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In Profile: Maryland Sound’s Bob Goldstein, Doing Really Big Really Well

“Doing shows is our first, primary love. There’s nothing better than a great sounding show.” - Bob Goldstein

By Kevin Young September 14, 2011

Bob Goldstein in the Maryland Sound shop

Building A Reputation
Two years into the gig, when Clair Brothers asked him to take on another project, Goldstein felt he couldn’t leave Frankie Valli. “You’re talking about a show that has a lot of cues. You can’t just put someone else in there without training them on what Frankie and the band liked, and I didn’t like the idea of leaving them high and dry.”

He still considers the band his favorite. “It was where I started. When I played music that was what I played – doo-wop, Motown and R&B.”

He also felt he was an integral part of delivering the music to the audience, a role he takes enduring pride in. And although he did tour with many acts over time, he continued working with The Four Seasons until 1985, at times doing upwards of 200 shows a year.

Building MSI from the road before the advent of cell phones and email was nearly an impossible task in itself, but Goldstein explains, “You do a good job and people start asking ‘can you help with this or that?’ You start hiring people, sending them out and they do a good job. Then you hire more people, they do a good job, and you get a good reputation.”

As MSI grew it integrated other companies to expand its capabilities and geographical reach, among them Northwest Sound and Stanal Sound, and since, has branched out into virtually every segment of the industry. But concert sound remains Goldstein’s greatest pleasure.

“Doing shows is our first, primary love. There’s nothing better than a great sounding show.” Having said that, Goldstein stopped doing sound personally in 1985 to focus on his company. “I didn’t mix for 20 years. Some could argue I should have stayed on the road instead of tinkering with what was working at the office,” he says, laughing again.

Pushing Limits
A self-admitted perfectionist, high production values and great musicianship are what Goldstein has always valued most highly in an act; artists who push their own limits and thus force him to push his. “Great voices,” he explains, like Whitney Houston, Frankie Valli, Minnie Ripperton, Mariah Carey, Daryl Hall and Josh Groban – who he began mixing when he felt able to delegate the day-to-day running of MSI to others.

“I went back to mix Josh Groban in 2004, and what I’d forgotten about when I was in the office for all that time was that addiction you have for the drug of the audience. When they go nuts it’s not for you, but part of it is, and it’s a great feeling knowing you translated the music well.”

As for the future, Goldstein sees MSI working on more and more television, broadcast and corporate applications and continuing to push the limits of possibility at ever-larger events and concerts. Again, he stresses, the bigger, the better.

“Tell us there’s something we can’t do. We thrive on that. We like doing big. Anytime somebody’s got a big project, send it on this way. We don’t mind doing small, but we love really, really, big. If you can think of something that will draw 15 million people, give us a call. We would really enjoy that.”

Based in Toronto, Kevin Young is a freelance music and tech writer, professional musician and composer.


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About Kevin

Kevin Young
Kevin Young

Freelance Music and Tech Writer, Professional Musician and Composer
Based in Toronto, Kevin Young is a freelance music and tech writer, professional musician and composer.

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John Mayberry says

Glad to see that Bob’s still ready to go…

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