In a small corner of their North Boulder property, nestled within the historic walls of an early 1900s stone cottage, Jamie Maynard and his son Davis have forged a space for musicians.
Stone Cottage Studios started in 2018 as a humble endeavor to provide local artists with a recording studio and marketing services. It grew in 2020 to offer intimate performances, live-streamed to audiences during the Covid-19 pandemic, when many musicians struggled financially as their concerts were canceled.
“We sold tickets worldwide,” Jamie Maynard, a former biotech CEO, said of the live-streamed concerts. “Musicians were able to reach their fans across the globe, as well as produce needed income during a time when live music was shut down.”
Today, Stone Cottage Studios has evolved into something else – an off-the-beaten-path venue for emerging musicians to connect with fans in Boulder too.
In 2021, Stone Cottage Studios started putting on around 10 summer shows in the garden next to the live recording studio. This summer featured eight shows, spanning up-and-coming folk singer-songwriters to more established neo-soul and jazz-inspired musicians, drawing audiences of about 80 people each, with tickets priced from $20 to $35.
“We curate the shows with artists who fit into that space, a diverse range of music, but a lot of acoustic-focused acts.” The season’s ninth and final show was on Sept. 23.
Additionally, inside a stone cottage next to the garden, the Maynards created a concert space where emerging artists perform for live audiences and share their personal stories, in what they call “artist sessions.”
This fall, Stone Cottage Studios will, for the first time, begin selling tickets to these sessions – which resemble NPR’s Tiny Desk concerts, where famous musicians are recorded live in an intimate corner of the organization’s headquarters in front of a small audience.
“We’re having more and more touring musicians that are interested in our artist sessions,” Jamie Maynard said. He estimates around two-thirds of the musicians that the studio works with are from Boulder and the Front Range, with the rest visiting from around the country.
Robert Borges, a Boulder resident who works in music advertising, attended an artist session featuring indie Denver-based artist Covenhoven earlier this year.
“I quickly realized Jamie and his son were onto something special,” Borges said.
The Maynards “give up-and-coming artists quality exposure and provide an intimate space to not only share their music, but their stories,” Borges added. “Stone Cottage Studios is an under-the-radar local treasure.”
Originally built by a local miner and renovated in 2012, Stone Cottage Studios features vaulted wood ceilings and exposed brick walls that create a cozy cabin-like atmosphere. The space is filled with warm tungsten lighting and adorned with electric and acoustic guitars.
Jamie Maynard, a hobbyist photographer and videographer, left his career in biotech to launch Magic Factor Media in 2010, a photography and video company. Stone Cottage Studios became an offshoot of the media company. And in 2018, it got its first major gig recording musicians: Jamie produced a video of his friend, Steve Remert, and his band The Road West, for their record release show at eTown Hall in Boulder.
In that same year, Jamie decided to make use of his property’s stone cottage by charging musicians for press kit recording sessions and video compilations that artists use as portfolios. Jamie and Davis later introduced artist sessions for emerging musicians, but these sessions didn’t involve a live audience. They recorded the musicians performing and discussing their songs at no charge to artists, and then uploaded the videos to YouTube.
In addition to selling in-studio tickets for artist sessions this fall, Stone Cottage Studios will also livestream some of the artist sessions so more fans can interact with musicians in a virtual discussion portion of the program. Around 15 people will be able to buy tickets for the in-studio experience at $35 to $45. Livestream tickets will cost $15 to $25.
Jamie said the studio’s production team typically receives up to 40% of ticket sales with the rest going to the musicians.
“We have these skills to be in a collaborative space with the local music community and provide another little spot for helping artists,” he said.
Visit Stone Cottage Studio’s website for its upcoming performance schedule and to buy tickets.