LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The Concord Music Group anounced acquisition of storied Massachusetts-based independent music label Rounder Records. Rounder, celebrating its 40th year as the world’s leading American roots music label, is a major force in a broad range of musical genres including bluegrass, Americana, singer-songwriter, Cajun & Zydeco and children’s music. Rounder possesses an extraordinary recorded catalog and current artist roster including bluegrass superstar Alison Krauss, singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter, banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck, actor/musician Steve Martin, jazz singer Madeleine Peyroux, the iconic Robert Plant, notable children’s artist/activist Raffi and country legend Willie Nelson, to name just a few. The acquisition of Rounder and its collection of over 3,000 masters combined with Concord Music Group’s catalog of more than 10,000 master recordings strengthens Concord’s status as one of the world’s most significant independent record companies, with a leadership position in multiple genres.
Rounder’s creative and marketing functions will continue to be based in Boston and its owners and founders Ken Irwin, Bill Nowlin and Marian Leighton Levy will remain active with the company in a creative and advisory capacity. The company’s senior management will also remain in place: John Virant will continue as the President of Rounder; Sheri Sands will stay on as General Manager. Operating synergies will be achieved by combining the sales, administrative and support functions of the two companies.
Rounder, founded in 1970 by Cambridge folkies, Irwin, Nowlin, and Leighton Levy, has been at the center of nearly all of the American roots revivals that have reshaped the music world in the last 40 years. The self-titled 1975 record by J.D. Crowe and the New South (featuring future stars Ricky Skaggs, Tony Rice and Jerry Douglas) revitalized bluegrass and inspired such modern superstars as Rounder’s own Alison Krauss, who is the most decorated female artist in the history of the Grammy Awards and has also sold over eight million albums and DVDs. Her collaboration with Led Zeppelin front-man Robert Plant on the album Raising Sand emerged as one of 2007’s major critical and word-of-mouth sales success stories. The album was RIAA certified platinum in early 2008 and won five Grammy Awards including Album and Record of the Year in 2009. An unequaled leader in the preservation and re-release of precious historic recordings, Rounder has brought the music of Jelly Roll Morton, Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers and Mississippi John Hurt back to vibrant life. In addition, their dazzling work on the epic anthologies from the Library of Congress and the Alan Lomax Collection has been universally respected and admired. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers