Founded by sound engineer John McBride, and his wife country artist Martina McBride, in 2002, Blackbird has become Nashville's preeminent sound studio. The Blackbird complex now includes nine studios and houses, The Blackbird Academy, a post-secondary audio engineering school.
Read more about the creative and dedicated individuals who are part of the Blackbird team.
John has a passion for great audio like no other. Just spend ten minutes with him, and you'll understand. That passion can be seen every day here at Blackbird. Truly a dream come true for John, Blackbird is a haven where artists of all genres can find refuge, inspiration, and a dedicated space stocked with the finest gear in the world.
As he puts it, The Beatles started it off for him. They just hit him straight in his DNA. You'll find plenty of Beatle memorabilia around the studio, not to mention his collection at his house. John's career has spanned over 20 years from mixing live sound front of house, to production managing for Garth Brooks, to engineering Martina McBride's last three studio albums. And, he's still involved in the daily operation for Clair Global.
Rolff handles all of the booking needs for the studios at Blackbird. Everybody knows Rolff from Blackbird Audio Rentals - well, he's made the jump into the studio world. As studio manager, Rolff oversees all operations and scheduling.
Chief Technical Engineer
Richard's career in pro audio started in the late 1970s working for Studer Canada. He spent the '80s as the head tech working for Le Studio Morin Heights in Canada. Richard then moved to Ardent Studios in Memphis for most of the '90s as chief tech. He came to Nashville in '98 to work for Masterfonics/Emerald, and in 2005 he made the move to Blackbird.
Accounts & Finance
Blair Gallimore is from Greenville, NC. She came to Nashville to pursue a singing career and to attend Belmont University. Blair graduated in May 2009 with a degree in Music Business. During her time at Belmont, she interned for us at Blackbird. In January 2010, she was hired as our Receptionist / Client Services / Administrative Assistant. In Spring 2017, she moved to run the Accounts Receivables / Payables at the studio.
Client Services / Admin Assistant
Amber Gray is from Conway, Arkansas and graduated with a Bachelor's degree from the University of Arkansas in 2012. Her passion for music led her to pursue a degree in Audio Engineering, which she earned at SAE-Institute in Nashville, TN. During her time at SAE, she completed an internship at Blackbird in 2015. Amber was brought on staff full time over the summer of 2017. Her duties include handling: Client Services, Reception, Internship Program, and assisting with Administrative Services.
Allen came to Blackbird with lots of experience in live and studio production. He's been engineering in the industry since 1995, working with such clients as Martina McBride, Keith Urban, 3 Doors Down, Elvis Costello, Garth Brooks, Lynyrd Skynyrd, as well as many others. He also has produced a number of live TV shows in Mississippi over the past 15 years. Allen came to Blackbird in January 2006. When he's not in the studio, Allen is the Production Manager for Martina McBride.
From Yukon OK, Luke graduated from Full Sail in 2009. After spending some time in Central Florida playing music and working in live sound he migrated to Nashville in 2011. He interned with Blackbird for over a year before joining the staff in 2013.
Jason is a native Tennessean, a graduate of Full Sail and a multi-Grammy- nominated engineer. He began his career in Los Angeles working at Sunset Sound/Sound Factory. He joined Blackbird in 2014 and his credits include: Metallica, Beck, Stevie Nicks, Willie Nelson, John Legend, Faith Hill, Kenny Rogers, Sturgill Simpson, Cam, and many others.
A Texas native, Bryan began his professional guitar playing career as the opening act for legendary jazz guitarist Larry Carlton. A graduate of University of Southern California (BM, DMA), and University of Texas (MM), His music is regularly featured on FOX, ESPN, VH1, Lifetime Network, WB Network, and the History Channel. He has worked with a diverse range of artists: Bonnie Raitt, Lisa Loeb, Scott Henderson, renowned Chinese Erhu virtuoso Xiaohui Ma, Phil Keaggy, and Kelsea Ballerini, to name a few.
Assistant Engineer / Night Manager
A Long Island native, Steve graduated from Full Sail in 2014. During school, he interned and worked the hip-hop scene in Central Florida and then interned at Blackbird. Steve was hired at Blackbird in October 2015.
Assistant Engineer / Night Manager
Jory graduated from The Institute of Production and Recording in Minneapolis in 2013, and interned at 4th Street Recording in Santa Monica, CA in 2015 before moving to Nashville in February 2016. Jory began his internship at Blackbird in March, and has since moved on to assistant engineer and night manager.
Studio Operations Manager /Studio Drum Tech
A Nashville native, Paul has been playing drums professionally for over 35 years. He and his brother Mike (also at Blackbird) started Nashville's first original heavy metal bands. Paulie has worked with Black Oak Arkansas, Petra, The Reverend Horton Heat, Tom Keifer, and Gene Simmons. He has the task of keeping all of our 90+ drum kits and 165+ snares in top condition, for our clients who came from all over the world to record.
A Navy brat, Austin has lived all over the country, but settled in Nashville after graduating from Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA in 2016. During his summers, he interned at several studios throughout Houston, and worked as Head Studio Operations Assistant at Berklee during the school year. Austin began interning at Blackbird and was hired on as a Night Manager shorty afterwards.
Night Manager / Client Services
Lucas is a Connecticut native and a graduate of the University of New Haven. He interned at Blackbird in 2016, and was brought back on during the consecutive summer as a member of the night staff.
Rentals Manager /Studio Guitar Tech
Mike has been in the pro audio rental business since the early '90s as manager and then co-owner of Underground Sound. He came aboard at Blackbird in 2006, and took over as manager of Blackbird Audio Rentals in 2014.
A professional guitarist since the 1980s, Mike is also the in-house "guitar guy" at Blackbird, after years of guitar tech experience with artists and producers such as Peter Frampton, Mark Knopfler, Dann Huff, Dave Stewart, Jacquire King, Audley Freed, Brendan O'Brien, Nick Raskulinecz, John McBride, Seether, Evanescence, The Fray, The Hold Steady, Ghost, Sleeping With Sirens, Mastodon, Black Star Riders, and many more.
Rentals Assistant/Operational Manager
Channing moved to Nashville from Cleveland, TN in October of 2014 to attend The Blackbird Academy. After completing the studio program, he began an internship at Blackbird Studios and was subsequently hired as a night manager in November of 2015.