Mailing List

Epihone Masterbilt Century – Guitar Launch

Over the course of the last year Epiphone has been gearing up for the huge launch of a new guitar lone. Their Masterbilt Century guitar was designed with classic lines and tone that fits many Indie and Americana artists perfectly. They approached us with a need to not only capture the beauty of this new guitar, but also the sound in many various settings to show off how diverse it is.

We interviewed more than 30 artists over the past year and had them play some of their favorite songs with it. Here are a few of our favorites!

Margo Price – It Ain’t Drunk Driving

Jonathan Tyler – Hallelujah

Billy Bragg – New England

Black Pistol Fire – Storm Cussin’

Shovels & Rope – St. Anne’s Parade

Shakey Graves – Gibson & ACL Join Forces

Austin City Limits Festival is always a time when great musicians flock to Austin in droves and if you are lucky you’ll get to see some non-festival shows while they are in town. That’s exactly what happened with Gibson Guitars and Shakey Graves. Shakey was asked to do a private show for Gibson and we were there to capture the entire show! Here is one of the best songs of the night:

Dearly Departed

We also got to shoot some outstanding portraits and live recordings of Shakey as well!

Shakey Graves @ Gibson
Photographer: Anna Sneed
Location: Gibson Showroom {Austin, Texas}
[Not a valid template]

If you like what you’ve seen and are really into Shakey Graves, here’s a cut from the set of him without the band. Go check these folks out.. incredible people and performers!

Unlucky Skin/Roll the Bones

Developing A Look For Jamie Lin Wilson

We’ve worked with Jamie Lin Wilson for a number of years. She’s a great musician and creatively, is always willing to voice her opinion and try different things. So when it came time for her to release her latest record, Holidays & Wedding Rings, it seemed a natural fit for us to continue to do what we’ve always done together… find visuals that compliment her great music.

What started as a small project to shoot some photos for PR and on her website, soon became something that would visually define her venture as a solo artist. One thing that Modern Trade is adamant about when working with musicians is that the music should always be the driving force. All the photography, design and video should be a megaphone to spread the music farther and set it deeper within the listener.


This record would be influenced by her life in South Texas and we knew we needed to capture that first and foremost. Jamie invited us to come out to her house and take a walk with her around the small neighborhood where she lives in D’hanis, Texas. Instantly we started feeling the connection and after a few hours and a few wardrobe changes, we had a solid set of photos that we thought would give some life to her posters and promo photos. You can read a little more on that shoot and see a full set of those here.

In today’s digital world, an album cover or show poster is probably one of things that has become less important over time. But physical things you can touch and feel and look upon can create a very tangible feeling for people. Jamie was uncomprimising about creating great versions of these and we were blown away with what album art designer, Javi Garcia and poster designer Chris King were able to do with some of the photos.


After sitting on the photos for a few months, we all realized that what we had captured was really aligning with how the music was coming together, in the studio. The photos became the anchor of her website and we knew we needed to press further into creating some new things that would focus on the new record. We started brainstorming some ideas for some live recordings and a short video. These are the types of things that as a musician, she could send to new venues and not only let them hear how she sounds, but get a taste of what her whole performance can look & feel like.

Using the historic Floores Country Store dance floor as a backdrop, we laid down three songs in a single take. Jamie wanted more than a solo acoustic video, she wanted to show off what she had been doing in the studio and what people could expect as a full band. We multi-tracked all the audio, did full studio mixes and set up a look for the band that showed the polish of something rehearsed but kept the rowdiness of something live.

Just Like Heartache

When it’s all said and done, making music is a musicians passion and the album will stand the test of time as the direct result of that. With Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, etc… it opens up a number of opportunities to let people discover that music and visuals are a huge part of each of those avenues. We are thankful for people like Jamie, that understand when someones sees you play online… what they see first will prepare them for what they are about to hear.

Holidays & Wedding Rings

The feedback on the recordings and photos has been outstanding and seeing all the different ways Jamie has been able to point back to her music, using our visuals has been incredible. This has been an amazing project and we are amazed at the success she is seeing as a result of the new album!

We’ll leave you with the final two performances at Floores that we recorded for Jamie. Enjoy!

UPDATE: Jamie asked us to record another live performance at Cheatham Street which you can see below!

You Left My Chair

Yours And Mine

Just Some Things

Night Time Blues

Here Tonight

Liner Notes

Thank you to everyone that helped along the way.

Ari Morales was the master behind the lens for the photography.

Videos Production, Cameras, etc..
Ben Hester, Ari Morales, Chip Weiss and Ryan Hargrave on setting the looks and running the cameras… you guys were incredible.

