Opelika's music scene is being transformed with the addition of Sound Wall, a new music studio, located at 605 Avenue B. To many, an old and abandoned house may look like the next tear-down, but for husband and wife Rob and Jen Slocumb, it was a house full of potential.
Walk into this historical house and the Slocumb's have transformed this 1907 house into a multi-use recording studio. Each room has its own purpose. There is a
After touring and making music of their own for over 20 years as the duo, Martha's Trouble, Jen and Rob Slocumb were ready to settle down.
"We had done a lot of touring all around the South, and we remembered that there was such a charm to this area, so we decided to come back to the Auburn-Opelika area to call home and raise our two kids," Jen Slocumb said. "This has been a dream of ours for a long time. I love designing, and I have mixed a lot of old and new pieces throughout the house."
In addition, the entire second floor of the house is a loft apartment and welcomes the artists who are using the downstairs recording space. It is also available for the general public to rent through Airbnb.
"We want this place to be welcoming to all, whatever your purpose is to come," Jen Slocumb said. "So many artists go to the big cities and try to write and produce, but there is something so special about the calmness to a town like this, which is why we believe the Sound Wall will create this space for many artists."
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Not only is Sound Wall a recording studio, but it is also a place for the community to gather and listen to music. Once a month, they host Opelika Songwriter's Night, which features local and regional songwriters. The songwriters get to perform original songs in a more intimate listening environment.
Songwriter Robert Cooper has been playing and performing music since he was around 10 years old.
"I have performed in front of crowds so many times, but it still feels like my heart is on my sleeve every time I go up there," Cooper said. "It is like when in 'Forrest Gump,' Jenny is on stage playing the guitar, and she is naked. That's what it feels like."
"[This] is a nice change of pace from performing in a bar or restaurant scene because there, you are more background noise, whereas in a setting like this, the audience is really listening to you and cares about the meaning behind your songs."
Cooper and Mitch Emmons swapped off back and forth performing their original songs. Themes of love, death, family, chickens, political beliefs and everything in between can be heard through their songs.
Whit Deas, Mark True, Ted McVay and Stephanie Jeck were all featured songwriters at the event and performed throughout the night as well.
The next monthly event will be held Wednesday, Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. It will be Christmas themed. The Slocumbs will feature their band, Martha's Trouble, for a holiday event "A Martha's Trouble Christmas" held at Sound Wall on Friday, Dec. 15, from 7 - 8 p.m.