Bloodshot Records

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Bloodshot Records
Bloodshot Records logo - vector.png
Founded 1993 (1993)
Founder Nan Warshaw
Rob Miller
Eric Babcock (former partner)
Genre Alternative country
Insurgent country
Country of origin United States
Location Chicago, Illinois
United States
Official website

Bloodshot Records is an independent record label based in Chicago, Illinois that specializes in roots-infused indie rock, punk rock, and alternative country.


Bloodshot Records was founded in 1993 by Nan Warshaw,[1] Rob Miller and (former partner) Eric Babcock.[2][3]Washaw and Miller met in 1992 when they were both DJing for Wednesday country nights at a Chicago bar called Crash Palace (now called Delilah's)[4]The label began as "a list of bands scrawled on a cocktail napkin" in a bar, and now has released over 200 albums.[5]The first release was a compilation called For A Life of Sin: A Compilation of Insurgent Chicago Country (1994) that Warshaw, Miller and Babcock self-funded.[6][7]The album includes notable artists, such as The Bottle Rockets and Robbie Fulks, both of whom are still active on the label. Because the album was a compilation, it was easier for Bloodshot to put on release shows in multiple cities with four of five bands on that night's line up. "That allowed us to make a much bigger splash for a little record than we ever could have otherwise," says Warshaw. "It was a lot of these bands' first release so they bought copies from us to sell at their shows."[4]

A year later, the label released their second compilation album Hell Bent (1995). The album includes band from all over the country, and Bloodshot continued to put on events showcasing the bands involved with the making of the record."[4] "We were living hand-to-mouth for the first two or three years," says Miller. "We didn't put out a new record until that last one had paid for itself. We had to stick by our guns and establish with media, radio, and booking agents that this punk-and-country thing could exist and develop a critical language around it."[8][9] The name of the music genre was a point of contention, with some grouping the unique, hard-to-classify singer-songwriter music under the alternative country and some grouping it under the Americana label.[10]

Bloodshot recently released their 20th anniversary album, While No One Was Looking: Toasting 20 Years of Bloodshot Records (2014). The album is a 2-CD set with 38 artists, "including Andrew Bird, Blitzen Trapper and Superchunk covering songs by some of Bloodshot's finest releases, from Ryan Adams and the Old 97's to Cory Branan and Justin Townes Earle."[11]

Artist roster[edit]

Some of the early artists who started out on Bloodshot went on to sign with larger major record labels, specifically Old 97's and Ryan Adams. Ryan Adams continues to have the best selling album on the label with the 2000 release "Heartbreaker," having sold almost 500,000 copies. [12] Neko Case had a licensing deal with Bloodshot Records in the United States and Mint Records in Canada before she signed with ANTI-.[13]

Music on Bloodshot Records[edit]


Listed alphabetically

‡ denotes active Bloodshot artists

Bloodshot Compilations & Various Artists[edit]

Bloodshot Records began its life as a label by releasing compilations.[14]

  • For A Life of Sin: A Compilation of Insurgent Chicago Country (1994)
  • Hell Bent: Insurgent Country Volume 2 (1995)
  • Nashville, The Other Side of the Alley (1996)
  • Straight Outta Boone County (1997)
  • Poor Little Knitter on the Road: A Tribute to the Knitters (1999)
  • Down to the Promised Land: 5 Years of Bloodshot Records (2000)
  • The Bottle Let Me Down (2002)
  • Making Singles, Drinking Doubles (2002)
  • The Slaughter Rule (Original Movie Soundtrack) (2003)
  • Hard Headed Woman: A Celebration of Wanda Jackson (2004)
  • For A Decade of Sin: 11 Years of Bloodshot Records (2005)
  • Bloodied But Unbowed: The Soundtrack (2006)
  • Just One More: A Musical Tribute to Larry Brown (2007)
  • No One Got Hurt: Bloodshot's 15th Anniversary @ The Hideout Block Party (2011)
  • While No One Was Looking: Toasting 20 Years of Bloodshot Records (2014)

Bloodshot Revival[edit]

Bloodshot Revival/Soundies: A series of historic transcription acetate recordings that were leased to radio stations for airplay but never sold at the time of recording.[15]



The label had planned to release a 10th anniversary DVD (Bloodied But Unbowed: Bloodshot Records' Life In The Trenches) in 2004, but it was not released until late 2006.[16][17]

  • 2006: Bloodied But Unbowed: Bloodshot Records' Life In The Trenches - 10th Anniversary DVD


Bloodshot puts on a free bar-b-que and music day-long showcase at both Austin, Texas' SXSW and New York City's CMJ music festivals yearly.[18][19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Meet an FMC fan: Nan Warshaw of Bloodshot Records". Future of Music Coalition. 20 August 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  2. ^ Chamberlain, Dave (11 April 2002). "So you wanna start a record label? Bloodshot Records shares the inside information on starting--and keeping--a music business.". New City Chicago. Archived from the original on 10 February 2003. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  3. ^ Chipps, William (17 September 2009). "Bloodshot Records: An Indie Music Label’s Take On Sponsorship". Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c Karpowicz, Katie (November 20, 2014). "Bloodshot Records Celebrates 20 Years: An Oral History Of Its Beginnings". Chicagoist. Retrieved October 2, 2015. 
  5. ^ Kot, Greg (28 December 2014). "Bloodshot duo hits 20 without compromise". Chicago Tribune. 
  6. ^ Finn, Timothy (12 October 2000). "Country Confessions: Oh, it's country time again for industry". The Kansas City Star. Archived from the original on 18 January 2001. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  7. ^ Smith-Lindall, Anders (11 October 2000). "Sweethearts of the Rodeo: Chicago transplants Neko Case and Kelly Hogan carry the torch for 21st-century twang". City Pages (Minneapolis/St. Paul). Archived from the original on 4 February 2001. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  8. ^ Margasak, Peter (15 June 2000). "Bloodshot Eyes the Future". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  9. ^ "Bloodshot Records Week // Rob Miller on 10 Years Since Heartbreaker". The Line Of Best Fit. 14 September 2010. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  10. ^ Wener, Ben (29 July 2001). "Americana, what art thou? Pop: The word has replaced alt-country and No Depression as the new label for roots music - but does that mean it's a real genre?". The Orange County Register. Archived from the original on 5 August 2001. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  11. ^ Sullivan, James (November 14, 2014). "Bloodshot Records Celebrates 20 Years of 'Insurgent Country' With Double Album". Retrieved September 11, 2015. 
  12. ^ Kot, Greg (28 December 2014). "Bloodshot duo hits 20 without compromise". Chicago Tribune. 
  13. ^ Hill, David (23 August 2001). "A Special Case: Neko Case has yet to make the Opry, but her reputation as a new country pioneer is grand.". Denver Westword. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  14. ^ "Label Spotlight: Bloodshot Records". plug in music. 11 August 2008. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  15. ^ "Bloodshot Revival at Bloodshot Records". Bloodshot Records. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  16. ^ Carlozo, Louis R. (7 November 2006). "Bloodshot DVD celebrates label that's insurgent". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  17. ^ Perlich, Tim (19–26 October 2006). "Bloodied but unbowed". Now (Toronto). Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  18. ^ Bishop, Robert (29 March 2001). "Split Decision". The Pitch (Kansas City). Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  19. ^ "Bloodshot Records Week Interview // Elia Einhorn (Scotland Yard Gospel Choir) interviews Jon Langford". The Line Of Best Fit. 15 September 2010. Retrieved 4 May 2013. 

External links[edit]