Welcome to Cabin Studios:
A Premier Recording Studio
Servicing Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, & Washington DC
Cabin Studios is a professional audio & video recording studio.
Our services include:
- 24 track audio production & recording
- Video production & recording
- Automated mixing
- Digital editing in audio & video
- CD mastering
- Commercial production
- Post production
Cabin Studios is a full service audio and video recording and production facility owned and operated by founding Nitty Gritty Dirt Band member Les Thompson. Located in the heart of northern Virginia's Blue Ridge country near Leesburg, our rural setting and top-of-the-line equipment are representative of our philosophy - capturing the best of your artistry naturally. Thanks for visiting, taking a tour of our facilities, and listening to some of our recent work.
Since we opened our new facility in 2004, we are honored to have recorded projects by some of the finest independent acoustic artists in our region, including great instrumental string band projects from Danny Knicely and Chance McCoy, singer/songwriters Larry Burnett (of 70s legends Firefall), and Andrew McKnight, as well as the eclectic gypsy jazz of The Woodshedders. We'd love to talk to you about joining them as an enthusiastic past and future Cabin Studios client.
Meet Les & Steph Thompson
Les Thompson has been involved in the recording arts since 1966. As one of the founding members of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Les worked on many of the band's early albums, from their debut through the epic "Will the Circle Be Unbroken", recorded with roots music icons like Doc Watson, Mother Maybelle Carter, Vasser Clements, and Earl Scruggs.
As a teenager with a keen interest in music and instrument building, Les got himself hired to work at the now legendary McCabe's Guitar Shop in Long Beach, CA in the early 60s. He found himself at the epicenter for the LA-area folk scene that dominated commercial music, regularly hanging out and playing music with other young musicians like Jackson Browne and Stephen Stills. These young musicians eagerly immersed themselves in the traditional blues and folk sounds heard in a wealth of clubs around the area, and instilled in Les a fondness and reverence for traditional music.
Les joined forces with some of his friends to form the nucleus of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, who fused their California laidback approach with a jugband sound and entertaining show that landed them at the pinnacle of the American music scene in the late 60s and early 70s. Their groundbreaking ”Will the Circle Be Unbroken” album found the long-haired California kids bridging the generation gap to legends of American roots and country music like Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs and Mother Maybelle Carter. The band received two Grammy Nominations and three gold and platinum albums.
A sampling of our recent clients
- the award-winning environmental engineer turned full time singer and songwriter is also one of Les' bandmates in Beyond Borders.
- Winner of the 2008 “WAMA Award” for best _________.
- Multi-instrumentalist and vocalist featured on many albums and writer of Salamander Crossing’s hit single "What kind of person?"
- This multitalented, multi-instrumentalist knows no boundaries in his fiery approach to mountain music from Appalachia to the Himalayas.
- his singer and actress is one of the finest practitioners of Appalachian ballad singing in the country
- The young West Virginian is one of the finest oldtime Appalachian fiddlers in the business, as well as being a fine picker on guitar, mandolin and banjo. He is the grand-champion winner of the West Virginia Fiddle Competition.
- The eclectic and virtuosic acoustic gypsy jazz group wows audiences at festivals and concert series around our region
- One of the principal songwriters in the popular 70s group Firefall evokes those wonderful melodies and time-tested acoustic sounds with his new solo project.
- Winner of the 2008 "Telly Award Bronze" for the documentary "Take this Hammer".
- As described on their card, "We’re not a group, we’re a party!"
Recent Album Projects
Below you will find a list of recent recording projects along with some sample tracks
Friends, Partners, and Resources
Luthiers & Instrument Services:
Graphic & Web Design:
About Cabin Studios
Cabin Studios is a full-service audio production and recording facility nestled in the mountain woods near Leesburg, Virginia. Owner, designer and chief engineer Les Thompson has spent nearly five decades involved with performing and recording roots and Americana music, including seven years as one of the founding members of the legendary Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
Cabin Studios has become a focal point for the regional music scene in northern Virginia, eastern West Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley. Specializing in acoustic music in general and oldtime Appalachian in particular, the sound quality is superb but minimally enhanced thanks to a fabulous collection of microphones and a rich open ambience.
Our philosophy is good mic placement and good sounds lend themselves to great performances and minimal "fixing it in the mix". (From the liner notes of Danny Knicely's Roots & Branches) "Thankfully avoiding Protools slickness, these grooves are intimate and alive, and the sound is big and round" - Tim O'Brien.
We hope that you will enjoy the music of some of our clients here and support their music at shows and festivals.
From string bands to singer/songwriters, unaccompanied singers to jazz combos - if you seek a relaxed recording environment with great natural sound, we hope you'll consider Cabin Studios for your next project.
Recent clients include mandolin wizard Danny Knicely, popular string band Furnace Mountain, award-winning singer and songwriter Andrew McKnight, gypsy jazz string band The Woodshedders, oldtime band Bad Dog, The Speakeasy Boys, West Virginia State Fiddle Champ Chance McCoy and American roots club faves David Via and Corn Tornado. For songwriter projects and demos, we have access to many superlative session players in the area as well as quite a few expert practitioners of less common and unusual instruments.
Les and his wife Stephanie are regulars at many of the regions's festivals and open jams, and are good friends with a great many of our area's musical talents, professional and hobbyist.
Leesburg, Va. 20175
phone: (703) 777-7770
Please contact us for more information about our programs, or with any questions you might have about our services. We will get back to you as early as time permits.