above to hear Prateek Kuhad's rendition of John Mayer's "Waiting on the World to Change," and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of ReImagined.
Photo: ZIK Images/United Archives via Getty Images
15 Reissues And Archival Releases For Your Holiday Shopping List
2023 was a banner year for reissues and boxed sets; everyone from the Beatles to Bob Dylan to the Rolling Stones got inspired expansions and repackagings. Here are 15 more to scoop up before 2023 gives way to 2024.
Across 2023, we've been treated to a shower of fantastic reissues, remixes and/or expansions. From the Beatles' Red and Blue albums, to Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon, to the Who's Who's Next, the list is far too massive to fit into a single article.
And, happily, it's not over yet: from now until Christmas, there are plenty more reissues to savor — whether they be mere vinyl represses, or lavish plumbings of the source material replete with outtakes.
As you prepare your holiday shopping list, don't sleep on these 15 reissues for the fellow music fanatic in your life — or pick up a bundle for yourself!
X-Ray Spex - Conscious Consumer (Vinyl Reissue)
Whether you view them through the lens of Black woman power or simply their unforgettable, snarling anthems, English punks X-Ray Spex made an indelible mark with their debut 1978 album, Germfree Adolescents.
Seventeen years later, they made a less-discussed reunion album, 1995's Conscious Consumer — which has been unavailable over the next 27 years. After you (re)visit Germfree Adolescents, pick up this special vinyl reissue, remastered from the original tape.
That's out Dec. 15; pre-order it here.
Fall Out Boy - Take This to Your Grave (20th Anniversary Edition)
Released the year before their breakthrough 2005 album From Under the Cork Tree — the one with "Dance, Dance" and "Sugar, We're Goin Down" on it — Fall Out Boy's Take This to Your Grave remains notable and earwormy. The 2004 album aged rather well, and contains fan favorites like "Dead on Arrival."
Revisit the two-time GRAMMY nominees' Myspace-era gem with its 20th anniversary edition, which features a 36-page coffee table book and two unreleased demos: "Colorado Song" and "Jakus Song." It's available Dec. 15.
Coheed and Cambria - Live at the Starland Ballroom
Coheed and Cambria is more than a long-running rock band; they're a sci-fi multimedia universe, as well as a preternaturally tight live band.
Proof positive of the latter is Live at the Starland Ballroom, a document of a performance at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey, in 2004 — that hasn't been on vinyl until now. Grab it here; it dropped Nov. 24, for Record Store Day Black Friday.
Joni Mitchell - Court and Spark Demos
Joni Mitchell Archives – Vol. 3: The Asylum Years (1972–1975), from last October, is a terrific way to do just that; its unvarnished alternate versions strip away the '70s gloss to spellbinding effect.
Which is no exception regarding the Court and Spark demos, which got a standalone release for RSD Black Friday.
P!NK - TRUSTFALL (Deluxe Edition)
The dependable Pink returned in 2023 with the well-regarded TRUSTFALL, and it's already getting an expanded presentation.
Its Deluxe Edition is filled with six previously unheard live recordings from her 2023 Summer Carnival Stadium Tour. Therein, you can find two new singles, including "Dreaming," a collaboration with Marshmello and Sting. Pre-order it today.
Snoop Dogg - Doggystyle (30th Anniversary Edition)
After his star-making turn on Dr. Dre's The Chronic, 16-time GRAMMY nominee Snoop Dogg stepped out with his revolutionary, Dre-assisted debut album, Doggystyle.
Permeated with hedonistic, debaucherous fun, the 1993 classic only furthered G-funk's momentum as a force within hip-hop.
Revisit — or discover — the album via this 30-year anniversary reissue, available now on streaming and vinyl.
As per the latter, the record is available special color variants, including a gold foil cover and clear/cloudy blue vinyl via Walmart, a clear and black smoke vinyl via Amazon and a green and black smoke vinyl via indie retailers.
Alicia Keys - The Diary of Alicia Keys 20
Alicia Keys has scored an incredible 15 GRAMMYs and 31 nominations — and if that run didn't exactly begin with 2003's The Diary of Alicia Keys, that album certainly cemented her royalty.
Her heralded second album, which features classics like "Karma," "If I Was Your Woman"/"Walk On By" and "Diary," is being reissued on Dec. 1 — expanded to 24 tracks, and featuring an unreleased song, "Golden Child."
