ECR Music Group

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ECR Music Group
Founded 2002 (2002)
Founder Blake Morgan
Status Active
Distributor(s) Burnside Distribution
Genre alternative rock, soul, emo/punk, classical, pop rock, adult contemporary
Country of origin United States
Location Manhattan, New York
Official website

ECR Music Group is an American independent music company based in Manhattan. It was founded by recording artist and producer Blake Morgan in 2002 as record label Engine Company Records. Re-branded as ECR Music Group in late 2012, it now includes a roster of labels and artists.

Artists have included Janita, James McCartney, indie band Shimmerplanet, Mike Errico, Blake Morgan, Lesley Gore, David Cloyd, Melissa Giges, and others. Morgan produces the releases, and genres vary significantly. Despite releasing only a few albums a year, in 2005 the label landed five albums in the Top 20 simultaneously, including Lesley Gore's Ever Since and Rick Henrickson's Reaching For A Gun.[1] The label continues to be active, and recently released Haunted[2] by Finnish singer-songwriter Janita,[3] The Complete EP Collection by James McCartney,[4] and I Could Disappear by David Cloyd.

ECR Music Group is distributed by Burnside Distribution. As of 2012, labels include Big Pop, Curb Cut, Dylanna/MPL, Evergreene Music, Engine Company Records, Hook & Ladder, MaybeNot, and Starfish Music.[5]


Engine Company Records logo from 2011

ECR Music was founded as Engine Company Records in 2002 by singer-songwriter and producer Blake Morgan. In 1996 Morgan had signed a seven-record deal with Phil Ramone's N2K Sony/Red label. However, he quickly became frustrated being on a corporate label. After his first tour he found a loophole in the contract.[6] Despite being the label's most successful artist at the time, he told Ramone he wanted out of the deal.[1] Morgan then began going to bands and artists he was recording at the time, and pitched an independent label where they would have control over their own material and output.[7] He officially launched Engine Company Records in Manhattan, New York City[6] in 2002, and remains CEO and owner.[7]

It announced the official launch date of the rebranding as October 4, 2012. According to the company, ECR Music Group consists of an interconnected set of businesses and distinct resources, each aimed at helping its artists realize long-term creative and commercial success. Uniquely, the company achieves these goals while operating under an elemental principle, unprecedented in the music world: All ECR artists and labels own 100% of their master recordings.[8]

As of 2012, labels include Hook & Ladder, MaybeNot, Starfish Music, Engine Company Records, Big Pop Records, Curb Cut Records, Dylanna Music/MPL, and EverGreene Music.[5] Similar to Rick Rubin's relationship with American Recordings, Morgan produces the music for the label. Genres have ranged from emo/punk, to alternative rock, to classical.[7] Recordings have taken place in locations such as The Hit Factory in New York and Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas.[1] Among artists and producers that have worked with the label are James McCartney, Lesley Gore, Janita, David Cloyd, Mike Errico, Patti Rothberg, David Kahne, Phil "Butcher Bros." Nicolo, and Terry Manning.

Notable releases[edit]

In the first year of its existence, the label released four albums by artists such as indie band Shimmerplanet and professional musician Mike Errico.[9]

In summer of 2005 the label landed five albums in the Top 20 simultaneously, including Lesley Gore's Ever Since and Rick Henrickson's Reaching For A Gun.[1] Gore's first album of new material since the 1970s, Ever Since was recorded with Morgan. The album received extensive national radio coverage and acclaim from The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and Billboard Magazine. Several songs from Ever Since have been used in television shows and films, and the track "Words We Don't Say" was featured in an episode of The L Word.[5]

Morgan's solo album Burning Daylight was released on the label on July 12, 2005. Co-produced with Grammy Award-winner Phil "Butcher Bros." Nicolo, it reached #1 on eMusic's album charts. The bonus track of his cover of Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed" became the most successful track in the history of the label, and climbed high on iTunes charts.[1]

The Lesley Gore rendition of his song "Better Angels" was featured in the 2005 season premiere of CSI: Miami.[1][10] In 2006 his song "It's Gone," also performed by Gore, was featured in the final scene and closing credits of the independent film Flannel Pajamas. The film was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. On March 18, 2009, Morgan's track "Better Angels" was featured in MTV's The Real World: Brooklyn.[1]

In June 2008, the label released 20th Century Duos for Violin and Cello with works by Zoltán Kodály, Roger Sessions and Maurice Ravel, which received a glowing review for performance and engineering in The New York Times.[11] Two years later, following releases by David Cloyd, Melissa Giges, and Morgenstern & Adkins, singer-songwriter Janita[3] released her solo LP Haunted[2] on the label.[12]

Singer-songwriter and producer David Cloyd signed to the label in 2008, and released his debut LP Unhand Me, You Fiend! in 2009.[13] The album peaked at #1 on eMusic's Album Charts,[14] and according to a review, "took the indie rock scene by storm."[13] His second album, I Could Disappear, included solo versions of his debut album, with Cloyd on vocals, piano, and guitar.[15] He released a cover of Paul McCartney's 1971 song "Dear Boy" in September 2011.[16] As of 2013, he is Executive Vice President of Creative Operations at ECR Music Group.[14]

