Southern Utah is not synonymous with live music. However, near the blood red cliffs of Zion, in the little town of Toquerville, Dave Durrant is cranking away at the Bat Kave studio.
Like many musicians, Durrant was interested in capturing his own material and started recording his music on a Tascam cassette recorder. Looking back on those days he says, “it was kind of cool because I had a cassette player in my hoopty little Dodge Neon, and I could listen while driving around Salt Lake City.”
Durrant got his start in SLC, but moved to Southern Utah in 2009. He originally produced and drummed for Kate Godfrey. As this turned into a romantic relationship they eventually formed the band Yesouisi (pronounced Yes We See.)
Durrant and Godfrey both worked in and around Zion National Park in Springdale, Utah, but decided on nearby Toquerville to build their sonic sound temple, The Bat Kave.
I recently had the pleasure of recording 12 tracks at the Bat Kave and found it to be an awesome studio. I was also very impressed with the experience of recording with Durrant. The Bat Kave got it’s name from a Halloween party the couple threw. They put up decorations and they remained up. In the middle of the main recording room hangs a giant bat, from whence the studio takes its name.
The Bat Kave is a real hub for creativity. Having recorded in multiple studios in several states, I found many of them to be sterile and not conducive to the vibe that an artist might be seeking. Durrant lives at his studio so it’s not uncommon for him to whip up some grub or put on some hot tea during a long session. A beautiful husky dog, Balto, is quick to give approval as well. I loved pulling up everyday and seeing him run out to greet me. When my fiddle player was in town to record his parts, he was even allowed to stay at the studio at no extra charge. To say Dave and Kate were hospitable would be an understatement.
Dave has a keen ear for the feel that the artist is trying to capture. He is not afraid to employ unique techniques to get just the right sound. At one point we even brought Balto into the session for some authentic howls! On your breaks from recording everyone gathers around a fire pit for a little hatchet throwing competition and cold beer.
From the bluff, you can see for miles into the mountains of the Southern Utah desert. Durrant offers reasonable rates, recording solo acts for $40 an hour and full bands for $60. For the recording artist, this is a Southern Utah sonic experience not to be missed.
Dave Durrant can be reached at 435-256-1867.
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