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Rounder Records has been sold to Concord

Mary Katherine 14 Apr 10 - 10:31 AM
buddhuu 14 Apr 10 - 10:36 AM
pdq 14 Apr 10 - 10:45 AM
sciencegeek 15 Apr 10 - 06:47 AM
brezhnev 15 Apr 10 - 07:09 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 15 Apr 10 - 07:55 AM
brezhnev 15 Apr 10 - 08:45 AM
Michael S 15 Apr 10 - 09:03 AM
Desert Dancer 15 Apr 10 - 11:20 AM
Fred McCormick 15 Apr 10 - 11:33 AM
pdq 15 Apr 10 - 12:02 PM
dick greenhaus 15 Apr 10 - 12:39 PM
Fred McCormick 15 Apr 10 - 02:53 PM
GUEST,DWR 15 Apr 10 - 03:32 PM
dick greenhaus 15 Apr 10 - 04:01 PM
Goose Gander 15 Apr 10 - 04:06 PM
Joe Offer 15 Apr 10 - 04:19 PM
Joe Offer 15 Apr 10 - 04:27 PM
GUEST,DWR 15 Apr 10 - 05:48 PM
NormanD 16 Apr 10 - 05:22 AM
deepdoc1 16 Apr 10 - 08:49 AM
Art Thieme 16 Apr 10 - 02:33 PM
Desert Dancer 21 Apr 10 - 04:22 PM
brezhnev 21 Apr 10 - 04:58 PM
Anglo 22 Apr 10 - 01:22 AM
open mike 20 Jul 10 - 01:39 PM
GUEST,DWR 20 Jul 10 - 08:54 PM
GUEST,Malcolm Storey 20 Jul 10 - 09:14 PM
Howard Jones 21 Jul 10 - 07:36 AM
Desert Dancer 21 Jul 10 - 09:46 AM
Desert Dancer 21 Jul 10 - 09:50 AM
Tannywheeler 21 Jul 10 - 02:08 PM
Tannywheeler 21 Jul 10 - 02:09 PM
Desert Dancer 10 May 11 - 12:30 PM
GUEST,steve s 10 May 11 - 04:12 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 10 May 11 - 05:06 PM
GUEST,warren fahey 10 May 11 - 05:24 PM
Desert Dancer 10 May 11 - 07:25 PM
Art Thieme 10 May 11 - 09:05 PM
GUEST,warren fahey 10 May 11 - 11:52 PM
GUEST,Mark Wilson (guest) 11 May 11 - 04:43 PM
Desert Dancer 12 May 11 - 01:55 AM
Desert Dancer 24 Oct 13 - 01:21 PM
Desert Dancer 24 Oct 13 - 01:24 PM
Desert Dancer 24 Oct 13 - 01:27 PM
Desert Dancer 24 Oct 13 - 01:28 PM
Bill D 24 Oct 13 - 02:11 PM
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Subject: Rounder Records has been sold
From: Mary Katherine
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 10:31 AM

http://eon.businesswire.com/portal/site/eon/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20100414005394&newsLang=en


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold
From: buddhuu
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 10:36 AM

Here's a clicky version


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold
From: pdq
Date: 14 Apr 10 - 10:45 AM

Norman Lear, Concord Music Group Chairman, is the TV producer.


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold
From: sciencegeek
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 06:47 AM

Here's hoping the merger will include enough young blood to carry on another 40 years.


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold
From: brezhnev
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 07:09 AM

bang goes any chance of the full alan lomax spanish recordings getting a re-release then.


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 07:55 AM

Sadly, the Lomax recording project seems to have run out of steam, which is a great pity as the ones I have (mainly US and British and Irish) are great!
Derek


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold
From: brezhnev
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 08:45 AM

you're right, derek. it is a crying shame, especially in the case of some of the recordings (from andalusia in particular) that rounder had planned to re-issue for ever, but never quite got round to it.

So, unless someone's got the old Westminster vinyl from the 'fifties and rips it, no one will ever get to hear them again.

or maybe Concord and Starbucks will reissue them on their Hear Music label - the "home for established artists with timeless resonance"?

Further grounds for these kind of recordings being taken out of private hands and put into the public domain online.


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold
From: Michael S
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 09:03 AM

Here's today's Boston Globe report.