Available Light, James McCartney's first official release as both a performer and songwriter, was released electronically by the label in 2010.[17][18] It was produced by David Kahne and Paul McCartney, and received positive reviews.[19] The label released his second EP, Close At Hand, in 2011.[20] The Complete EP Collection, which combines the previous two EPs along with five new original tracks and two new covers,[4] was released in late 2011.[20]

In late 2012 Engine Company Records was re-launched and rebranded as ECR Music Group, with Engine Company Records remaining an imprint of the now larger umbrella company. At this point the company's label roster included Big Pop, Curb Cut, Dylanna/MPL, Evergreene Music, Hook & Ladder, MaybeNot, Somme, and Starfish Music. It announced the official launch date for the rebranding as October 4, 2012.[21] According to the company, "ECR Music Group consists of an interconnected set of businesses and distinct resources, each aimed at helping its artists and labels realize long-term creative and commercial success. Uniquely, the company achieves these goals while operating under an elemental principle, unprecedented in the music world: All ECR artists and labels own one-hundred percent of their master recordings.[8]


The following is a list of artists, current as of January 2012.[5]


Catalog No. Artist Title Year
ECR0112001 Jordan Berlant Born To Be Revealed 2002
ECR0111002 Shimmerplanet Welcome To Shimmerplanet 2002
ECR0201003 Mike Errico Tonight I Drink You All 2002
ECR0206005 Robin Robinson Copacetic 2002
ECR0210006 Puzzleball Giant In Japan 2003
ECR0302007 Laura Warshauer Laura Warshauer 2003
ECR0305008 Rick Henrickson Reaching For A Gun 2003
ECR0312010 Eyelevel Elevator Plans 2004
ECR0411011 Jonathan Ellinghaus Leave It All Behind 2004
ECR0506012 Lesley Gore Ever Since 2005
ECR0507013 Blake Morgan Burning Daylight 2005
ECR0604015 Blake Morgan Silencer 2006
ECR0202004 Various Artists Anywhere (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) 2007
ECR0803016 Gil Morgenstern & Darrett Adkins 20th Century Duos for Violin and Cello 2008
ECR0901017 David Cloyd Unhand Me, You Fiend! 2009
ECR0902018 Melissa Giges Evident 2009
ECR1006019 David Cloyd I Could Disappear 2010
ECR1007020 Janita Haunted 2010
ECR1007020-S1 Janita "Do We Learn" 2010
ECR1109001 David Cloyd "Dear Boy" (cover) 2011[23]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Blake Morgan: Home". Engine Company Records. Retrieved 2011-11-22. 
  2. ^ a b "Janita = Discography". Discogs. Retrieved 2011-11-28. 
  3. ^ a b Rizik, Chris. "Janita Biography". SoulTracks. Retrieved 2011-11-28. 
  4. ^ a b Fuentes, Catherine (October 20, 2011). "Exclusive Song Premiere: James McCartney's Cheerful Pop Track 'Angel'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Home". Engine Company Records. Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  6. ^ a b Monger, James Christopher. "Blake Morgan Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-11-22. 
  7. ^ a b c "Featured Record Label Owner: Blake Organ". Unified Manufacturing. Retrieved 2011-11-22. 
  8. ^ a b "ECR Music Group". Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  9. ^ Goldenberg, Lindsay. "All In". Maxim. Retrieved 2007-06-11. 
  10. ^ Collar, Matt. "Silencer: Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-11-22. 
  11. ^ Tommasini, Anthony (June 1, 2008). "Turns From Indie Label, Piano Pair and Philip Glass". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-11-22. 
  12. ^ "Janita - home". Engine Company Records. Retrieved 2011-11-28. 
  13. ^ a b McElhaney, Carla (March 7, 2010). "An Interview with David Cloyd". Retrieved 2011-12-28. 
  14. ^ a b "David Cloyd". Engine Company Records. Retrieved 2011-12-28. 
  15. ^ "David Cloyd: I Could Disappear". Allmusic. June 29, 2010. Retrieved 2011-12-28. 
  16. ^ "David Cloyd: "Dear Boy"". Allmusic. September 13, 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-28. 
  17. ^ Parker, Lyndsey (10 Sep 2010). "Apple Not Far from the Tree: Paul McCartney's Son to Release Debut EP". Yahoo Music News. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  18. ^ Weiss, David (September 19, 2010). "James McCartney Releasing "Available Light": 5 Questions for David Kahne, Co-Producer & Mixer". SonicScoop. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  19. ^ Friedman, Roger (September 21, 2010). "Paul McCartney’s Son, James, Releases First Album". Parade. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  20. ^ a b "James McCartney Biography". Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  21. ^ Weiss, David (August 1, 2012). "Engine Company Records (NYC) Expands, Relaunches as ECR Music Group". Sonic Scoop. Retrieved 2012-09-12. 
  22. ^ "Engine Company Records Announces Its Re-Launch And Expansion As ECR Music Group". HM Magazine. -09-12.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help); Check date values in: |date= (help)
  23. ^ "Interview: Blake Morgan". Such Cool Stuff. Retrieved 2011-11-22. 

External links[edit]