The Sound of Music (Super Deluxe Edition Boxed Set)
Fifty-seven years has done nothing to dim the appeal of 1965's The Sound of Music — both the flick and its indelible soundtrack.
Re-immerse yourself in classics like "My Favorite Things" via The Sound of Music (Super Deluxe Edition Boxed Set), which arrives Dec. 1.
The box contains more than 40 previously unreleased tracks, collecting every musical element from the film for the first time, along with instrumentals for every song, demos and rare outtakes from the cast.
Furthermore, an audio Blu-ray features the full score in hi-res plus a new Dolby Atmos mix of the original soundtrack. And the whole shebang is housed in a 64-page hardbound book with liner notes from film preservationist Mike Matessino.
ABBA - The Visitors (Deluxe Edition)
With their eighth album, 1981's The Visitors, the Swedish masterminds — and five-time GRAMMY nominees — stepped away from lighter fare and examined themselves more deeply than ever.
The result was heralded as their most mature album to date — and has been repackaged before, with a Deluxe Edition in 2012.
This (quite belated) 40th anniversary edition continues its evolution in the marketplace. And better late than never: The Visitors was their final album until their 2021 farewell, Voyage, and on those terms alone, deserves reexamination.
Aretha Franklin - A Portrait of the Queen 1970-1974
A Portrait of the Queen 1970-1974 compiles her first five albums of the 1970s: This Girl's In Love With You, Spirit in the Dark, Young Gifted and Black, Hey Now Hey (The Other Side of the Sky), and Let Me In Your Life.
Each has been remastered from the analog master tapes. The vinyl version has a bonus disc of session alternates, outtakes & demos. Both CD and vinyl versions are packaged with booklets featuring sleeve notes by Gail Mitchell and David Nathan. Grab it on Dec. 1.
Fela Kuti - Box Set #6
From the great beyond, Fela Kuti has done music journalists a solid in simply numbering his boxes. But this isn't just any Kuti box: it's curated by the one and only Idris Elba, who turned in a monumental performance as Stringer Bell on "The Wire."
The fifth go-round contains the Afrobeat giant's albums Open & Close, Music of Many Colors, Stalemate, I Go Shout Plenty!!!, Live In Amsterdam (2xLP), and Opposite People. It includes a 24 page booklet featuring lyrics, commentaries by Afrobeat historian Chris May, and never-before-seen photos.
The box is only available in a limited edition of 5,000 worldwide, so act fast: it's also available on Dec. 1.
Kate Bush - Hounds of Love (The Baskerville Edition) / Hounds of Love (The Boxes of Lost Sea)
Kate Bush rocketed back into the public consciousness in 2022, via "Stranger Things." The lovefest continues unabated with these two editions of Hounds of Love, which features that signature song: "Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God.)
The Rolling Stones - December's Children (And Everybody's), Got Live If You Want It! And The Rolling Stones No. 2 (Vinyl Reissues)
These three '60s Stones albums have slipped between the cracks over the years — but if you love the world-renowned rock legends in its infancy, they're essential listens.
No. 2 is their second album from 1965; the same year's December's Children is the last of their early songs to lean heavily on covers; Got Live If You Want It! is an early live document capturing the early hysteria swarming around the band.
On Dec. 1, they're reissued on 180g vinyl; for more information and to order, visit here.
Pink Floyd - Atom Heart Mother (Special Edition)
No, it's not half as famous as The Dark Side of the Moon or The Wall — but 1970's lumpy Atom Heart Mother certainly has its partisans.
Rediscover a hidden corner of the Floyd catalog — the one between Ummagumma and Meddle — via this special edition, which features newly discovered live footage from more than half a century ago.
The Black Crowes - The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion
After endless fraternal infighting, the Black Crowes are back — can they keep it together?
In the meantime, their second album, 1992's The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, remains a stellar slice of roots rock — as a sprawling, three-disc Super Deluxe Edition bears out. If you're a bird of this feather, don't miss it when it arrives on Dec. 15.
Photo: Christopher Ian Smith/Mercer University
10 Recording Studio Tours That Take Fans Behind The Music
Found in the forgotten corners of Alabama, amid the bustle of Nashville, in Midwestern suburbs and the Pacific Northwest, these 10 studio tours allow fans to wax nostalgic about iconic albums and artists.