Those looking for older or more obscure (or less commercial) Rounder recordings should check out Rounder on Demand.

Unfortunately, it looks like the available albums are indexed by album title, only, which is insane. Much better to do it by artist. It would be nice if this approach survives the sale.

--Michael Scully
--Austin, TX


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 11:20 AM

I'm not sure I understand the assumption that this move will make a change in the management of the catalog.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 11:33 AM

Having seen what happened to Fantasy and Good Time Jazz when Concord bought them, I fear for the future of the Rounder catalogue. In fact I think we're in for one almighty asset strip.

All the minority stuff which Mark Wilson and others fought to get in the catalogue in the first place, and then fought to keep it there, will be axed. The only stuff left will be the big selling middle of the road ultra-smooth gunge. What a pity the Smithsonian couldn't have taken it on.


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold
From: pdq
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 12:02 PM

Here is more information on the labels the are already owned by...

                                                               Concord Music Group


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 12:39 PM

I've been told by folks at Rounder that the Lomax material will (some day, somehow) be taken over by Amazon. CAMSCO tried to obtain rights, but to no avail.


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 02:53 PM

Does this mean that the Lomax material will be downloadable from Amazon in MP3 files? What about the rest of the Rounder catalogue?


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold
From: GUEST,DWR
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 03:32 PM

I am also pessimistic. Bigger usually doesn't mean better. Good intentions usually fall before the need to acquire the almighty dollar when Big Business gets involved.

Rounder has done an admirable job over the years producing things of great value that just didn't sell well enough to justify their existence if Rounder had been an ordinary company.

Thank Alison Krauss and others like her whose loyalty and drawing power made these small labors of love possible. What will happen now?


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 04:01 PM

Fred-
I dunno. There's been some talk of Custom CD-Rs (a la Smithsonian Folkways) but I have no details.

This only related to the Lomax material.


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold
From: Goose Gander
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 04:06 PM

OK, I'm buying up this stuff while I can because the future does not look bright.


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 04:19 PM

Hmmmm. I see there are some Rounder Jean Redpath recordings now available, that haven't been available for years - Click here


Articles like this have a tendency to disappear, so we encourage posting the full text of articles with enduring folk music information. Here's the entire text of the article Mary Katherine linked to
( http://eon.businesswire.com/news/eon/20100414005394/en)

Concord Music Group Acquires Celebrated American Roots Label Rounder Records

Acquisition Firmly Establishes the Combined Entity as the World's Preeminent Independent Music Company

LOS ANGELES--(EON: Enhanced Online 2News)--The Concord Music Group today announced the acquisition of storied Massachusetts-based independent music label Rounder Records. Rounder, celebrating its 40th year as the world's leading American roots music label, is a major force in a broad range of musical genres including bluegrass, Americana, singer-songwriter, Cajun & Zydeco and children's music. Rounder possesses an extraordinary recorded catalog and current artist roster including bluegrass superstar Alison Krauss, singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter, banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck, actor/musician Steve Martin, jazz singer Madeleine Peyroux, the iconic Robert Plant, notable children's artist/activist Raffi and country legend Willie Nelson, to name just a few. The acquisition of Rounder and its essential collection of over 3,000 masters combined with Concord Music Group's rich catalog of more than 10,000 master recordings strengthens Concord's status as one of the world's most significant independent record companies, with a leadership position in multiple genres.

“We've always been the little label that could, and our new affiliation with Concord – another fiercely independent organization that shares our core values -- ensures that we can remain true to our central calling: discovering and nurturing quality musical talent.”

Rounder's creative and marketing functions will continue to be based in Boston and its owners and founders Ken Irwin, Bill Nowlin and Marian Leighton Levy will remain active with the company in a creative and advisory capacity. The company's senior management will also remain in place: John Virant will continue as the President of Rounder; Sheri Sands will stay on as General Manager. Operating synergies will be achieved by combining the sales, administrative and support functions of the two companies.

