Rod Shepard

Rod Shepard is a guitarist, songwriter, singer, producer, engineer, and music teacher in Hudson County, NJ. He has inspired many of his students from High Tech High School in North Bergen to pursue careers in music, stage, film, and television. Some of the key players on For The Record first met Johnny Rock at band practices in Rod’s Xanthi Music studio in Hoboken, NJ. Other key players found Johnny through the friends he met at Rod’s studio.

Rod hosted One Word Song’s first full band practice with a 23-year-old Johnny Rock on drums, which led to recording their first EP. Soon Rod invited Johnny to also play drums in his band Mistic Rein, touring in support of their album Deja Voodoo. The two bands practiced and recorded at Xanthi Music for years. In 2010, Rod put Johnny and Dave in touch with Matthew Stewart of Streetlight Manifesto, who played trumpet on Dave’s solo release “Wrecking Ball.”

While in Mistic Rein, Johnny met Rod’s bandmate Javier Valenzuela. Years later, while mixing a single with Rod at Xanthi Music, Javier would remember the young drummer. In 2012 he invited Johnny to join him and Juan I. Garcia in Blue Sour.

When it came time to record Andrew Reynolds‘ acoustic ballad “Weasel,” Johnny reached out to Rod to see if any of his tape machines were up to the task. Once the 3M M79 was ready to rock, so were we. Andrew, Max Feinstein, and Johnny played the song live at Xanthi Music, with Rod at the controls.

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