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Steve Wilmans bailed on Los Angeles, California, nine years ago and bolted to Asheville. Then in his early 30s, the successful sound engineer deemed the mountain town the prime place for his next venture: the recording studio of his dreams.
“Asheville got me under its spell,” says Wilmans, now 44. “The whole vibe of the town drew me here. It’s unique, artistic, funky, tolerant, and friendly.” Soft-spoken and slightly scruffy, Wilmans offers little hint that, in its few short years, Echo Mountain Recording has put Asheville on the music-industry map.
The studio now attracts some of the biggest names in the music business. At the same time, it propels local and regional acts, such as The Avett Brothers, Band of Horses, and Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, to new heights.