Rounder, founded in 1970 by Cambridge folkies, Irwin, Nowlin, and Leighton Levy, has been at the center of nearly all of the American roots revivals that have reshaped the music world in the last 40 years. The self-titled 1975 record by J.D. Crowe and the New South (featuring future stars Ricky Skaggs, Tony Rice and Jerry Douglas) revitalized bluegrass and inspired such modern superstars as Rounder's own Alison Krauss, who is the most decorated female artist in the history of the Grammy® Awards and has also sold over eight million albums and DVDs. Her collaboration with Led Zeppelin front-man Robert Plant on the album Raising Sand emerged as one of 2007's major critical and word-of-mouth sales success stories. The album was RIAA certified platinum in early 2008 and won five Grammy® Awards including Album and Record of the Year in 2009. An unequaled leader in the preservation and re-release of precious historic recordings, Rounder has brought the music of Jelly Roll Morton, Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers and Mississippi John Hurt back to vibrant life. In addition, their dazzling work on the epic anthologies from the Library of Congress and the Alan Lomax Collection has been universally respected and admired.

Glen Barros, President and CEO of the Concord Music Group, said, "The combination of Concord and Rounder makes so much sense on a creative, strategic and cultural level. With the addition of Rounder, Concord is gaining a magnificent catalog of recordings, the opportunity to work with more of the world's most amazing artists and a company filled with some great people. Plus, Rounder's uncompromising commitment to authenticity and intense independent spirit is perfectly in line with everything that Concord is about."

Norman Lear, Concord Music Group Chairman and co-owner added, "We couldn't be more honored to join together with Rounder in our collective mission to deliver great, timeless music."

Marian Leighton Levy, co-Rounder Founder, concurs and adds, "For us, it's always been about the music. We have long been aware of Concord's commitment to great catalogue labels within a vibrant and contemporary independent context, and feel the Concord Records Group provides not only a great home for our music and artists, but also a stronger and more secure position going forward."

John Virant, President of Rounder, said, "We've always been the little label that could, and our new affiliation with Concord – another fiercely independent organization that shares our core values -- ensures that we can remain true to our central calling: discovering and nurturing quality musical talent."

About Concord Music Group:

Concord Music Group is one of the largest independent record and music publishing companies in the world and is owner of a rich and historically significant catalog of recordings. Concord Music Group's legendary family of labels include Concord Records, Concord Jazz, Fantasy, Stax, Milestone, Riverside, Specialty, Telarc, Peak, Heads Up, Prestige and several others. They include titles from some of the most admired and enduring names in music, including Ray Charles, John Coltrane, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Isaac Hayes, Little Richard, Thelonious Monk, Oscar Peterson, Rosemary Clooney, George Shearing and Mel Torme. The group's current roster of world-class artists includes George Benson, Chick Corea, Kurt Elling, Will Downing, Kenny G, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Sergio Mendes, Esperanza Spalding, Macy Gray, Angie Stone and many more. In 2007, Concord partnered with Starbucks Entertainment to form Hear Music, an innovative record label rooted in quality, authenticity and passion. Hear Music works directly with artists, both emerging and established, to bring quality music to the widest possible audience, in both Starbucks locations and music retailers worldwide. Hear Music releases include records from Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, John Mellencamp, Elvis Costello and Playing For Change.


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 04:27 PM

And the Boston Globe Article:

    Rounder Records sold to Calif. company

    Boston Globe
    Rounder Records, a 40-year-old independent music label based in Burlington, has been sold to the Concord Music Group of Beverly Hills, Calif., for an undisclosed price. Both parties say Rounder’s identity, and its role as a source of American roots music, won’t change.
    by Joel Brown
    April 15, 2010

    Rounder Records, a 40-year-old independent music label based in Burlington, has been sold to the Concord Music Group of Beverly Hills, Calif., for an undisclosed price. Both parties say Rounder’s identity, and its role as a source of American roots music, won’t change.

    Founders and owners Ken Irwin, Bill Nowlin, and Marian Leighton Levy will remain active creatively at Rounder, and so will its artistic and marketing staff, including president John Virant, both sides said. There will be a handful of layoffs among Rounder’s 35 employees as sales, administrative, and support functions are merged between the two companies, they said. Neither party would reveal a purchase price or comment on whether the deal guarantees that the current management team will continue to run Rounder.

    “We felt this was better than simply trying to soldier on alone’’ in a time of turmoil in the music business, Leighton Levy said, adding that the goal is to strengthen Rounder and preserve the company for the long term. “It’s not an exit strategy. Concord acquired Rounder wanting it to continue what it is doing, and keeping the team in place for the most part.’’

