Guided Tours + News from Citizen Studios
- February 15, 2023 -
Take a tour of the Citizen Vinyl record pressing facility and historic building
Want to learn more about Citizen Vinyl — from the history of the iconic Citizen Times building to the legendary musicians who performed at radio station WWNC on the building’s third floor? You’re in luck: Not only are we open daily so you can come in and hang out, we offer FREE guided tours Wednesdays-Saturdays, at noon and 1 p.m., and on Sundays at 12:30 and 1:30 p.m.
Private tours are also available — email us for more info.
Book a tour here.
Q+A with Jen Russ, tours manager
Liner Notes: What is your favorite part of Citizen Vinyl to share with tour guests?
Jen Russ: The history of the building and what it meant and means to the city of Asheville. Our historic building has a legacy of disseminating news and information, not only in print form as the Citizen-Times newspaper, but also in spoken-word and musical form from the old WWNC radio station on the third floor. I love connecting guests to the building’s original purpose and Citizen Vinyl’s intention to share music and information with the community of those who gather here.
What part of the tour gets the most comments from guests?
Definitely inside the factory, which is where our tour ends. It’s the culmination of everything they’ve learned on the tour and it reveals a technology many guests have never seen before. Guests are amazed at how the basic methodology of music coming out of the grooves of a record is still the same as it was back in Edison’s time.
What is a special detail about the building that not many people know about
I love the mural in the first floor lobby. It is a depiction of the 22 counties of western N.C. where the newspaper was first delivered. The particular style of flooring is called “terrazzo,” an Italian design style, and I believe each county is represented by stones mined in that area.
Who is the tour meant for?
Whether guests are diehard vinyl purists, architecture enthusiasts, recording industry bigwigs, history buffs, or just the casual passerby looking for a great cup of coffee, our tours offer something to everyone! One of our guides gave a tour to a family of four. She geared the tour to the pre-teens, as if they were in a band and wanted to make their first vinyl record. She walked them through the whole process. They were enthralled and their parents learned a lot, too! Guests get a little taste of everything — history, a look inside a recording studio (complete with famous names who have played inside our walls) and some trivia to bring home to their friends and family.
News from Citizen Studios
Kristian Phillip Valentino is currently tracking his next album at Citizen Studios — an analog recording and post-production studio in the Citizen Vinyl building.
Kristian, aka KPV, is a singer-songwriter based in Asheville, N.C. His musical palette falls between the lines of indie folk, singer-songwriter and Americana. Fans of Gregory Alan Isakov, Iron and Wine and Jason Isbell, will feel comfortable here. His lyrics are a healing balm from the daily struggle as they wash over you with a deep reverence.
KPV was a finalist at the 2022 LEAF/New-Song Performance and Songwriting Competition as well as the 2022 NewSong Music Performance and Songwriting Competition, held at Citizen Vinyl in December. Learn more at his website and follow him on Instagram.
For studio inquiries, please email us at email@example.com.
Speaking of NewSong Music, the independent artist development organization and record label (also housed in the Citizen Vinyl building) is accepting submissions for the 9th annual LEAF Singer-Songwriter Showcase and Competition. Finalists will be invited to perform and compete at Spring LEAF Festival, in Black Mountain, N.C., on Saturday, May 13, 2023.
The performance showcase and competition is a collaborative effort between NewSong Music and LEAF Community Arts. It aims to identify and recognize exceptional performers and songwriters from across the country. Eight finalists will be invited to perform, network, and compete at the LEAF Festival in May.
The winner of the LEAF Singer-Songwriter Competition, selected from a panel of music industry judges, will earn a spot as one of only eight finalists at the annual International NewSong Competition, held in Asheville, N.C., in the fall. The winner will also return to the Fall LEAF Festival, held October 19-22, 2023, as a featured, paid performer.
Past winners include Sadie Gustafson-Zook, Noan Partly, Parker Ainsworth, and Carly Taich.
Submit songs here.