The Man Who Restored Lomax and Got a Grammy Nod

Warren Russell-Smith, NBC NitesideWhile Sunday's Grammy's will be dominated by big-name stars and pop hits, sound engineer Warren Russell-Smith is more interested in a lesser-known piece. Russell-Smith, of New York City's The Magic Shop, digitized Alan Lomax in Haiti: Recordings For The Library Of Congress, 1936-1937, a 10-disc collection that is nominated for two Grammys. NBC New York's Niteside columnist John Hood interviewed Russell-Smith about Lomax, Boardwalk Empire and The Green Family Foundation.

Here's an excerpt from the article:

Q: What was your role in the set's creation and how'd it come about?

A: Around 10 years ago the Library of Congress had transferred the aluminum discs; five years ago it showed up at The Magic Shop, and me and Will Berlind restored maybe a hundred hours of everything and put it aside. Then the Association of Cultural Equity (ACE) sifted through what we restored and picked out about 10 hours that best represented the various styles of music, and they came back to me, and, using even newer technologies, better plug-ins, higher quality things, I went across the 10 discs and reduced the noise even further.

In between the original restoration and the final mastering I met [Green Family Foundation president] Kimberly Green and mentioned that I'd worked on this project. She seemed excited and said she'd like to stay in touch about it. After the 10 hours came back from ACE I contacted Kimberly, told her the project was picking up again and asked if she'd like to be involved. She asked 'how?' So I put her in touch with ACE and it just went from there. I think she developed a great relationship with [ACE Director] Anna Lomax Wood, and I think without Kimberly the project would still be scuttling around between ACE and The Magic Shop. She made it happen.

Click here to read the full interview.