    Started in 1970, when its founders were college friends, Rounder has been widely praised by fans for its mix of archival and new releases in genres that are often neglected by large commercial music labels, including folk, bluegrass, blues, and jazz.

    “I hope you do not buy a label like Rounder unless you intend to keep the eclecticism going on,’’ said Michael F. Scully, who wrote “The Never-Ending Revival: Rounder Records and the Folk Alliance,’’ a 2008 book about the label. “To go to one place and get blues and Cajun music and polka music and singer-songwriter and honky-tonk is really pretty remarkable, particularly as the industry changes in the ’90s and the first decade of this century, as everything was consolidating — and they managed to keep it going.’’

    Concord previously acquired such historic labels as Fantasy, Stax, and Prestige and founded its own Concord Records and Concord Jazz labels, releasing a mix of catalog albums and new material. Glen Barros, chief executive of Concord Music Group, cited the classical label Telarc International of Cleveland as a company that, like Rounder, retained independent control after being acquired by Concord.

    “Those are the kind of labels we like best, and we think make the greatest music,’’ Barros said. “They have been independent, they have let their artists be who they are, and they have nurtured that. We love that spirit, and we love that approach to music, and we’d love to see it continue well into the future.’’

    Rounder had one of its greatest successes last year with the genre-busting “Raising Sand’’ collaboration between bluegrass star Alison Krauss and Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant. The album won five Grammys, including album of the year. It sold more than 2 million units, Leighton Levy said.

    “It starts with the music, but it helps to have a team behind it that understands music and bleeds it and loves it just like the audience does,’’ said Catie Wilber, program director of WXRV-FM (92.5) in Haverhill, which plays Rounder artists and occasionally collaborates with the label on concerts and projects. “That is a rare thing, and certainly the case I have found at Rounder.’’

    The deal has been in the works for a year and a half, although Concord first approached Rounder four years ago, when its founders were not ready to consider a merger, Leighton Levy said. The struggles of the music business, especially at the retail level, have caused a few layoffs at Rounder since then, she said.

    “This seemed to be a better way to save a lot of jobs, frankly,’’ she said, adding that Rounder was not in peril, but for the long term, “this seemed a better way to proceed, a better way for the artists as well as for the team of folks we have been working with for a while.’’

    Leighton Levy also said, “obviously, we are all getting older,’’ and the founders might eventually reduce the amount of time they spend at the company.

    Concord, which has 120 employees, also runs the Hear Music label in partnership with the Starbucks Corp. coffee chain. The well-known TV producer Norman Lear is among privately held Concord’s owners.

    Rounder owners Irwin and Leighton Levy make their homes in Newburyport, while Nowlin, also known as a Red Sox historian, still lives in Cambridge, where Rounder was founded. PBS broadcast a Rounder 40th anniversary all-star concert in March.

    Concord and Rounder have a relationship that goes back three decades, according to Leighton Levy. “Back in the old days,’’ she said, “when we were a distribution company in Cambridge as well as a record company, we used to distribute the old Concord Jazz label.’’

    © Copyright 2010 Globe Newspaper Company.


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold
From: GUEST,DWR
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 05:48 PM

More fuel for the fire.

Ask Art about Kicking Mule. Guess who owns those masters now?

Recently we have had quite a bit of interest in Lawrence Hammond's 1976 Coyote's Dream on Takoma. Guess who owns those masters now?

Bob Holt's fine fiddle recording Got a Little Home to Go To was released on Rounder about a dozen years ago. Will it be available a dozen years from now? Guess who owns those masters now?

Yes, I know that the above article says, "Both parties say Rounder's identity, and its role as a source of American roots music, won't change." but I don't believe it. Check back here in 10 years or even 5 and tell me if I am wrong.


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold
From: NormanD
Date: 16 Apr 10 - 05:22 AM

I am pessimistic too. Rounder has had it, certainly as an independent. All respect to Alison Krauss for sticking with them over the years, in spite of her major success and critical acclaim.

The reason I am pessimistic is because of the following quote:
"Concord Music Group's legendary family of labels include Concord Records, Concord Jazz, Fantasy, Stax, Milestone, Riverside, Specialty, Telarc, Peak, Heads Up, Prestige and several others."

