PHOENIX—After almost 50 years and hundreds of releases by Native artists, Phoenix’s Canyon Records, one of the nation’s oldest intact independent record labels, has gathered its components under one roof–and everyone from artists to support staff to Robert Doyle, the current owner, is happy.
Canyon’s new building, with 7,600 square feet of space, is located at 3145 W. Clarendon.
In an arrangement with Jack Miller Productions, who provided studio space in the past, Canyon is building a custom studio in the heart of the facility. Miller says, “I’ve been doing work for Canyon for almost 30 years. New studios are always nice–we’re making sure everything is right.” Scheduled for completion in April, the studio will feature state-of-the art equipment and acoustics. Miller’s studio uses Techum, a newer material made from compressed palm roots, for sound deadening. Not only is Techum a superior acoustic material, but it is also environmentally friendly.
“There’s something different about a label-owned studio,” Miller says. “The artist feels at ease to take it easy and do whatever they want without having to fight the clock.” Miller also notes that Canyon’s reputation is continuing to grow, with three artists from the labels receiving Grammy nominations in the past two years. “It’s always good for a label!”
Artists also love the new digs. Acclaimed Navajo flautist R. Carlos Nakai says, “There’s a lot more space for a number of new artists to do their thing. Now it’s our home, and not part of something else.”
Clan/destine guitarist Dave Montour says of the new building, “It’s good. I’m looking forward to some day recording here.”
Both Doyle and Canyon’s founder Ray Boley are quick to give credit to Canyon’s many Native American artists. Robert Doyle notes, “The fact that we’ve lasted 50 years is a vote of confidence from the Native American community. Our mission is for Native American artists to find expression. They’re our biggest asset, and they honor us by their presence here.”