Whether you’re an eternal Elvis enthusiast who wants to see where the Tupelo titan made his very first round of licorice pizza and where he recorded more than 240 singles, an audiophile who geeks out at the slightest turn of a soundboard knob or the old-timey crackle of feedback, a vinyl connoisseur who wants to gather historical context for his collection, or just looking for something fun to do on vacation, consider touring a historic recording studio.
Found in the forgotten corners of Alabama, amid the big-city bustle of Nashville or Detroit, and nestled into quiet Midwestern suburbs or rainy regions of the West Coast, studio tours offer behind-the-scenes scoop on the making of iconic albums by household names from the Aretha Franklin and Rolling Stones to Dolly Parton, Lizzo, and Billie Eilish.
The number of studios being restored and opening their doors to offer music fans in-depth experiences seems to be climbing alongside the growing interest/reinvestment in vinyl. While some of these studios ceased production years ago and exist only as musical time capsules, others are still making noise.
These are 10 of the most exciting recording studio tours strewn across the lower 48 where you can wax nostalgic about classic cuts while standing in the exact spot where they came together. Armed with old photos, music clips, and sometimes the actual gear used back in the day, guides regale visitors with tales of budding romance, epic fights, intense late night sessions, studio wizardry, custom instruments, memorable moments, and quirky habits — like Keith Richards lyric-writing breakthrough in the bathroom or Prince’s penchant for playing his favorite movie Finding Nemo while working.
Who Recorded Here: Elvis Presley, Howlin' Wolf, Johnny Cash, Rufus Thomas, Bobby Blue Bland, Carl Perkins, Charlie Rich, Wynonna Judd, Roy Orbison
You’ll hear the story of those sessions and more as you walk through the original operating base of Sun Records owner Sam Phillips from 1950-1959. Tours begin in the memorabilia gallery, which contains the original radio broadcasting booth of influential Memphis DJ "Daddy-O" Dewey Phillips, and proceed through the reception area and into the room where the sonic sausage was and is still made. (Sun returned to its recording roots in the ‘80s.) The space is filled with retro furniture and equipment from Sun’s heyday, but little of it was ever near that gyrating pelvis.
Presley’s history with Sun precedes working with Sam. At 18, he paid $4 to make a 78 featuring two slow jams called "My Happiness" and "That’s When Your Heartaches Begin" with the help of assistant Marion Keisker (Phillips was not in that day) in 1953. Fairly unimpressed, he jotted down his name and number alongside a notation that he was a good ballad singer. The following year he returned, picked up the tempo, snarled the word "mama," and the rest was history.
Much of the gear used at Sun in Elvis’ day is on display in other museums or held by private collectors, such as the Million Dollar Quartet piano you’ll find at Graceland. One mic is original to the space however, and visitors can use it as a prop in photos when they bust out their best impression.
Muscle Shoals, Alabama
Who Recorded Here: Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Etta James, Alicia Keys, Demi Lovato, Otis Redding, The Osmonds, Terri Gibbs, Band of Horses
FAME (Florence Alabama Music Enterprises) and its leader Rick Hall (who was nominated for Producer of The Year in 1970) put the Muscle Shoals region on the commercial music map. Originally founded in 1959 and located above a drugstore, Hall eventually took his earnings from Arthur Alexander’s "You Better Move On" and a $10,000 loan to buy out his partners. He built the current headquarters and studios, turning his passion project into a blues and soul powerhouse that gave the Memphis music industry one state over a run for its money.
The first session in the new digs resulted in the chart topper "Steal Away" by Jimmy Hughes. Over the next few decades, numerous classics were captured on vinyl under the same roof: "Mustang Sally" by Wilson Pickett, Etta James’ Tell Mama, "Slip Away" by Clarence Carter, "I Never Loved A Man" by Franklin, and "You’re Having My Baby" by Paul Anka.
Currently run by Hall's children, Studios A and B still pull big names like Phish, Jason Isbell, and Gregg Allman, who recorded his farewell album Southern Blood there in 2016. Whether you opt to take the standard tour or the new backstage experience (which adds stops in the publishing office, Hall’s personal office brimming with awards and gifts, and instrument exhibits to the basic studios tour), be sure to pose under the sign above the hall that reads "Through these doors walk the finest Musicians, Songwriters, Artists, and Producers in the World." The sign has been up since the studio first opened.