What they've done with Stax, Fantasy and Specialty alone - all landmark labels of significant musical and historical significance - makes me want to weep.

Probably an asset strip. Rounder must have been in bad financial straits.


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold
From: deepdoc1
Date: 16 Apr 10 - 08:49 AM

Apparently, the move allowed a deal with HDTracks to add the Rounder catalogue to their downloads. HDTracks has high-res downloads, and includes the liner notes in pdf form as part of the deal. It's a couple of bucks more than Amazon, but the liner notes seals the deal for me.


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold
From: Art Thieme
Date: 16 Apr 10 - 02:33 PM

I have given up.


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 21 Apr 10 - 04:22 PM

Paul McCartney Moves His Music Catalog to Concord from EMI, as of Tuesday, April 20.


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold
From: brezhnev
Date: 21 Apr 10 - 04:58 PM

alea jacta est!


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold to Concord
From: Anglo
Date: 22 Apr 10 - 01:22 AM

DWR, I don't know who owns the masters of Kicking Mule, but Stefan Grossman's Guitar Workshop has been reissuing a number of their guitarist recordings.


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold to Concord
From: open mike
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 01:39 PM

this is making an impact on distributors who carry (carried) Rounder products, too.


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold to Concord
From: GUEST,DWR
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 08:54 PM

I knew who owned all those masters,it's C O N C O R D.

As we said when the first shoe fell, this is not good. It didn't take long for the other shoe to fall.

?Question? What will AKUS do now? With loyalty out the window on their side, she may well decide to do something different. That will make the Rounder label worth significantly less ~~ my guess would be less than half. It would serve them right.

I don't think I blame the owners for selling, but they should have thought a little more about who they were selling to if they really cared about the product they had built up over the years.

But, contrary to what some say, it's money that makes the world go around. So since I don't have a dog in the fight, it was their choice and they didn't ask me. It just doesn't mean I have to like it.


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold to Concord
From: GUEST,Malcolm Storey
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 09:14 PM

What have CD sales got to do with traditional folk music? or shouldn't I ask?


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold to Concord
From: Howard Jones
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 07:36 AM

Malcolm, how much traditional folk music would you have heard if it hadn't been issued on publicly available recordings? (on which medium is irrelevant).

Labels like Rounder have played an important part in recording music in niche genres which are generally not commercially viable. Without them, much of this music would have been lost. The danger, and frustration, in situations like these is that while the original recordings may still exist, the new owners may choose not to release it so it is effectively lost. As an example of this, just search Mudcat for "Bulmer" (on second thoughts don't, life's too short to read it all)


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold to Concord
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 09:46 AM

See also this current thread: apparently Rounder/Concord "has discontinued large chunks of their Trad catalog, and has farmed it out to Amazon" for download-only access, according to Dick Greenhaus, a cd retail distributor (and Mudcatter).

Much discussion on the format issues there.

~ Becky currently in Hackettstown


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold to Concord
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 09:50 AM

Sorry, not download-only, but CD-on-demand.

~ Becky in NJ


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold to Concord
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 02:08 PM

For those interested in the Lomax material: Google Lomax; Google Association for Cultural Equity(ACE); check with Lib. of Cong. An enormous effort was made over several yrs. to catalogue, put in order, use newest tech. to clean & issue what had been prev. unusable, & to place the whole collection in the care of LoC.What you're looking for may indeed be available, or can be made so. If Anna L. Woods name shows up in any of the searches you do try to reach her & check. She's Alan's daughter & spearheaded this whole thing & may be able to direct you.


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold to Concord
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 02:09 PM

Oops--sorry I forgot to sign...Tw


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold to Concord
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 10 May 11 - 12:30 PM

Spotted this on the Musical Traditions site:

"Most people with a serious interest in traditional American fiddle music will be familiar with Rounder's North American Traditions series, established in 1999 and largely devoted to releasing recent field recordings made by dedicated collector Mark Wilson during the 1980s and '90s.
...

"Unfortunately, with the decline of the CD and the growing commercialisation of the Rounder enterprise, most of these recordings are either no longer in print or are only available as downloads in the inferior MP3 format and without the accompanying documentation which was always a crucial feature of the NAT series, reflecting their core belief that 'traditional music is best appreciated if it is understood in terms of the people and societies that have produced it'.

