Red House Records

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Red House Records is a Grammy-winning independent folk, roots, and Americana record label. The label was originally created in 1981 by Greg Brown as a method to distribute his own music.

Origin[edit]

The label is named for a farmhouse in Iowa where Brown was living when he started it. After Brown's albums 44 & 66 and The Iowa Waltz were released in 1981 and 1982, it briefly went dormant until he met Bob Feldman in 1983. Feldman took over operation of the record label, while Brown focused on his musical endeavors, as he had just signed on to regularly perform on the radio program A Prairie Home Companion.[1] Feldman was known for his business philosophy of wanting "to provide a home and environment in which creative artists can make albums in total freedom—without interference from mogul types just looking for the next hit single." [2] The first album released on the newly restarted label was Brown's In the Dark with You.

Over the next few years, the label focused on publishing work by musicians in the upper Midwest, including Spider John Koerner, Prudence Johnson, Peter Ostroushko, Rio Nido, Jorma Kaukonen and John Gorka. The label weathered difficult conditions as the music industry transitioned from vinyl to compact discs, and started signing established artists from across the U.S. Utah Phillips, Tom Paxton, Norman Blake, Eliza Gilkyson, Loudon Wainwright III, Robin and Linda Williams, Cliff Eberhardt, and Ramblin' Jack Elliott are among the dozens of performers who have released music through Red House. Elliot's South Coast won a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album in 1996. Eberhardt's album, The High Above and the Down Below, released by Red House in 2007, was named one of the TOP 5 of 2007 by USA Today. Other recordings from the label have won about a dozen Indie Awards from the Association for Independent Music (AFIM) and the National Association of Independent Record Distributors (NAIRD). The label has released a number of compilation albums, including A Nod to Bob, which is described by Red House as a tribute from a Minnesota label to a favorite native son.

Feldman continued to head the company until his health deteriorated in late 2005. A few weeks after leaving work, he died on January 11, 2006 at the age of 56.[3]

Current records[edit]

Red House Records continues its focus on putting out music from artists they love to work with. The label continues to operate independently, putting out albums from folk and roots icons like Jorma Kaukonen, Eliza Gilkyson, Lucy Kaplansky, Robin & Linda Williams, Bill Staines and John Gorka, to developing newer acts in the roots world such as The Wailin' Jennys, Storyhill, The Pines, Meg Hutchinson, Danny Schmidt, Carrie Elkin, Drew Nelson and more! Never afraid to push the boundaries of a genre, Red House has released Steady As She Goes from the legendary rock group Hot Tuna and delved into the jazz world with Lock My Heart, a stunning jazz record from Heather Masse (of The Wailin' Jennys) and jazz legend Dick Hyman. Red House Records has dipped into the world-music scene How the Light Gets In, a critically acclaimed instrumental album from Wise-Magraw (Marcus Wise and Dean Magraw) as well as 2013's Billboard-charting El Rancho Azul, from Austin's King of Honky-Tonk Dale Watson.

Red House Records marks its 30th anniversary in 2013 and continues to release albums from award-winning songwriters and musicians.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen (2002-11-24). "Industry Profile: Bob Feldman". CelebrityAccess. Retrieved 2006-04-08. 
  2. ^ Paste Staff (2002-11-24). "Red House Records President Bob Feldman Dies at 56". Paste Magazine. Retrieved 2010-11-25. 
  3. ^ Bream, Jon (2006-01-12). "Folk-music impresario Bob Feldman dies". Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota: Star Tribune. Retrieved 2006-04-08. 

External links[edit]