Who Recorded Here: The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Cher, Staples Singers, Boz Scaggs, Rod Stewart, Lana Del Rey
After honing their unique funky R&B style together up the street at FAME, the Swampers (David Hood, Jimmy Johnson, Roger Hawkins, and Barry Beckett) struck out on their own in 1969. Using a loan from Atlantic Records VP Jerry Wexler to buy equipment, the four opened what was then the only recording studio owned and operated by session musicians.
First to record there was Cher, whose 3614 Jackson Highway takes its name from the studio’s address and features the building’s exterior on the cover. The cover, in turn, inspired the studio’s now signature sign. Before moving operations to a bigger facility in 1978, more than 200 albums (75 of which earned RIAA gold or platinum status) and hundreds of songs were cut at the original property. Among the biggest hits were Paul Simon’s "Kodachrome" and Bob Seger’s "Old Time Rock and Roll."
After the Swampers moved out, it became an appliance repair shop, headstone showroom, and pro audio retailer and then spent much of the ‘90s abandoned. A local entrepreneur started to return it to its former glory and run it as both a recording studio (that’s when the Black Keys laid down the first tracks in 30 years at the studio) and museum in the aughts. But it was 2013’s Muscle Shoals documentary that really stoked both public and deep-pocket interest — Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine donated a million dollars to the preservation of the studio — and further restoration was completed in 2017 under the watchful eye of the new owner, the Muscle Shoals Music Foundation.
Visitors are treated to fascinating session stories with corresponding audio snippets, photos, and equipment while wandering around the basement writer’s room, secret speakeasy where booze was hidden (it was a dry county until the ‘80s), and the one-room studio which includes the tiny bathroom Keith Richards locked himself in to finalize the lyrics of "Wild Horses" and Mary MacGregor captured her "Torn Between Two Lovers" vocals.
Who Recorded Here: Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Blind Melon, Pearl Jam, Brandi Carlile, Dave Matthews, The Strokes, Fall Out Boy
Though it was opened in 1985 by brothers Rick and Raj Parashar, this Seattle-adjacent studio didn’t rise to prominence until the ‘90s when a who’s who of grunge pioneers used it to record seminal albums like Ten, Louder Than Love, and Dirt. Tours are offered several days a week and on dates that hold significance to the studio and now owners/producers Eric Lilavois, Geoff Ott, and Jonathan Plum, including an annual Layne Staley tribute.
Admirers of alt-rock can take a peek at a wall covered in early headshots and items left behind by bands, as well as the original guestbook that features a few work-in-progress band names.
The tour visits isolation booths, the control room, a Neve A599 console commandeered from Decca Paris Studios, and the original Yamaha C7 Piano that appears on Mother Love Bone’s "Chloe Dancer" and Dave Matthews Band's "When I’m Weary." Among the studio's most interesting artifacts is the rope swing in the live room, which Eddie Vedder swung from upside down to achieve the Doppler-like sound effect on "Once."
And it isn’t just grunge acts for whom London Bridge has played a significant role in their career. Brandi Carlile met her longtime bandmates Phil and Tim Hanseroth through Parashar in the studio's kitchen.
Who Recorded Here: The Miracles, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Mary Wells, Stevie Wonder, Martha and the Vandellas, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson
Berry Gordy established his game-changing label Motown Records in 1959 inside a simple home on Detroit's West Grand Boulevard. The ground floor held the administrative offices, control room, and tape library while the Gordy family posted up on the second floor. A photography studio in the back was converted into what became known as Studio A, which was open 22 hours a day.
As business grew in the ‘60s and ‘70s, he bought neighboring houses and expanded the footprint of Motown Records. Today, three of his houses, including the original abode, contain the Motown Museum, which maintains the studio and his living quarters as they looked during the label's zenith. Tours include a trip through the Gordy family's recreated apartment and the legendary Studio A.
While you likely won’t be granted permission to tickle the ivories as Paul McCartney was when he took a private tour, you can eyeball the 1877 Steinway Model D grand piano heard on many Motown favorites. Fun fact: After discovering the antique in unplayable condition, the Beatle helped restore it and eventually played it at a charity gala.)
Who Recorded Here: Dolly Parton, Elvis, Waylon Jennings, Charlie Daniels, Al Hirt, Amanda Shires, Perry Como, Everly Brothers, Don Gibson
Plans for this studio were first written on a napkin by chief audio engineer Bill Miltenburg. The fabled hit factory operated by RCA Records is located in the country capitol’s Music Row neighborhood.
