New Exhibition Opens at the Sousa Archives — “Pogo Studio: Capturing the Sounds of the Champaign-Urbana Music Scene”

Mark Rubel performing on his Steinberger electric bass, 1982.

Pogo Studio was established in downtown Champaign, IL, in 1985 and quickly earned local, regional and national recognition for its finely crafted recordings and its owner’s easy-going nature.  The studio remained a fixture of the community’s music scene and a valuable resource for regional recording artists for nearly thirty years.  During the early 1980s its founder, Mark Rubel, developed his audio engineering and production expertise while working at the University of Illinois’ Experimental Music Studios and the Faithful Sound recording studio which was located in Urbana, IL.  As an active performing bass guitarist, an employee of the talent agency, Blytham Ltd., and project chair for the Champaign County Arts Council, Rubel developed a robust professional relationship with a variety of musicians and bands throughout central Illinois.  As a result Pogo Studio recorded and produced over one thousand different projects with such musicians as Adrian Belew and Alison Krauss; rock bands Hum, Menthol, Starcastle and the Vertebrats;  community music groups like Amasong; and a variety of performances by student ensembles and faculty from the University of Illinois, Eastern Illinois University and Parkland Community College.   This exhibition showcases the unique music legacy of Mark Rubel and Pogo Studio through photographs, oral histories, and sound recordings.

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