A picture of Jason Weinheimer in Fellowship Hall SoundMatthew Martin
BEHIND THE BOARD: Jason Weinheimer records local and national musicians on a recording console once owned by Tom Dowd, on which he’s resting his arm. Dowd was a famed producer/engineer at Atlantic Records. Weinheimer and his wife, Indy Grotto, led the band The Boondogs for more than a decade. They’re now at work on a Grotto solo album. Weinheimer now records his own music as The Libras and expects to cut a new record in the fall. He’s also recently played bass in Allison Moorer’s and Shelby Lynne’s touring band.

Little Rock’s Fellowship Hall Sound is many things, but first and foremost it’s a recording studio, where Jason Weinheimer has been recording, engineering and producing a wide variety of rock ’n’ roll records since 2007. At least two of them, Tulsa singer/songwriter John Moreland’s “Big Bad Luv” and Little Rock hard-rock act Pallbearer’s “Heartless,” have gotten national acclaim. Many have been big deals locally and regionally, among them: Bonnie Montgomery’s self-titled debut album, John Willis’ “King of the Cocktail Party” and “Bad Boyfriend,” Jesse Aycock’s “Flowers & Wounds” and Jim Mize’s self-titled album.

picture of piano and guitars at Fellowship Hall SoundMatthew Martin
SACRED SOUND: Jason Weinheimer’s Lester upright piano came from a Baptist church. Also on display: a 1960s Harmony guitar, a 1950s Kay and a new Duesenberg.

The Hillcrest studio takes its name from its former life as gathering place for the youth congregants of the nearby Presbyterian church that rents Weinheimer the building. But it’s also a fitting name for a space that doubles as a clubhouse of sorts where friends and frequent musical collaborators hang out, work and hoard. The spacious studio and adjoining control room, which takes up the entire first floor, is Weinheimer’s domain. Upstairs, Greg Spradlin, Isaac Alexander and Zach Reeves each rent a large room.


Spradlin, a Southern rocker and one of the state’s most skilled guitarists, runs his consulting business from his studio — sometimes with guitar in hand. He and his wife, Robyn Friday, also have a video production business, Camp Friday Films (it’s done work for the Arkansas Times).

pic of Greg Spradlin at Fellowship Hall SoundMatthew Martin
THE PRIDE OF PANGBURN: Many regard Greg Spradlin as the best rock ’n’ roll guitarist in the state. In 2012, he recorded an album’s worth of material as Greg Spradlin and the Band of Imperials, a group that included David Hidalgo (Los Lobos) and longtime Elvis Costello drummer Pete Thomas. We’ve still got our fingers crossed that someday that lineup will play a secret White Water Tavern show. You can hear and buy samplings from that session at gregspradlinoutfit.bandcamp.com.

Alexander, one of the most prolific and beloved singer/songwriters in Arkansas, works as a graphic designer and co-owns the Eric Rob & Isaac ad agency. He uses his room to work on his music and do his own design work (he’s long been the go-to for promo posters for local shows).

pic of Isaac Alexander at Fellowship Hall SoundMatthew Martin
STARS, BARS AND GUITARS: Isaac Alexander is a multi-talent. He illustrates and designs. He plays guitar, drums (a little) and keys. And he writes and sings widely beloved songs. In 2010, musicians, critics and others in the know voted his 2008 solo album “See Thru Me” No. 6 in the Arkansas Times’ all-time Arkansas Music Poll. Look for a new solo record this summer.

Weinheimer asked Reeves to help engineer during Pallbearer’s weeks-long session for “Heartless” in 2016 and, after that wrapped, encouraged him to take an upstairs room. Reeves is something of a Renaissance man. He’s a talented multi-instrumentalist, and regularly engineers and does session work at Fellowship Hall. He has a woodworking business, building cabinets, furniture and cases for clients, including the Historic Arkansas Museum. He assists his wife, Sara Blancett Reeves, in her professional photography work. He builds canvases for and does painting collaborations with artist John Kushmaul. For Fellowship Hall and his own enjoyment, he’s the in-house technician, repairing all the vintage equipment that he and the rest of the guys can’t resist buying from pawnshops and off Craigslist, much of which comes in broken.

Pic of Zach Reeves at Fellowship Hall SoundMatthew Martin
THE TECH: Zach Reeves, identifying a tube rectifier for an amplifier circuit, is Fellowship Hall Sound’s in-house repairman. For fun, he likes tinkering with synthesizers/keyboards and drum machine/rhythm makers. For the studio, he’s usually working on amplifiers and tape machines.

His most celebrated fix — at least among the Fellowship Hall crew: A 12-channel recording console that was built for Atlantic Records in 1968, used for a time by legendary engineer/producer Tom Dowd (Aretha Franklin, Charles Mingus, Willie Nelson), sold to a short-lived Memphis studio and traded to a Memphis pawn shop for a truck before it was discovered a decade ago by Mississippi producer and record label head Bruce Watson (Big Legal Mess, Fat Possum), who pointed Weinheimer to it. He carried it around various spaces for a decade as a conversation piece until Reeves figured out how to repair it last year.

Matthew Martin
GEAR: Isaac Alexander’s 1968 “Jetson Model” Fender Rhodes piano and a collection of guitars.