Rochester's music scene delivers the hits

In 2022, area musicians recorded plenty of great albums, EPs and more for your listening pleasure.

Music releases from Rochester area artists came from a variety of genres in 2022.
Contributed / John Sievers
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Rochester-area musicians turned out a ton of tunes in 2022. From hip-hop to house, and from “hard-scrabble cosmic Americana” to country lullabies, the local music scene has been both very creative and very productive. In all, area musicians — with a few “alumni” included — released more than 30 EPs and albums this past year.

Some projects, like Becky Schlegel’s “The Lullaby Collection” even melded genres. Her release includes folk art, sheet music, and beautifully sung lullabies for every letter of the alphabet. She managed to record the project at her historic farm while creating an accompanying book that encompasses the sister arts.

Becky Schlegel - "The Lullaby Collection"
Becky Schlegel released a book and recording called "The Lullaby Collection. Schlegel is photographed at her home near Oronoco on April 6, 2022.
Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin file photo

While other musicians besides Schlegel have recorded in home studios, two area recording studios have had a big impact on helping Rochester-area artists get their music out to the masses. Zach Zurn’s Carpet Booth Studios has had a hand in projects by popular local acts like Clay Fulton & the Lost Forty’s sophomore roots rock release “Positive Numbers,” Broth’s punk-inspired “Leftovers” EP, Cosmic Orphan’s catchy “Be My Guard,” and newcomers Split Pine’s indie rock release “Locked Out.”

Carpet Booth Studios has helped record everything from metal to hip-hop and contributed to projects with local roots by artists on the way up like Good Morning Bedlam’s folk release “Lulu.” Zurn even partially produced, engineered, and mixed Yung Gravy’s “Marvelous” album. The album’s single “Betty (Get Money),” with its “Never Gonna Give You Up” sample, debuted at 68 on the Billboard Hot 100 in July, was certified gold, had more than 100 million streams on Spotify, and went viral on TikTok.

Alex Ortberg’s Blue Lagoon Recording Room also contributed to several local releases including Amateur’s indie soul rock release “Every Little Thing” and Lucas Horvath’s pop-punk “Blossoms & Bubbles.” Rachel Nunemacher’s “The Last Five Years” EP was another standout project from the Blue Lagoon Recording Room. With a singer-songwriter-inspired pop sensibility, the EP seems like something both familiar and fresh.


The local hip-hop scene has also been alive and well in 2022. With everything from instrumental EPs produced by locals like Ghostmeat and Jae Havoc to EPs like DaboFlai’s “People Think I’m Showing Off” and J. Martinez’s “No Hay Excusas” and even full-blown albums like Just Jayden’s “Infinite,” the area’s hip-hop music has left its mark.

Some area artists have created music to support important causes. Rochesterite James Rechs released the album “D’Ethenol” under the name Wind Farmers. The rock project was created with Aaron Wagner from Grinnell, Iowa. Rechs composed music to Wagner’s lyrics. He released “D’Ethenol” after Wagner passed away earlier in 2022. Proceeds from the album go to the Grinnell Area Mental Health Consortium in Wagner’s honor.

Artists like The Walking Beat have ensured that the tradition of vinyl continues. As frontman Steve McCauley puts it, “Digital is great and convenient, but there’s just something special about putting on a record. Holding that large format sleeve and deliberately sitting down and listening to each song. It forces you to be more involved in the listening process.”

Meanwhile, Root River Jam, with its “Love is Unity ‘Double Jam’,” keeps the concept of the double album rolling. With its epic 13-minute-long “Hearin’, Pastorale, One Way Road” mashup, the band lives up to its jam band moniker.

It looks like the local music scene is already gaining momentum for 2023. Thomas and the Shakes is promising to drop their reggae-rock-folk-inspired “Carpet Booth Sessions” on Jan. 1, 2023, and singer-songwriter Miriam Haacke is also planning a release in the new year.

Other artists have already released singles from projects forecast for 2023. Fires of Denmark released the single “You Make Me Try” earlier this December from their upcoming “Magnetism” album. They describe as being “a relentless onslaught of upbeat pop songs with their signature disco punk beats.” The reggae-inspired Push & Turn released the single “Rise Up” on custom USB drives on the final Wednesday of their monthlong residency at Thesis Beer Project earlier this week. They are promising a special deal at their upcoming album release show in the new year to those who bring the USB back.

