Libraries rock—quite literally in some cases.
Westport (Conn.) Library is home to Verso Studios, a media resource and production hub that offers creative music and video production opportunities and commercial services for library patrons and the community at-large. It’s an impressive space, complete with an SSL (the “Rolls Royce of studio consoles”) hybrid analog recording studio where local bands and musicians can record and produce their own music. And now the library is adding “record label” to its roster of services.
On May 8, Westport Library announced the release of Verso Records: Volume One, the first album ever recorded, produced, and released by a public library, according to the library. The limited-press, vinyl compilation of emerging Connecticut and tri-state area musicians and artists features a diverse array of talent across all genres (rock ‘n’ roll, jazz, hip hop, folk, indie). All tracks were recorded live at Verso Studios.
The venture has drawn the attention and praise of rock ‘n’ roll royalty.
“I feel so proud to live in a community that supports a library that, in turn, celebrates its local emerging and established musicians,” Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz, who works with the library, said in a statement. “Continuing its legacy in cultural innovation, the Westport Library has become the first public library ever to record, produce and release a vinyl album, and it’s really cool!”
We’re big vinyl enthusiasts here at I Love Libraries and can’t wait to add this album to our collections. With more and more libraries adding audio production studios to their facilities, we hope to see more records like this in the future.
Watch a clip of Connecticut band, The Problem with Kids Today, recorded live at Verso Studios.
Photo: Verso Studios, photo courtesy of Verso Records.