Homegrown Talent Shines Through At Local Studio

When the record light comes on, it's all systems go at Studio 812 in Lynn Haven.

The recording studio, owned by Tom Hoots and Calvin Gann, has seen a wide variety of artists.

"It's really a lot of fun, you never know quite who you're gonna record next," said Hoots, who works as the chief engineer. "We record classical music, country music, rap, pop, rock, you name it, we record it."

But the work the duo has done with budding songbird and Panama City native Kristen Barkuloo even had them caught by surprise.

"I didn't have to create a sound for her. She already knew that. That was the uniqueness about Kristen Barkuloo," recalled Gann. "Kristen was very young and knew already what she wanted it to be. All I wa was a vehicle to try and help her get what she wanted. That's a very neat thing to see happen in an artist that young."

17 year old Barkuloo has been working on her album, Halfway to Tennessee, for a year and a half. Although it's done, she still gets excited thinking about the process to bring it to life.

"When I got my music back for the first time, when we finished the tracks for the music, it was so insane to hear this big studio version of a song that I'd written on my bedroom floor, just sitting there playing guitar and hearing the entire version of it with a big band behind it was mindblowing," Barkuloo said while listening to a final cut of the title track.

She is currently planning her CD release party. She says she hopes to have it in early August.