RCA Studio B churned out so many ballads, bangers and boppy pop tunes between 1957 and 1977 that it earned the nickname "Home of 1,000 Hits." Elvis alone knocked out 240 songs there.
As rock began to dominate, house producers Chet Atkins and Anita Kerr removed or downplayed the twang of traditional Western ditties, adding strings, background vocals, and smoother instrumentation. Their Nashville Sound is said to have rescued country music from certain obscurity.
This key point is made by docents and audio and video clips during daily tours, which depart from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and last about an hour. Visitors will pass through the hallowed halls where Parton belted out "Coat Of Many Colors" and "I Will Always Love You." Also on display are two original recording consoles, a prized 1942 Steinway Grand Piano, and the building’s recently restored exterior.
The studio is still in operation. Occasionally, artists like Gillian Welch, Marty Stuart, and John Hiatt return to record new projects with the old-fashioned analog flair.
Who Recorded Here: Prince, Madonna, Lizzo, Chuck D, Beck, Gwen Stefani
Prince built the mural-covered creative compound of his dreams in a suburban cornfield 20 minutes from the Minneapolis music scene where he first made a name for himself. Paisley Park includes his home, four still-active recording studios, a Hollywood-sized soundstage where Prince rehearsed for tours and made music videos, concert movies and films like Graffiti Bridge, and a nightclub. His trademark shade of purple reigns supreme in the color palette.
Prince cut every album — from Sign O’ the Times until his last release — at Paisley Park and welcomed artists from Chaka Khan and R.E.M. to Sting into the booths. And when he wasn’t working, he was playing…hard. His late-night impromptu parties at the NPG Music Club were legendary, including one particularly epic evening when Madonna arrived around 2 a.m. and sat at stage’s edge while Prince serenaded her for an hour.
While all three tour levels feature peeks at the studios, musical instruments and Prince's massive shoe collection, diehards can book the three-hour ultimate experience which adds exclusive access to a private screening, a playback session in the control room, and even more archived items. All visitors should keep their eyes peeled for the modified road case Prince used to hide inside in order to be moved through concert crowds undetected. It is tucked along the tour route but never mentioned.
Who Recorded Here: Allman Brothers Band, Marshall Tucker Band, Charlie Daniels Band, Wet Willie, Elvin Bishop, Blackberry Smoke, Eddie 9 Volt
After building a name for himself as a booking agent and manager for soul artists like Otis Redding, Percy Sledge, and Sam and Dave, Phil Walden founded Capricorn Records with Wexler and used the FAME model as a roadmap. He put together a Swampers-style house band and built them a studio from the ground up in downtown Macon.
When Mercer University cleaned up the Capricorn complex in 2019, adding a museum, music library kiosks, and a state-of-the-art Studio B, it thankfully left A untouched. The ‘70s time warp continues in the control room, where they custom-built a soundboard to mimic the one that was used during Capricorn's pinnacle (around the time when fellow Georgian President Jimmy Carter attended Walden’s infamous summer artists’ barbeque).
The studio remains so true-to-vibe that you half expect to find a stash of illegal substances in the basement's reverb chambers (a favored hiding spot according to rumors), the Allman Brothers jamming on their highest charting work "Ramblin’ Man," or Joe Cocker laying on the floor with a mike stand bent down to meet his mouth because he was too inebriated to duet with Bonnie Bramlett standing up. Less scandalous is the piano Redding composed on, complete with cigarette burns, displayed in the museum.
Who Recorded Here: Leon Russell, Tom Petty, J.J. Cale Willie Nelson, Gap Band, Dr. John, Bonnie Raitt, Eric Clapton, Peter Tosh, Jimmy Buffett, Air Supply
In 1972, Sooner State native and Elton John mentor Leon Russell bought a 1915 Methodist church in Tulsa's Pearl District and converted it into offices for his Shelter Records label, a recording studio, and a hangout for his creative pals.
Russell eventually left Shelter in 1979 to start his own label, Paradise, for which he constructed a same-named studio complex in Burbank, Calif., but not before numerous household names made magic within those stone walls. Tom Petty also signed his very first record deal with his early band Mudcrutch at Church.
