A Musical Salvation

Community-based recording company is created in the heart of New Paltz
Community-based recording company is created in the heart of New Paltz

A haven for musicians stands as a tall white house with a porch, overlooking a patch of woods behind Main Street. Inside, guitars hang like wallpaper, hundreds of records are shoved into shelves and microphone stands collect in every corner. While someone hits the keys of a mossy green piano, dinner is being made in the next room.

With the haunting sounds of an accordion from a neighboring porch playing like a soundtrack to their daily lives, a group of young, aspiring people have come together to create a community-based record label.

Salvation Recording Co., located on 9 Innis Ave., has plopped itself right into the ever-expanding music scene in New Paltz. Christopher Daly, a 27-year-old Pratt Institute drop-out, and Samantha Gloffke, a 24-year-old FIT drop-out, both realized living out their dreams is far more important than anything else.

Daly, who serves as the chief engineer of Salvation Recording, said the pair thought of the idea while living in a house in Walden but decided to go elsewhere.

“We were combining our collective ideas and both ready to take action in our lives,” he said. “We had been looking for a place in the middle of the woods because we thought it would be conducive to what we doing.”

After getting a hook-up with a real estate agent, they came to New Paltz to see where those dreams would take them.

“The idea was to build a community,” he said. “We want to teach people things. We want to have seminars here. So many of our friends have so many skills that are great for a college town and we want to build a community around this.”

After their move in 2009, both Daly and Gloffke said they stayed inside like hermits building a studio. With budget equipment and experience from working at recording companies in New York City, Daly knew how to assemble everything. What they didn’t know, they taught themselves. The only things missing were the musicians.

Last February they met Adir Cohen, New Paltz alumnus and band member of Fairweather Friends. With Cohen and a few other musicians, Salvation Recording Co. held their very first show, right on their porch. At this point, they had their recording studio, an intimate venue and a gateway to the talent of local students and residents.

Although Salvation Recording Co. is a self-proclaimed community-based label, it’s not limited to local artists. However, Daly said the label doesn’t have to look anywhere else right now for new talent.

“New Paltz is teeming with not just quality, but we’re talking about huge quality musicians – people who have been doing things that haven’t been done before,” he said. “The ability to have them just show up on your porch on a Thursday evening to talk about things opposed to trying to find people is amazing. It’s so conducive to a budding beginning company to have everything so close. It’s one of those stars aligning kind of things.”

According to Daly and Gloffke, the sense of community they are focused on is continually growing every day.  The main team consists of many SUNY New Paltz students as well as musicians, including Scott Nicholas of Wind-Up Bird and Nelsonvillains as engineer, John Morisi of Year On A Mountain as assistant manager, Cody Torlincasi of Nelsonvillains as head of IT and third-year art history major Kali Quinn as chief A&R (public relations).

Ari Kaputkin, a second-year transfer majoring geography and Asian Studies, joined in as head of management as soon as he heard what Daly and Gloffke were doing.

“My parents were both in the music industry and when I found out they [Daly and Gloffke] were starting a label, I thought that was exactly what New Paltz needed and exactly what I wanted to do,” said Kaputkin.

The first full-length record to be out on the label is Nellsonvillains Our Evil Inside Joke, to be released on October 6. Although the album was not recorded at the studio, Nellsonvillains is on the Salvation Recording Co. label and they helped complete it. The band will have an release show in October at Bacchus to kickoff their upcoming two-week tour.

Third-year English/Creative Writing major and musician Kyle James Miller will be going into recording and full-production with Salvation Recording Co. on Nov. 1. They hope to have the album completed by early 2012.

“Being a budding label, we can’t just bring a lot of people and put a lot of energy in putting them on tour and getting their image set up. Bands like Nelsonvillains already have a name for themselves,” said Daly. “Kyle James Miller has a name for himself. He has an image, he’s a pro musician. There’s no grooming involved. If we make him a good record, he’ll go out there and sell it. He’ll profit from it, we’ll profit from it. We’ll all succeed.”

Gloffke said an artist’s work ethic is extremely important to the success of the label. However, financially speaking, the company knows the pressure of an hourly rate recording studio.

“You go to a recording studio and you’re thinking about how you’re being charged $40 an hour or whatever,” said Gloffke. “Your process is hindered.”

Although they work day jobs, the company is earning money as they’re spending it.

“We are just dumping everything into this hoping that one day we’ll be able to quit our day jobs,” said Daly.

The company also hosts Live at The Inn shows, where musicians play and are recorded inside or on the porch. Many of these recordings can be found on their website, www.salvationrecordingco.com. They said they are also planning multi-annual Porch Stomps – all-acoustic folk shows with food.

Salvation Recording Co. is working with Route 32 Presents to form shows as well as working together for the soon-to-be annual Route 32 Festival. They are also working with Ritual store owner Laura Andrighetti for a Halloween-based, all-day scavenger hunt.

Those working at the label are planning to hold seminars and classes in every field, from teaching how to record to making a band’s T-shirt. Their studio also won’t be limited to recording: the founders said they are in the process of building a screen printing studio and merchandise making facility in their basement.

Aside from dreaming of becoming a national and successful record label, those involved with the company said they hope to open up a larger venue to host all-ages and family events, from “Off-Broadway to punk shows.”

Third-year communication and media major Josh Briggs and third-year BFA photography major Sienna Puleo are also working on a documentary about Salvation Recording Co. and Route 32 Presents.

Salvation Recording Co. has already completed one of their main goals: to bring their friends and community together.

“I just feel that life should be filled with all these moments where you’re feeling togetherness and making something and with people who inspire you and who become great friends,” Gloffke said.  “The great thing is, this mindset is not individual to us. This kind of movement toward something bigger where everything is handmade is something in the air right now – a beautiful, hopeful thing.”