Rounder Records moving to Nashville

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    Rounder Records moving to Nashville

    Meant to mention this a few days ago, but for those of us that are fond of Rounder, this news is bittersweet.   We, in MA,  lose a piece of the music industry, and a long history of a label that grew and thrived here for many years.   But, I suppose, this is just another sign of the times, and they've taken the label as far as they can in this locale.  I wish them nothing but the best, even if our loss, is Nashville's gain.  

    Clips from the article in the BG:

    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.

    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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    Re: Rounder Records moving to Nashville

    You know,

    ...I have noticed that their records are really no "rounder" than anyone else's.

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: Rounder Records moving to Nashville

    That's really too bad.

    But it seems they need to go where the music they want to develop is.

     

    Perhaps another label can fill the void locally.

     

     
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    Re: Rounder Records moving to Nashville

    In response to ZILLAGOD's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    You know,

    ...I have noticed that their records are really no "rounder" than anyone else's.

    [/QUOTE]

    Is that code for, "they're in it for the money?"   

     

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: Rounder Records moving to Nashville

    In response to MattyScornD's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    That's really too bad.

    But it seems they need to go where the music they want to develop is.

     

    Perhaps another label can fill the void locally.

     

    [/QUOTE]

    As I said, it's bittersweet news.   They record in the country / bluegrass / rootsy realm, and must feel they can't grow here.    There were signs that their days were potentially numbered, I suppose.  

    There's no telling if another label can pick up where they left off, and even if they do, the local pride in Rounder can't be replaced.  :(     

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: Rounder Records moving to Nashville

    In response to yogafriend's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to MattyScornD's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    That's really too bad.

    But it seems they need to go where the music they want to develop is.

     

    Perhaps another label can fill the void locally.

     

    [/QUOTE]

    As I said, it's bittersweet news.   They record in the country / bluegrass / rootsy realm, and must feel they can't grow here.    There were signs that their days were potentially numbered, I suppose.  

    There's no telling if another label can pick up where they left off, and even if they do, the local pride in Rounder can't be replaced.  :(     

    [/QUOTE]

    I felt the same when Rykodisc was acquired many moons ago.  They were directly responsible for CD reissues of important artists like Zappa and local artists like Galaxie 500, whom I wouldn't have discovered otherwise.

     

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

    Re: Rounder Records moving to Nashville

    In response to yogafriend's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to ZILLAGOD's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    You know,

    ...I have noticed that their records are really no "rounder" than anyone else's.

    [/QUOTE]

    Is that code for, "they're in it for the money?"   

     

    [/QUOTE]


    We are about due for part V OR VI soon aren't we?

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: Rounder Records moving to Nashville

    In response to ZILLAGOD's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to yogafriend's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to ZILLAGOD's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    You know,

    ...I have noticed that their records are really no "rounder" than anyone else's.

    [/QUOTE]

    Is that code for, "they're in it for the money?"   

     

    [/QUOTE]


    We are about due for part V OR VI soon aren't we?

    [/QUOTE]

    Yes, but I resisted with this thread.  I hesitate to say the Rounder deal is just about money (although, money is always part of the equation, we're not naive here), as much as it's a sign of the times, and doing what's best for their business.   

    As for "Part V or VI" for our money series (hahah) ... I'd like to keep it going, so I'll give it some thought.    

     

     
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    Re: Rounder Records moving to Nashville

    In response to Harvey-Wallbanger's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    OUCH. They're selling out. Sad. Nashville has become a horror show. Sucks for anyone currently signed to that label.  

    [/QUOTE]

    Nashville ain't what it used to be.   Not sure how any of the current musical artists that are signed feel about the move.   That's a good question.   

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: Rounder Records moving to Nashville

    Editorial in the Boston Globe today.   As mentioned in a previous comment, I'm especially sympatico with the final two sentences.   Onward we go, as the "earth spins on its axis"  ... 

    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.

     
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