"To remedy this situation Musical Traditions has begun re-releasing the [North American Traditions] series on CD under its own label and with the original booklets. "

~ Becky in Long Beach


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold to Concord
From: GUEST,steve s
Date: 10 May 11 - 04:12 PM

you don't like the music recording/distrib/sales biz?

roll your own...

Google "field recorder's collective"

s.


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold to Concord
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 10 May 11 - 05:06 PM

Musical Traditions have already issued some of this material and today they have announced the release of another. This one is an album of Nimrod Workman, The full album notes and a review are on their website. It sounds like an essential album. They deserve our full support if we want to see real music issued with scholarly notes and information. Forget downloads, get real.

Mark Wilson & Rod Stradling deserve our full appreciation and support

Hoot


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold to Concord
From: GUEST,warren fahey
Date: 10 May 11 - 05:24 PM

I was Rounder's Australian and NZ distribution partner for around 25 years and I witnessed the label grow from 5 LP records to the amazingly diverse catalogue it now claims. I have also witnessed dramatic changes in the industry and most of the comments here are not representing reality. If Bill, Ken and Marion are still involved to any degree they will retain the label's ethical approach to important music - and I don't mean Mary Chapin Carpenter and Robert Plant. Concord also has a history (I also distributed Concord, Fanatsy and Prestige when I sold Larrikin to Festival Records). Times have changed and the CD is near dead. Digital availability will make MORE obscure (and important) music available. You'll see! By the way, I know it's probably documented somewhere else in the forums but the new biography on Alan Lomax is a MUST read for anyone interested in traditional music and the history of minority music making in the weird world we live in. www.warrenfahey.com


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold to Concord
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 10 May 11 - 07:25 PM

Hoot, I was certainly glad to see it. I read the Nimrod Workman review and it made no mention of the relationship to the Rounder series (though Mark Wilson is the obvious connection). The above is quoted from the review of the Morgan MacQuarrie cd. Looks like MT is adding not-previously-issued tracks to some of the cds.

It's Musical Traditions' "500 series" albums. Four, to date:

Dixie Blossoms: Art Gilbraith, fiddler (of Springfield, Missouri) MTCD509 (the first of the series)

Essence of Old Kentucky: Roger Cooper, fiddler (of Lewis County, Kentucky, protege of the late Buddy Thomas) MTCD510

Over the Cabot Trail: Morgan MacQuarrie, fiddler (of Inverness County, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia) MTCD511

Mother Jones' Will: Nimrod Workman, singer (West Virginia) MTCD512

~ Becky in Long Beach


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold to Concord
From: Art Thieme
Date: 10 May 11 - 09:05 PM

Warren Fahey, your name conjures up other simpler full of music times and places with much less in yo face human interactions. Actual details are vague, but I remember your presence. Your input is appreciated.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold to Concord
From: GUEST,warren fahey
Date: 10 May 11 - 11:52 PM

Art - I was a good mate of Bruce Kaplan and distributed Flying Fish and also Kicking Mule (whose artists I toured in Australia and then went on to distribute Vestapol). Way out of the industry these days and doing full time folklore work (see www.warrenfahey.com). Bruce, Bill Nowlin and Tony Engle of Topic were all born in the same year and had a common music bond. I do know of your music too. cheers.


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold to Concord
From: GUEST,Mark Wilson (guest)
Date: 11 May 11 - 04:43 PM

