Thursday, March 26, 2009

Record Labels: Sugar Hill Records

Tony Rice: Church Street Blues

The Lonesome River Band: When You Go Walking


Bluegrass label Sugar Hill Records (not to be confused with rap label Sugar Hill Records) was formed at the tail end of the seventies; in their long tenure as perhaps the most significant label producing 'grass almost exclusively (and its subgenres and hybrids, including folk-grass, jamgrass, and countrygrass), they've supported a huge cadre of artists, from Doc, Dolly, Townes and Willie to Tim O'Brien, Jerry Douglas, Guy Clark, and bands Hot Rize, The Seldom Scene, Nickel Creek and the Bad Livers.

Though the label lost its independent status when it was acquired by the Welk Group in 1998, and is now part of a conglomerate including mini-major pop label Vanguard, Sugar Hill has continued to attract the best and brightest of its genre; in 2006 and 2007, its artists won back-to-back Grammys in the traditional folk and country instrumental categories. Here's a pair of tunes from their 2006 retrospective box set, which revisits the first 25 years of the label's history through 81 well-selected tracks.

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