Illinois Country

Voices of Illinois Country: Mark Rubel


Champaign, IL native Mark Rubel is an audio engineer, audio expert witness, band member and audio instructor at Nashville’s Blackbird Academy. Rubel appears in the upcoming “Illinois Country” documentary as part of the team that creates the original song “Backroads”. In this video, Rubel discusses his extensive career in both Illinois and Nashville.


Check out Mark Rubel’s side gig as a longtime member of the 50’s, 60’s cover band “Captain Rat and the Blind Rivets.” Rubel calls their collaboration a “parody/situationist anarchist experiment.” The group got its start in 1980 when they booked a gig at the University of Illinois’ intermural pool as a ‘scam’ to score summer pool passes.  The concert (and their dreams of pool passes) ended when the lead guitarist skateboarded off the high dive with his guitar into the deep end of the pool.  The group has played semi-regularly in the Champaign-Urbana for the past 39 years.

Video produced by Kristen Johns @champaignunderground

WILL produced a feature about Mark Rubel when he ran Pogo Studios in Champaign. Check it out here:

Video produced by Alison Davis Wood