Thanks for noticing the Musical Traditions releases of our North Amrican Traditions Series CDS (MT has also issued a 4 CD of Kentucky music drawn from our archives that never came out on Rounder). The situation with these recordings is the following. I own all of the masters, as my little NAT group was simply a private group of collectors working independently in the same vein as Lomax, say. But it was a great boon, in better years, for Bill Nowlin and Ken Irwin to harbor our little series on Rounder, because that opportunity supplied our artists with small advances and exposure on a larger label(unfortunately, the rest of the company was uninterested in our work and never publicized any of it in the same manner as did the peer folk labels of the time). Bill still works at Rounder and has hopes of encouraging further traditional releases under the Concord banner, but I'm not especially encouraging it, as I feel more comfortable releasing materials with Rod Stradling (even though we're lucky if he sells 25 copies of our releases--collectors note: these MT issues will one day prove rarer than early '30s Gennetts!) Many of the projects that came out as Rounder CD between 1995 and 2003 can still be purchased, in more or less their original form, from Amazon on a print-on-demand basis. For the time being, I am allowing Rounder to issue those records in that manner. With Musical Traditions, I am concentrating on reissuing the post-2003 issues which can't be duplicated for sundry reasons on Amazon (a few can't be rereleased easily without engaging in extensive and problematic contract negotiations with heirs, etc). If there's room, I've tried to fill out old releases with additional material (I'm planning to fill out our old LPs of Almeda Riddle, Sarah Gunning and others in that way as soon as I can). I also have quite a bit of unissued material that is worth getting out, but those will emerge rather slowly due to constraints on my time. As soon as the demise of old Rounder became evident, I initially tried to get several of the larger folk music archives interested in the collection but the best I could arrange is that they'd store them away in boxes somewhere. So I might as well hold onto it all and dribble out new releases as I find time.
    I'd like to stronly stress in closing that, even though my NAT group worked without pay, Bill and Ken still provided substantial amounts of money for the support of our field work in the form of advance rotalties, travel expenses and equipment in a era where, to the best of my knowledge, no other institution offered comparable support on such a scale. Through that support, our little group managed to preserve in good fidelity a fair portion of late twentieth century folk music that would have otherwise been lost.


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold to Concord
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 12 May 11 - 01:55 AM

Thanks so much for the further information, Mark. Your work has been and will continue to be greatly appreciated, by our faithful little band, at least!

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold to Concord
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 24 Oct 13 - 01:21 PM

A Boston Globe editorial from Monday, Oct. 21:

Rounder Records: A loss for Massachusetts

Rounder Records quietly made the Boston area a hub of the roots music universe. Founded in the folk haven of Cambridge in 1970 by Ken Irwin, Marian Leighton Levy, and Bill Nowlin, the label grew to promote music ranging from bluegrass to South African township jive, cowboy classics to New Orleans crooners, prison songs to Celtic strings. Many of its artists became well-known in their genres, such as Bela Fleck, Buckwheat Zydeco, Irma Thomas, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and George Thorogood and the Destroyers. Some, like Alison Krauss and Robert Plant, won Grammy Awards. Pianist and singer Allen Toussaint is enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. All that history is being packed up from Rounder's headquarters in Burlington by its parent Concord Music Group and trucked to the country music capital of Nashville.

The move places Rounder closer to the artists and producers of the label's core Southern sounds. But it's a familiar corporate effort to consolidate quarters. What may be lost is the spirit of Rounder's eccentric beginnings, in which a trio of Northern college students with no industry experience lent a fresh ear to sounds around the globe. Such innovation was characteristic of Massachusetts, even without a music scene like Nashville's.


In a Facebook comment on the move, someone says that Concord was sold to an investment company a few months ago.

~ Becky in Long Beach


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold to Concord
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 24 Oct 13 - 01:24 PM

Here's the Globe's story on the move:

Rounder Records moving to Music City; Nashville central to songwriters, agents

By Deirdre Fernandes
The Boston GLobe
October 16, 2013

Rounder Records, which grew out of the 1970s Cambridge folk scene to become one of the marquee labels for roots and bluegrass music, is moving to Nashville early next year.

The company is relocating to the capital city of country music from Burlington to be closer to industry artists, songwriters, and agents with whom the company works regularly. Many of the artists that Rounder records are from the South.

"In spite of technology," said Scott Billington, Rounder's vice president of artists and repertoire and a 37-year employee of the company, "nothing beats a face-to-face meeting."

Rounder also sees an opportunity to expand into country music, finding lesser-known musicians and legacy artists who might now be on the fringe of the Nashville scene, said Ken Irwin, one of the three founders of the label.

The company, which moved to Burlington in 2007, has about 40 artists on its roster.

"It's a little different," said Irwin, who lives in Newburyport. "But there's a lot of potential."

Irwin, along with Marian Leighton Levy and Bill Nowlin, started Rounder in 1970 while still in college, selling their records at the Harvard Coop and by setting up tables at local blues and fiddler conventions. Rounder grew into one of the most successful independent record labels, producing records for artists such as George Thorogood, Buckwheat Zydeco, Bela Fleck, Steve Martin, and most famously Alison Krauss.