In 2016, Tulsa businesswoman/Master of Space and Time megafan Teresa Knox bought the holy ground of the Tulsa Sound (now located on Leon Russell Road), renovated it, and used her personal Russell memorabilia collection to jumpstart a museum. According to Knox, her prize purchase to relaunch Church’s recording side was a NEVE 8068 mixing console from Daniel Lanois, who used it when producing records by U2 and Emmylous Harris. In fact, the machine is pictured on the cover of Bob Dylan’s Time Out Of Mind.
In 2022, the Dropkick Murphys chose The Church to put together a Woody Guthrie concept album. (Guthrie was also from Oklahoma and a museum in his honor is less than 15 minutes away.) Tours begin near the bronze statue of Russell in his signature top hat.
Detroit and Nashville
Who Recorded Here: Bob Weir, Billie Eilish, the Hives, Old Crow Medicine Show, Jack White, MC50 (anniversary MC5 band)Former White Stripes’ frontman Jack White started a label and three same-named record stores, all with live music venues tucked inside.
The two American outposts of Third Man Records offer tours once or twice a week. Established in 2015 in the longtime cultural hub Cass Corridor, the Detroit tour includes visits to the state-of-the-art vinyl pressing plant, a stage, and the control room, and giant depictions of local superstars the MC5, White Stripes, and the Gories. In Nashville, which opened in 2009, the longer, pricier tour takes guests through the warehouse, control room, and live space. Like many of the aforementioned studios, guests exit through an expertly curated gift shop.
Coordinate visits on days where someone’s rocking the mic, as these two venues are the only live music halls where artists can record performances direct to vinyl. With a lathe procured from King Records in Cincinnati and a pressing deal with United Record Pressing, Third Man recorded a live 7-inch by White and made it available less than four hours after he’d exited the stage. Could there be a more ultimate souvenir for music lovers?
Photo: Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images for Luisaviaroma
Everything We Know About Jennifer Lopez's New Album 'This Is Me… Now'
After months of buildup, Jennifer Lopez has finally announced the release date for her first album in a decade, 'This Is Me… Now.' Here's everything GRAMMY.com could find about it.
Way back in November 2002, Jennifer Lopez released This Is Me… Then — a highly personal looking-glass into her relationship with Ben Affleck. Twenty-two years later, the two-time GRAMMY nominee is closing the loop with the aptly titled This Is Me… Now.
Not only is there a yawning gap between prequel and sequel, but Lopez hasn't released a new album since 2014's A.K.A. (Unless you count the soundtrack to 2022's Marry Me, which she starred in alongside Owen Wilson and Colombian singer Maluma; therein, she and Maluma performed the music.)
On Nov. 27, Lopez finally revealed the release date for This Is Me… Now, as well as a teaser trailer for a film of the same name — to be released on the same day. Here's a rundown of what we know about Lopez's long-awaited new dispatch to the world — over your speakers, and on your screen.
Both Album And Film Will Release Feb. 16
That's what Lopez revealed on Nov. 27. After you absorb the album, enjoy "an intimate, fantastical and narrative-driven reflection of Lopez's journey to find love" on Prime Video.
The First Single Will Stream On Jan. 10
Said single is titled "Can't Get Enough"; just days into the new year, you can cue it up. On social media, J. Lo also teased This Is Me… Now's title track, with a snippet of the music.
This Is Me… Now Continues Its Predecessor's Love Story
Lopez and Affleck have a long history — much longer than This Is Me… Then could possibly contain. They first dated from 2002 to 2004; they called off their engagement in 2004.
In 2021, they began dating again; in 2022, they wed. All of this, permeated with the pressures of media attention and the growing pains of love, promises to live inside This Is Me… Now's grooves.
"We captured me at this moment in time when I was reunited with the love of my life, and we decided we were going to be together forever. The whole message of the album then is this love exists. This is a real love," she told Zane Lowe last year.
"Now I think what the message of the album is very much if you were wondering if you have, like me at times, lost hope, almost given up, don't," Lopez continued. "Because true love does exist, and some things do last forever, and that's real."
This Is Me… Now Marks A New Label Partnership
Back in September 2023, Lopez announced a new recording and publishing partnership with BMG; This Is Me… Now will mark the first fruitage of this alliance.
"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with her and her team to release her first album in nearly a decade," BMG CEO Thomas Coesfeld said in a statement.
Coesfield also called Lopez a "global superstar artist, entertainer… a phenomenon" — and that's exactly why This Is Me… Now will be such a milestone. Keep checking GRAMMY.com as more information about This Is Me… Now comes to light.