While this article and the following list has by no means included all the area’s musical output from 2022 — and hasn’t even attempted to capture singles — it gives a solid idea of our community’s musical potential. There’s something in this list for just about every taste. Get out there and support our local live music scene so our musical creators are inspired to write and record more songs. Let’s keep the tunes coming in 2023.

Are you listening?

The 2022 Record Roundup List (in alphabetical order by performer):


Artist: Als Fona
EP: Als Fona
Genre: Indie Rock
Release: Dec. 16, 2022
Online: .

Artist: Amateur
LP: Every Little Thing
Genre: Indie Soul Rock
Release: March 11, 2022

Artist: Amiensus
EP: All Paths Lead to Death (Remixed/mastered)
Genre: Rock/Metal
Release: May 19, 2022

Artist: Becky Schlegel
LP: The Lullaby Collection
Genre: Lullabies/Children’s Music
Release: April 2022

Artist: Broth
EP: Leftovers
Genre: Rock/Pop/Punk
Release: Jan. 21, 2022

Artist: Clay Fulton & the Lost Forty
LP: Positive Numbers
Genre: Roots Rock
Release: Aug. 12, 2022

Artist: Comatose
EP: Sex Over Thirty
Genre: Rock
Release: Jun. 24, 2022

Artist: Cosmic Orphan
EP: Be My Guard
Genre: Indie/Alternative Rock
Release: Sept. 29, 2022


Artist: DaboFlai
EP: People Think I’m Showing Off
Genre: Hip-hop/Rap
Release: Sept. 19, 2022

Artist: DYL
LP: A Requiem for the Future
Genre: Alt-pop/Indie-rock /Singer-songwriter/Ambient/Electronic
Release: Sept. 23, 2022

Artist: Ghostmeat
EP: Death’s Door
Genre: Instrumental/Hip hop/Electronic
Release: Dec. 7, 2022

Artist: Good Morning Bedlam
LP: Lulu
Genre: Folk
Release: Feb. 4, 2022

Artist: Holy Rose
EP: Frank
Genre: Rock
Release: Aug. 3, 2022

Artist: Jae Havoc
EP: Belonging
Genre: Instrumental/Hip-hop
Release: Aug. 1, 2022

Artist: Jason Edward
EP: Taking Chances
Genre: Pop-based Folk/Americana/Rock
Release: May 22, 2022

Artist: J. Martinez
EP: No Hay Excusas
Genre: Hip-hop
Release: March 4, 2022

Artist: John Underdahl
LP: Peaches & Martinis
Genre: Rock
Release: Nov. 24, 2022

LP: Infinite
Genre: Hip-hop
Release: Aug. 10, 2022

Artist: Lucas Horvath
EP: Blossoms & Bubbles
Genre: Pop/Punk/Rock
Release: Oct. 31, 2022

Artist: MM Jr.
LP: Better Off as Fools
Genre: Pop Punk
Release: April 1, 2022

Artist: O'Rion
EP: O'Rion
Genre: Contemporary Folk
Release: Aug. 5, 2022

Artist: Quake Jones, QThe507God, Joseph Maas
EP: The R&B Mixtape, Vol. 1
Genre: R&B/Hip-hop
Release: Feb. 14, 2022

Artist: Rachel Nunemacher
EP: The Last 5 Years
Genre: Singer-songwriter/Pop
Release: March 11, 2022

Artist: Root River Jam
Double LP: Love is Unity “Double Jam”
Genre: Americana Roots
Release: Nov. 23, 2022

Artist: Split Pine
EP: Locked Out
Genre: Indie Rock
Release: March 15, 2022

Artist: Tony Fuel
EP: Watching the Light
Genre: House
Release: Feb. 25, 2022

Artist: Trillyy4L
EP: Headphone Music
Genre: Hip-hop
Release: Oct. 4, 2022

Artist: Vansire
LP: The Modern Western World
Genre: Indie Pop
Release: May 12, 2022

Artist: The Walking Beat
LP: Easy Chair
Genre: Hard-scrabble Cosmic Americana
Release: Dec. 7, 2022

Artist: WhyteBoiBeats
Genre: Hip-hop/Rap
Release: Feb. 1, 2022

Artist: Wind Farmers
LP: D’Ethanol
Genre: Rock
Release: Dec. 1, 2022

Artist: Winterstate
LP: Technicolor
Genre: Rock/Pop
Release: Jan. 14, 2022
Online: .

Artist: Yung Gravy
LP: "Marvelous"
Genre: Hip-hop
Release: Oct. 28, 2022
Online: .

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