The Road to Geneseo


Pulpit chairs and instruments. Photo from Mike Brown’s studio website,

One of the inspiring things about life is the beauty that can result from both intentional and random human connections.  In December, 2011 David Jacobs-Strain was in Rochester, NY to open at a venue and found out that he was double booked with local musician Mike Brown. Mike and David began a conversation about guitars and old songs that still continues today.

Mike purchased an 1828 Methodist church in Geneseo, New York which he converted to a music studio called Temperamental Recordings. David chose this studio to record his 2012 album Geneseo


“Mike’s “Temperamental Studios” is a one-of-a-kind place. The basement that now houses wandering musicians was once a stop on the Underground Railroad, and the main room was used for open-casket funerals during the Civil War. The beams that hold the place together were cut from the timber that grew on site, and were joined without the use of nails. Mike has filled this space with over a thousand instruments that span the last 170 years of American popular music: Guitars of every description, abandoned horns, orchestra bells, flea-market banjos, a seemingly haunted pump organ that was last tuned in 1869, pianos that time forgot… It’s an ark of lost sounds waiting to be rediscovered and made new again” ~ David Jacobs-Strain, 2012 Kickstarter campaign

I grew up about 50 miles from Geneseo and went to college not far from this town.  It’s an area with pockets of severe poverty contrasted with a richness in history, fascinating people and wondrous landscape. I’m fascinated that this poet from Eugene, Oregon found an old church in upstate New York in which to write and record.

Geneseo is an album with 10 original songs  produced by Mike Brown and David Jacobs-Strain.  Below is a video of David singing “Josephine”, the final cut from that album.  He’s performing with Bob Beach on harmonica.

If you would like to see David Jacobs-Strain and Bob Beach on Sunday, November, 23, 2014 contact Tim at or by phone/text at 717-940-9311.  Suggested donation of $15/20.  Potluck at 6:00 pm, Show at 7:00 pm.

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