While other 10-year-olds were playing soccer or basketball, Jeff Lusby-Breault picked up an acoustic guitar and couldn’t put it down. By the time he was 11, he switched to an electric guitar and his parents realized he had music in his blood. “I was hooked,” he said. “I’d come home from school and start playing, and didn’t want to do my homework,” he laughed. Before long, he was into Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, alternative rock and blue grass music.
In 2004, he knew he wanted to start a recording studio with his friend, Kieran Smiley, so they could record their own band, Mercy Fall. “All we needed was a rough example of our new songs, so that our manager could hear the new material. I bought a couple of cheap mics, and a computer – it was the minimum that we could get by with. Soon after starting the process (having no clue what I was doing), I was hooked. After about four years, I was experienced and ready to charge people,” he said.
Lusby-Breault is now the owner of Studio Retrograde in Flagstaff, where he writes, produces and records songs for a variety of musicians. His work is his life. “One of the most enjoyable things to me, when listening to records that I love, is the overall sonic quality,” he said.
“I’ll be listening and thinking, ‘Wow, that snare drum sounds great, and I love the full, natural sound of this vocal track.’ So, I try to inspire those same thoughts on records that I record.”
One of his greatest challenges and joys is putting everything he has into making every track sound as good as possible while complementing the song and artist. “Artists can come here with any style of music and I’m going to put my all into everything about it. I want the artist’s expectations to be exceeded, and I hope I can achieve that a lot of the time,” he said.
Where do his passions come from? “I just love music. It’s as simple as that. I love being involved with music from so many different angles. Writing, playing, performing, producing, recording, and mixing.”
Recently, Lusby-Breault discovered he isn’t the only family member with a knack for recording music and performing. Years ago, he learned his great uncle, Bob Breault, was a recording engineer as well. Lusby-Breault didn’t find out about this until after Breault passed away.
“I came to find out that among hundreds of records he had recorded from the 60s through the late 80s, he had a few very noteworthy albums under his belt. He recorded Carlos Santana’s first album self-titled Santana, and Johnny Cash’s At Folsom Prison and At San Quentin. Of course, this completely blew my mind.”
He says his greatest moments are looking back at the records he worked on. They include: Nolan McKelvey: A Matter Of Time; Dave Logan: Outside Looking In; Brian Benham: Honey; Muskellunge Bluegrass: Gather at The River; Telescope: For The Rest of Us; and Citizen Media: Upcoming EP.
“I’m so proud to be a part of the melting pot of music and musicians in Flagstaff. It’s been a great experience getting to work on so many different styles of music since I started recording.” FBN
You can learn more by going to his website: www.studioretrograde.com.