Billboard reported today what we are so happy to announce – that Compass Records Group has acquired legendary folk record label, Red House Records.
NASHVILLE, TN, November 7, 2017 – Compass Records Group has announced the addition of Red House Records to its label family.
The 34-year-old St Paul, MN based imprint is an iconic brand in Americana and folk music and has been home to a long list of cornerstone artists of the genre, including The Wailin’ Jennys, John Gorka, The Cactus Blossoms, Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams, Eliza Gilkyson, Lucy Kaplansky, Robin and Linda Williams, and Greg Brown, the legendary Iowa-based singer/songwriter whose debut album launched the label.
Compass co-founders Alison Brown and Garry West first met Red House founder, Bob Feldman at a conference in 1995 in the early days of their label. Both were struck by his transparency and willingness to share his inside knowledge of the business, and over the next ten years their mentoring relationship evolved into a mutual friendship, with Feldman and West often serving as an advisor and sounding board for each other.
West said: “When we first launched Compass we were really learning the business from the ground up. Of all the people from whom we would seek advice, Bob was always the most straightforward and would tell it like it was. His support was immeasurable and we were extremely grateful for his willingness to take us under his wing. I have to admit it gave me a great feeling of accomplishment when, over time, Bob started calling me to compare notes.”
Adds Brown, “It is incredibly meaningful to us to be able to carry Red House’s legacy into the future. We are really excited to work with such a fine roster of artists and are committed to keeping Red House’s brand of folk and Americana music alive.”
Since Feldman’s death in 2006, his widow, Beth Friend, has been overseeing Red House operations. “It was time for me to move on to the next chapter of my life, and I believe Compass is the place for Red House Records to continue to grow and flourish.”
Officially established in 1983 by Feldman after meeting singer/songwriter Greg Brown, Red House went on to become one of the most iconic labels on the folk and Americana scene. Under Feldman’s guidance, up to his untimely death in 2006, Red House received indie music awards, numerous GRAMMY nominations and a GRAMMY award for Ramblin’ Jack Elliot’s album, South Coast, in 1995. Feldman himself became widely recognized as a leading advocate for roots music and a leader in the independent label community.
2017 has been a busy year for Red House, with releases from Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams and Minnesota songwriter Charlie Parr. Most recently, Red House released the long-awaited follow-up album, Fifteen, from contemporary folk darlings The Wailin’ Jennys. The new project, which streeted on October 27, was the # 2 album on iTunes’ Singer/Songwriter chart and # 31 on the iTunes album chart. First quarter 2018 will include a new studio release from critically acclaimed singer/songwriter John Gorka among others.
Compass Records was founded in 1994 by Grammy-winning musician Alison Brown and bassist/producer Garry West. The label group has over 600 titles in its catalog from a diverse artist roster including Colin Hay, The Infamous Stringdusters, Shannon McNally, Mike Farris, bluegrass luminaries Bobby Osborne and Claire Lynch and label co-founder Alison Brown, and is also home to two seminal Irish catalogs, Green Linnet and Mulligan Records, both acquired in the mid-2000s. Compass’ latest signings include NYC indie darling Elizabeth Ziman (Elizabeth and the Catapult) and rising bluegrass/Americana star Molly Tuttle.