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Chicago Takes Recording Studio Out on the Road

Ethan Miller, Getty Images
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Chicago fans will have plenty of new music coming their way soon, and we’re not just talking about next months’ release of the holiday album “Chicago XXXIII: O Christmas Three.”

Lee Loughnane, one of four original members still in the band, said that the group now has a mobile recording studio that they take with them wherever they tour. The studio allows them to record and produce music while they are on the road and offer it for sale through the band’s website.

“It’s a world-class music studio,” Loughnane told Ultimate Classic Rock. “We are doing brand new music and we’ll sell it right from the site. We have become our own record company.”

The band decided to invest in the studio because of the heavy tour schedule and the fan demand for new music. The technology also allows the band mates to record individually and meld the sounds together.

That is just what Chicago did for parts of the Oct. 4 holiday release with guests including legendary guitarist Steve Cropper, perhaps best known for his work with Booker T and the M.G.’s, gospel/R&B singer Bebe Winans, the band America and Dolly Parton.

“It’s great because if something needs to be changed, we can do that right away,” he said. “We don’t have to pay $1000 to $1500 per day for studio time. We just plug in a few cables and we’re set to go.”

Although Chicago’s legendary fan base still keeps the band’s music vital, Loughnane agreed that CD sales have dwindled for all artists while costs to create such recordings rise.

“That is where we used to make a lot of money,” he said of the now almost defunct record stores. “Now a record is more of an advertisement than a viable money making project. We’re trying to figure out what that next step is to continue the business as we have known it. This is a brand new wild, wild west and because of our web platform I think we are in a the spot, because of our legacy, to present new music in a new form.”

Find out about Chicago’s music, tour dates, and more on the band’s official website.

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