Back Porch Records is an Americana/Roots rock label owned by Universal Music Group. The label was started in 1997 as joint venture between Virgin Records and Milwaukee-based Narada Productions. The labels initial releases, including the popular I-10 Chronicles compilations, were produced by Virgin Records executives Ken Peterson and John Wooler. Roughly three years after launch of the labels, Peterson and Wooler left Virgin Records and the label became a full-time concern for Narada Productions.
The now Milwaukee-based label was run by Narada President Wesley Van Linda, who appointed Rich Denhart (VP of A&R) and Mike Bailey (Label Manager/A&R) to head Back Porch. In 2005, David Neidhart succeeded the retiring Van Linda as head of Narada Productions and, along with Denhart and Bailey, oversaw critically acclaimed projects by the Subdudes, Alejandro Escovedo, Over the Rhine, The Neville Brothers, John Hammond, Frank Black, Charlie Sexton, Shannon McNally, Carrie Rodriguez, and others.
In 2006, EMI closed the Narada offices in Milwaukee. A handful of Back Porch employees opted to stay with EMI and became part of the Blue Note Label Group (Blue Note Records, Manhattan Records, Narada Productions, Higher Octave Music, Back Porch Records) in New York, which was headed by industry veterans Bruce Lundvall and Ian Ralfini. Ralfini and Mike Bailey worked together to consolidate the artist rosters of Manhattan and Back Porch into one, going on to release celebrated projects from Emerson Hart, Rosanne Cash, Alejandro Escovedo, Van Morrison, Carrie Rodriguez, and others.
In 2009, Mike Bailey, who remained the labels one constant throughout its duration, left EMI. Back Porch is now a dormant imprint, the catalog of which remains part of EMI Music.
- ^ Label: Back Porch Records. Rateyourmusic.com. Accessed May 17, 2012.
- ^ Back Porch Records Official Website. Accessed May 17, 2012.