Meet the man behind several of the Gem City’s best albums of the year

Patrick Himes is making musical magic at his Reel Love Recording Co. in Dayton. He’s behind more than a dozen of the Gem City’s best albums of the year.

Astonishingly, about half of that output is being released in August and September, including excellent new albums by Neo American Pioneers, the 1984 Draft and the New Old-Fashioned.

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“There are some amazing albums out this year — not just from this studio, but in Dayton in general,” Himes said recently, sitting in the control room of Reel Love. “It’s silly how much good stuff has come out, man. I just wish more people would hear it. There has to be a way to get these records a little further out so more people can hear them.”

Himes’ credits from early 2018 include the EPs, “Friends,” from Kyleen Downes and Paige Beller’s recently released, “Space Cadet.” There was also “Silver Lining” from Old News and the stellar debut from Charlie Jackson & the Heartland Railway.

Himes operated his studio in Nashville from 2007 to 2015, when he returned to Dayton. While he has been an active part of the Gem City music scene for decades, he admits he never imagined he would be so busy here.

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“Since I know a lot of talented people in town, I knew the records would be great to work on. But I didn’t expect to be this inundated, which is awesome,” Himes said. “The studio is pretty much booked out every day until the middle of September. I love that. I’m super thankful but the amount of great projects did take me by surprise. Of course, I’m always wondering when it’s going to go away.”

That’s not likely to happen soon. Other acts with forthcoming projects recorded at Reel Love include Ward Son, the Typical Johnsons, Seth Canan & the Carriers, Brother Hill, Amber Hargett, and a solo album from Harold Hensley of the Repeating Arms.

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“Everything that’s been happening is enjoyable,” Himes said. “Every band is different. There are all kinds of different styles and personalities but everybody is cool. We get along really well. I love that there’s a bigger sense of community coming together kind of like back in the early aughts.

“The people working here are hearing each other’s works in progress and they’re being inspired by it,” he added. “It’s good to have a little friendly competition, but they’re also coming out to each other’s shows and playing shows together. People who didn’t know each other before are now friends and that’s great for everybody.”

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