Duck Kee Studios - WUNC's Songs We Love Podcast: Special Edition

Mar 5, 2018

WUNC's Songs We Love Podcast
Credit WUNC

Songs We Love is a series and a podcast that looks at the stories behind some of the songs we're playing on our new music discovery stream, WUNC Music. On this special episode, we're doing things a bit differently.

A prominent recording studio in North Carolina's indie rock scene was destroyed by a fire in January.  Duck Kee Studios was home to early work by Superchunk, Polvo, Archers of Loaf, Pipe, Dexter Romweber -- even Ryan Adams recorded a project there.  But now studio owner Jerry Kee is trying to figure out what's next. 

A group of local musicians launched an online fundraiser  and concert  to help the studio get back on its feet.  WUNC's Eric Hodge took a drive to see what's left of this piece of North Carolina's music history. During his visit, Mr. Kee fondly reflected on many of the artists that had recorded at the studio over the years.

Jerry Kee on Tift Merritt “She had a great band, and we recorded pretty much live. It’s fun seeing how well she’s done.”

Tift Merritt
Credit Brian Blauser

Jerry Kee on Superchunk “Mac was in one of the first bands I recorded called Wwax. When Superchunk got together they recorded their first album really quick. They’re great people.”

Superchunk
Credit Jim Leatherman

Jerry Kee on working with Ryan Adams “...you could tell he was a songwriter, he was good. The songs more or less just had one verse, he hadn’t really learn to flesh stuff out, but he was good.”

Ryan Adams
Credit Alice Baxley

Jerry Kee on Dex Romweber “I recorded his big band, the New Romans, and that was a ton of fun. He’s always been a hero of mine.”

Dex Romweber
Credit Anthony Nguyen

Jerry Kee on Polvo “They definitely were in a place all their own. When I first met them I wasn’t sure what was going on...the tuning was weird, the guitars were cheap and funky, but they knew what they were doing.”

Polvo
Credit Touch & Go Records

Jerry Kee on The Kingsbury Manx “I love that group. They had a nice trio of songwriters, so one person would take lead and they’d all flesh out and play different instruments.”

The Kingsbury Manx
Credit D.L. Anderson

Jerry Kee on John Howie Jr. “He was in the first band I recorded. The band was called Light In August and he was the drummer. I didn’t realize he was so young at the time.”

John Howie Jr. and the Rosewood Bluff
Credit Tonya Russ Price

Listen to the episode here:

Duck Kee Studios after a fire in January 2018.
Credit Eric Hodge