New TV Show Gives Local Musicians 24 Hours to Write and Record a Hit

Contestants may use guitars, similar to this one belonging to Caroline Smith, on <em>American Studio</em>

Contestants may use guitars, similar to this one belonging to Caroline Smith, on American Studio

Are extreme pressure and regional TV audiences the secret ingredients to great songwriting? We're about to find out.

The Rolling Stones, who will rock TCF Bank Stadium next week, took almost three years to record Exile on Main St. Reality TV show American Studio, which premieres May 30 at midnight, will be considerably less generous with local musicians' time.

The thrust of the new CW23 program? Competing Twin Cities music acts must write and record a song (plus video!) in less than 24 hours. Six weekly episodes will culminate July 4, when we'll celebrate the birth of the ultimate nation (the United States of America) with the ultimate song (whatever this pressure-cooker series cooks up).

"The 24-hour time crunch fosters a state of intensity that compels the artist to create in the moment," says producer T. Perry Bowers, owner of Taylor Sound and Video, the American studio where American Studio is shot, in a press release. "The focus is mainly on the artists who are given the shot at creating a masterpiece. The studio's job is to remove obstacles and excuses, but the obligation is in the artist's hands."

Chief obstacle/excuse removers include Sony Music Publishers/A&M Records vet J. Isaac and Kenny Rardin, owner of Hopkins music shop Guitar Whisperer.

So tune in to see the genesis of the next "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" or "Closing Time." Or to see small-scale artists crumple with anxiety. Either way, it should make for decent TV.


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