Prairie Sun History
The roar of a chainsaw marked the genesis of the legendary Prairie Sun Recording Studios, founded in 1976 when Mark "Mooka" Rennick bore a tremendous hole through the living room wall of his rental house. "We needed a control-room window," recalls Mooka, who at the time was studying East Indian music at Sonoma State.
In 1976, Mark Mooka Rennick started recording local Sonoma State University artists and then began working with artists from all over the world. And for the last 46 years Mooka has continued working with local Northern California talent as well.
Prairie Sun was named for the Prairie Grass Restoration Project in Rennick's native Illinois. The facility has accomplished the difficult task of appealing to local bands with small budgets and little experience while garnering established national acts via industry word-of-mouth.
Now in its fourth decade of operation, the studio has become a World-Class Music Recording facility with a technical bent toward vintage analog-recording equipment, as well as state-of-the-art digital technology. It happily boasts of working with industry giants such as Van Morrison, Greg Allman, Kate Wolf, Mickey Hart, Primus, Faith No More, the Melvins, Ramblin’ Jack Eliot, and surf music creator Dick Dale.
All of these talents have recorded at Prairie Sun or used its post-production facilities. Producer and engineer Steve Albini (Nirvana, Pixies, Led Zeppelin) has done work at PSR. Of special note is Sonoma County artist Tom Waits, whose Bone Machine album, winner of the 1992 Grammy for Best Alternative release, was co-produced by Waits and his wife, Kathleen Brennan, entirely at Prairie Sun.
The list of talent is so large and diverse, that we can't list all of them here, so head on over to the Clients page by clicking here or click the Client menu selection under the About menu.
For a great video overview of the studio and our philosophy, check out the following video profile of Prairie Sun and owner/founder Mark "Mooka" Rennick from the Vintage King "Make Your Mark" series.