Local Music

Published on June 20th, 2016 | by Newt Rayburn


Several Houses on “Soundman Row” are up for Auction, Including the building that Once Housed The Lip Studio

As the gentrification of Oxford continues, more buildings that have been vital to the development of Oxford’s music scene are up for sale.

On June 23, 2016, Redfield Group Auctions will be auctioning off several houses on what used to be known as “Soundman Row”. While several of the houses on Washington Avenue Extended were occupied for years by local musicians and soundmen, one house in particular was the location of Oxford’s infamous recording studio, The Lip (309 Washington Ave Ext.).

Owned and operated by Oxford native Tom Queyja, The Lip Studio produced a whole generation of vital recordings that will outlast us all, including albums and recordings by The Cooters, Zoogma, Hemptones, Swole, Maria Y El Sol, Pithecanfunkus Erectus, Stoneface, Fappy Tweed, Josh Kelley, Morphist, Pine Ross, This Club, RiverLeft, Simon Scott, John Weston, The Supernatural, David Riley, King Crooked Letta, Ingram Hill, Lighting Boy Gomez, and the list goes on and on and on.

The Lip featured a fantastic TAC Scorpion recording console that was purchased from producer Dennis Herring owner of Oxford’s Sweet Tea Studio, which is now based in Los Angeles. Herring is best known for his production work with Counting Crows, Cracker, Elvis Costello, Modest Mouse, and Grammy award winning albums by Buddy Guy and Jars of Clay.

Queyja also moved The Lip studio to Los Angeles in 2012, where a new generation of LA bands now record, after the owners of the house decided to sell the property. It has never sold, sitting vacant for the last four years. Now it is going to be auctioned off June 23.

Another soon to be auctioned house next door to the old Lip Studio was known as Wobitty Headquarters (307 Washington Avenue Ext.), and it featured a small recording room operated by producer Ted Gainey (Kudzu Kings, Blue Mountain, Taylor Grocery Band, SuperSlab).

“I had a room in the old Wobitty HQ while The Lip was open,” Gainey said. “I worked with Guelel Kumba there some. Clay Jones and I got some great stuff with Mark Adamec and Tim Seely, Justin Showah, and Max Williams.”

Other well known musicians who recorded at there include Cary Hudson, Tate Moore, Kincain, Enigma Jazz Project, and of course, the experimental heavy rock band Wobitty, which featured Ted Gainey, Tom Queyja, and bassist Brian Walker.

Other houses at 311 and 313 Washington Avenue Ext. soon to be auctioned were occupied for years by Oxford’s vital live sound engineers, including Leigh Taylor of Proud Larrys’ and Al Cotten, who worked for years at The Library, Proud Larrys’, and Rebel Sound and Lighting. The house at 313 was the homestead of drummer, Mike Namorato and was used as a rehearsal space for The Cooters.

There is a house on Lewis Lane that is also up for auction, and it was the site of the rehearsal studio that Oxford’s first Thrash Metal band Dead Fish used from 1988-1989.

If Oxford ever gets an “Oxford Music Trail” with historical markers, Soundman Row will be on it. The Local Voice Ligature

Edited to add: The auction is Thursday, June 23 at the Marriott Courtyard in Oxford, Mississippi. Registration is at 1 pm. Auction is at 2 pm. For more information, please visit: http://ucredfieldgroup.com/search/Home-in-Town/Mississippi/Lafayette-County/Auction-June-23-Oxford-MS-7-adjoining-homes-Ole-Miss/920597


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About the Author

Newt Rayburn founded THE LOCAL VOICE in 2006. Previously, Newt was Editor of PROFANE EXISTENCE in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Art Director for Ole Miss' LIVING BLUES magazine. Newt won a National Magazine Award in 1999 for his SOUTHERN MUSIC ISSUE with THE OXFORD AMERICAN. A seventh-generation Lafayette County, Mississippian, Newt is perhaps best known as the leader of the Mississippi RocknRoll band THE COOTERS, but he also has the Country & Southern Rock group, HAWGWASH. Newt is a Photographer, Writer, and Civil War Enthusiast.

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