Markee gets a reboot as ‘A Ridenour Studio’

Posted on 03 October 2019 by LeslieM

By Diane Emeott

New owners of Markee, Keith Ridenour and Derek Assaf, recently back from building a new facility in Tennessee, acquired Markee Music from Mark Begelman in May.

Guitarist, songwriter and producer Keith and bass player and engineer Derek Assaf have been involved at Markee since its construction in 2010.

Ridenour got interested in playing guitar when he and his drummer brother Randy were kids watching a band rehearse in their living room.

“We would watch them rehearse, absorbing every fiber of the music and wanting to emulate them — and gravitated to playing. One year for Christmas, we got used drums and a used guitar! Our dad used to run dances at the old Chamber Building for the Deerfield Beach Jaycees. He used to run them at the Deerfield fishing pier as well.”

Ridenour’s father Ray also wrote poetry — inspiring Keith’s later songwriting ability.

Keith and Randy went to Deerfield Beach High School and played all the dances, including Homecoming, Sadie Hawkins … and all over Broward County, Miami-Dade County and West Palm Beach.

“We were in a band called Black Watch,” said Keith. “I was able to record my first record as a teenager, at age 17, at Mike Pinera’s studio in Miami.”

(Other bands Ridenour has played with include Harvest, a Southern Rock band; Uproar, a Pop Rock band; Razor Red, a Pop Metal all original band, and, most recently, Black Water River, a Doobie Brother’s Tribute Band.)

In 1993, Keith and a silent partner built Ridenour Studio in Oakland Park “where everyone from Ricky Martin and Aerosmith to Johnny Depp, Foreigner and Steve Winwood would play.”

Keith sold that Ridenour Studio in 2003 to move to Nashville where, for the next eight years, he continued songwriting and producing.

As CD sales became less prevalent in 2009 and 2010 (with songs available online), Keith decided to come back to South Florida to open Markee studio with former President and CEO of Office Depot Mark Begelman – who started Mars Music in Ft. Lauderdale in 1996 and later sold it.

At the end of 2017, Keith and Derek went back to Nashville. In 2018, they built ‘A Ridenour Studio’ in Murfreesboro, TN, a suburb two miles from Nashville. It caters to music students from nearby Middle Tennessee State University (MDSU), as well as the prestigious local talent pool of legendary Nashville, also known as “Music City.”

In May 2019, Keith and Derek returned to Deerfield to buy Markee from Begelman.

Offerings

As a one-stop venue for all things musical, Markee offers:

Music Lessons – In its three soundproof music lesson studios, Markee provides professional lessons on guitar, bass, piano, drums, vocals, technology and songwriting by highly skilled musicians who all have a wealth of band experience.

Rehearsal Studios – Known as ‘the finest rehearsal space in South Florida,’ Markee offers six, fully-equipped, 342 sq. ft. soundproof rehearsal studios.

Recording Studio – The state-of-the art recording studio is fully equipped with Pro Tools HD and Logic 10. From Focusrite to Genelec, Markee has what it takes to record any genre of music, from Hip Hop to Gospel to Rock ‘n Roll.

Markee Performance Room: The recording studio adjoins a beautiful 875 sq. ft, fully-equipped performance room with a six-piece DW drum kit and 24-channel soundboard, perfect for full band-based recording sessions, recitals and other performances.

What’s new

Keith and Derek are in the process of upgrading all the gear and equipment at Markee, ‘A Ridenour Studio,’ in Deerfield. This includesall new drum kits in the Rehearsal and Recording studios; guitar and bass amp[lifiers]; all new vocal monitors; all new mics; cabling and a new console in the recording studio.

A new venture for Markee is offering Backline Rentals, which literally means all of the back line of musical equipment that typically appears onstage when a band plays. For example, guitar amp(s), bass amp, drums, keyboard, microphones, percussion.

Whether you need a guitar amp, bass amp, drum kit, percussion or instruments, Markee has it to rent. Keith said he and Derek were recently in talks with Pompano Beach Amphitheater about Backline Rental, as well as all other surrounding cities.

Special deals

Lesson Special – Buy three lessons, get one free ($30 per half hour, $55 per hour).

Recording Special – A Markee customer exclusive: Recording package: five hours. Get four hours of recording time plus one hour of set-up time to record up to three songs.

What Markee recommends:

Set up and mic-ing begins one hour prior to playing

You arrive 15 minutes prior to playing (for personal set-up)

Sound check 20 minutes

Recording tracks: 1 hour 10 minutes

Markee engineer mixing: 2 ½ hours

Walk out with a CD!

Regular Price: $375. Markee Customer: $262, which equals a 30 percent savings!

*If you need or desire more time, Markee will discount the regular rate of $69 per hour down to $60.

For more information, call Markee at 954-794-0033 or visit www.markeemusic.com.

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