Sound Engineering
Alex Adamitis is the king at finding the right sound in any room.

Fun Fun Fun Fest – 2014

Our relationship with Shiner Beer and their love of music has kept us busy during this past fall’s festival season. For the second year in a row we set up our cameras and a PA in front of their amazing Shiner van to record performances backstage at Fun Fun Fun Fest.

We had a great spot overlooking the gorgeous Austin skyline and for 2 days straight, the hustle and bustle of a festival was buzzing around us, creating excitement and of course lots of Fun Fun Fun! Despite all the challenges that go along with backstage live performances, there is a certain magic when you are recording right in the thick of it. A huge thanks to Shiner for wanting to capture that magic to live on.

One of the best performances this year was by Good Field… they had a great sound with a fantastic vibe… we’d love for you to take a look at their recording from the festival!

You can see the all the performances from this year and years past on Shiner’s Van Session’s playlist.

Southern Gospel Revival 2014 – Photos

As we finish the full release of our recordings from this years Southern Gospel Revival, we’d like to share a few photos of the performances that day. These musicians got together, some for the first time ever, early in the morning and began putting these songs together right on the spot. Every single person had input to how and what they would play in relation to what the lead had in mind.

It was magical in every sense of the word. Everyone in their element with the only limiting factor being what instruments we had on hand and how much sunlight was left on the horizon. Have a look and let your mind wander through the conversations and creativity that was born that day.

Photographer: Anna Sneed
Location: Schneider Hall {Columbus, Texas}

[Not a valid template]Production
Photographer: Meg Ruffing
Location: Schneider Hall {Columbus, Texas}
[Not a valid template]

Nikki Lane – Gibson Backroom Recordings

nl-web3It’s always a great day when Gibson calls us in to do some recordings for their Backroom Bootleg series. We do a ton of work with them since they are huge supporters of the local musicians as well as the large mainstream acts.

Every fall when Austin City Limits Festival gets in full swing, the influx of great musicians really helps broaden the pool of artists that we get to record. It just so happened that this year, Nikki Lane, has a new record and a new Gibson guitar that she needed to show off while she was in town.

She and her band laid down three very unique performances in typical backroom bootleg style… no stage, no PA, minimal amplification and very vibey. The results are a very raw recording that puts the musicians and their instruments front and center, showing off their talent in a way that isn’t seen very often.

We had a great time with Nikki and her band! Funny, honest and absolutely great musicians always make for a great time… and that means we get even greater recordings! She is an absolute firecracker and we wish her the best in her career that is quickly becoming the talk of a lot of music outlets.

I hope you enjoy these songs as much as we do. Here are the recordings done at Gibson and if you like them, then feel free to buy her record straight from iTunes.

All Or Nothin’

Seein’ Double

You Can’t Talk To Me Like That

Brant Croucher – Blanco County Lights

Working with local musicians is one of the things that we strive to do… but getting timing, budget and talent to all converge at the same time is harder than it seems. Local Houston musician Brant Croucher met up with us and pitched an idea to do a set of recordings that would not just go along with with brand new record release but also be something he can pass along to venues and booking agents when trying to show people what his music sounds like.

Brant sourced an old venue in The Heights called the Boom Boom Room. Small and intimate and a killer piano. We laid down 3 songs.. 1 was solo on the piano and 2 included the great addition of Jack Saunders.

I think what we walked away with is absolutely killer. Brant Croucher is an amazing writer, second only to his ability to perform. I really think we captured the heart of these songs in a way that will compliment the full record versions.

I hope you love Brant Croucher as much as we do. Here are his recordings and if you like them then feel free to buy his record straight from iTunes.

Brant Croucher – Blanco County Lights

Brant Croucher – Free Will

Brant Croucher – When You Come To Me

Jamie Lin Wilson – South Texas

Transition is never easy for a musician.. especially when going from a full robust band to taking on everything solo. But that’s exactly what Jamie Lin Wilson is doing these days since The Trishas decided to take a break from touring for a while. Needing to not only find a voice of her own, Jamie wanted some visuals to rework her website, send out promo shots and use as backdrops for show posters and announcements.

Her latest writing has been heavily influenced by her South Texas surroundings near her home in D’hanis, Texas… so that’s where we went to capture a little piece of what makes Jamie’s writing so incredible and honest.  From the house that served as a writing haven to an old fallen down church, these photos are packed full of everything that she see’s and is inspired by on a daily basis.  More importantly… they are filled with things that you’ll hear spring from her music.

Photographer: Ari Morales
Location: D’hanis, Texas

[Not a valid template]