Howard Jones, the founder of DCR Nashville, attended his first concert at an early age and was blown away. That concert was Charlie Daniels and Linda Ronstadt at the Stokely Athletic Center in Knoxville. When the lights dimmed and the crowd went wild — looking around in amazement, he knew he wanted to somehow be a part of such a crazy experience.
“As much as I liked the music, and it was great music, I stood and just watched the people,” Howard said. “I literally knew what I wanted to do from that moment forward. I just remember thinking, ‘I’ve got to find out a way to be a part of this.’ ”
From that moment on, Howard’s perspective of production shifted — it even changed how we saw his high school dances. Underwhelmed by the DJs themselves, their small speakers and cheesy light shows, Howard decided to take matters into his own hands. He and a couple friends threw together their home stereos and started doing audio production for private in home events. By the end of his high school years, he had started a small DJ company, producing most of the proms in the area — even his own junior and senior proms.
This experience inspired Howard to pursue a degree in electronics, which he used to propel his career in the music industry. By the age of 23, he was working as an audio engineer for a traveling theatrical show. During that time, he also became the youngest lead truck driver in the 50-year history of that company, where he was responsible for six semis, the drivers, as well as the logistics of moving the show for the duration of it’s 10 month run. From there, his skills as an audio systems engineer, allowed him to hit the road with bands such as Lynard Skynard, 38 Special, Damn Yankees, and Joe Walsh. His career later took him into the Country Music world as well as POP. Holding the positions of Band Engineer, Production Manager and Tour Manager.
“There is no adrenaline rush in the world like the first 30 seconds of a show. When the lights go down and the crowd roars. When you release the ‘mute’ button on the front of house console and all hell breaks loose. It’s crazy to think one button push turns all that loose,” Howard said pointing to the index finger on his right hand while explaining his passion for the industry.
Today, after 22 years of touring, Howard has transferred all of his experience into the creation of DCR Nashville, which first originated 13 years ago as a digital console rental company that has now blossomed into a full-service audio, lighting and video company.
“When we were just renting consoles, we literally started out renting to support other companies — filling in holes in their inventory when needed,” Howard said. “As things progressed we have expanded the business to working direct with the end user as well as producing shows for our upper end clientele.”
“We’re a conduit for which the client uses to convey their art, music and message to the audience — and that’s not
a game. It’s a big responsibility. If we don’t do our jobs right we can fail to serve a given audience or given artist. And I take that personally.”
Even though they’ve grown substantially from it’s founding in 2004, DCR Nashville will stand by this commitment to excellence, even as it continues to grow. Offering more services to their clients, the community of Nashville and beyond.
“Anybody can buy the gear, but delivering the service behind it, that’s what matters. As long as we’re holding up the fundamental beliefs behind why we started the company — great service, great price and great relationships — and if you’re doing it with heart, good things will come.”