The little label that could and did and became the biggest and best indie label, especially for bluegrass music, is relocating their offices to Nashville, Tennessee. Rounder is now a subsidiary of the Concord Music Group and was based in Boston, Massachusetts. It was 43 years ago (October 22, 1970) that three unique individual college students came together to create something wonderful. Ken Irwin, Bill Nowlin and Marian Leighton-Levy created what became the premiere indie lable that covers a broad realm of musical styles. What started as an Americana or roots label has evolved into one of the most important independent labels in music today.
Rounder Records was formed when these college students released the first of many albums to follow. George Pegram (0001) and the Spark Gap Wonder Boys (0002) started the flow of music that has seen over 3500 releases. Releases that include bluegrass, blues, folk, world, jazz and many other genres. In 1971, Rounder released their first bluegrass album. Joe Val, Rounder 0003. The indie scene hasn't been the same since. The world owes a big round of gratitude for the inspiration of Rounder and its founders.
Rounder is a label that bluegrass fans are familiar with. This is the label that has not only recorded but also launched the careers of such bluegrass artists as award winning Alison Krauss, Rhonda Vincent, The Grascals, Dailey & Vincent, Steep Canyon Rangers, Blue Highway, J.D Crowe & The New South, James King, Doyle Lawson, Claire Lynch, Del McCoury, Tony Rice and others. These artists have set the bar for bluegrass quality and the measure of what constitutes quality bluegrass today.
Other genres such as the folk scene have been equally represented by Rounder. Top folk talent such as Nanci Griffith, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Carr & Alan Munde, The Damnwells, Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater, Rosalie Sorrels, Mark Schatz, Martha Wainwright and scores more have recorded for the label.
Rounder started at the right time and as such was able to experience the entire realm of media available from LPs, 8-tracks, cassettes, and CD to DVDs and Internet distributed music. The label even offers their own Rounder Radio on the net playing roots music all day and night on several channels. Rounder is the complete music label and is always looking forward for the artists, the customer and, of course, the label itself.
Much of the music that the label represents is rooted in the Nashville area as are many of the label's artists. It is fitting that the label would move from their northern home to a warmer climate for both the artists as well as to a more music oriented setting. As one of the industries most historic and known names in roots and Americana music, Nashville will be a good new home for the label.
Key Rounder staff members will lead the Nashville office. These will include Rounder’s creative and marketing team including President John Virant, VP A&R Scott Billington, Sr. Director of Promotion Howard Frank, and Project Manager Liza Levy will lead Rounder’s team in Nashville. The label will maintain offices in Boston and publicity in New York City.