Krauss's collaboration with Robert Plant, "Raising Sand," won five Grammys in 2009, including album and record of the year.

The Boston area still has an energetic music scene, said Billington, "but it's not a place for business."

The announcement of Rounder's move comes just months after the label's parent company, Concord Music Group, was bought by a private equity firm, Wood Creek Capital Management of New Haven. Wood Creek, an affiliate of MassMutual Financial Group of Springfield, paid $115 million to $125 million, Billboard Magazine reported.

Los Angeles-based Concord acquired Rounder in 2010 for an undisclosed price.

Nashville represents a new chapter for a company whose history and musical tastes have been closely tied to Cambridge, its leftist politics, and the university scene, said Geoffrey Himes, a freelance writer who penned the liner notes to Rounder Records' 40th anniversary box set.

"It's a double-edged sword," Himes said of the move. "Rounder flourished for many years based in Boston; there's something to be said about not being part of the herd."

The label's founders will continue to be involved in the company, but will remain in the Boston area.

Irwin said he has frequently traveled to Nashville over the years to meet with industry officials and artists and will continue to do so.


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold to Concord
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 24 Oct 13 - 01:27 PM

Here's the take on it from Nashville:

Rounder Records plans move to Nashville; Historic label, a subsidiary of Concord Music Group, will likely hire in 2014

Nate Rau
The Tennessean
Oct. 11, 2013

Rounder Records, the independent roots music label that's home to a wide range of artists such as Alison Krauss, George Thorogood and Mary Chapin Carpenter, is moving its headquarters from suburban Boston to Nashville in 2014. And the label will be hiring when it arrives.

Rounder Records, which is a subsidiary of Concord Music Group, was founded in 1970 amid the folk music explosion in Cambridge, Mass., where it was headquartered until moving its operation to the Boston suburb of Burlington a few years ago.

"It struck me often that this was not a place business was being done," said Scott Billington, Rounder's vice president of artist and repertoire, who has been with the label since the late 1970s. "By moving to Nashville, we're going to one of the few places in the country where there is a vibrant music business."

Rounder currently has about 12 full-time employees and will be looking to fill some positions when it arrives early next year, said John Virant, the label's president. The first step is finding office space, and Rounder is searching the Gulch and other areas, Virant said, adding that the label has pondered a move to Nashville for many years.

"We've been coming to Nashville and spending time there forever," Virant said. "I've been going down there for 20 years. A number of our artists are there — Alison Krauss and others. Much of the history and heritage of our label is tied into Nashville in terms of the kinds of music we do — roots and Americana."

The label releases music from an array of genres, especially blues, folk, bluegrass, Cajun and Celtic. Albums from the likes of Woody Guthrie, Bela Fleck, Riders in the Sky and indie rockers Delta Spirit have been released on Rounder.

Nashville-based music historian Robert Oermann said it was important for the city to land Rounder because of the label's heritage.

And Oermann said it was an important get for another reason — the arrival of Rounder means that Concord Music Group, the fifth-largest label in the country and home to Paul McCartney, will also have a permanent presence in Nashville.

"It's probably the most important American roots label. They're home to George Thorogood and the Destroyers, Alison Krauss, innumerable bluegrass bands, most significant modern New Orleans records, blues records. It's a real, real important company."

Billington said being headquartered in Nashville would also make it simpler for the label to scout Music City artists to add to its roster. He hinted there are artists here the label is already pursuing, though he wouldn't be specific.

"I think it'll make it easier to develop relationships with artists and managers who are based there," said Billington, who is a Grammy-winning producer. "I have had quite a few discussions, and am getting to know more people.

"I've got a couple lines in the water I'm hoping will land. I can't tell you yet. ... It's a very exciting time."


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold to Concord
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 24 Oct 13 - 01:28 PM

My Facebook comment was that it kinda bugs me that American "roots" music is now defined as a strictly Southern sound. :-/

~ Becky in Long Beach


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Subject: RE: Rounder Records has been sold to Concord
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Oct 13 - 02:11 PM

Everyone seems to want to redefine their product to feature what is perceived as the 'hottest' niche going. Just like products on your grocery shelves, slow movers tend to get ignored.
The reason Rounder became so important was that they DIDN'T ignore much.

We shall see.


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