July 21, 2010, Nashville, TN and Franklin, TN: Beginning September 1, 2010, Naxos begins distribution of the Nashville-based roots music company, Compass Records Group.
The Compass Records Group was formed in 1994 by musicians Alison Brown and Garry West. Compass Records, the group's initial imprint, is considered by many to be the best of the new breed of roots-music labels: eclectic, sophisticated, and artist-friendly. With a catalog of over 250 releases, Compass Records has been described by Billboard Magazine as "one of the greatest independent labels to emerge in the last decade." The label's diverse catalog includes releases from Colin Hay, Solas, The Waifs, Altan, Catie Curtis, Victor Wooten, Kate Rusby, Alison Brown, Old Blind Dogs, Richard Julian, Dale Ann Bradley, and the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band.
In 2006, the Compass Records Group acquired the rights to the Green Linnet catalog. Founded over 30 years ago, Green Linnet has been the home to many Celtic artists worldwide and boasts over 200 recordings from many of the best known artists of the genre, including Niamh Parsons, Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill, Altan, Eileen Ivers, Cherish The Ladies, Lunasa, Kevin Burke, Old Blind Dogs, Patrick Street, and Tannahill Weavers. Green Linnet's world music imprint Xenophile includes several seminal world music artists such as Tarika, Inti-Illimani, Ad Vielle Que Pourra, and Samite.
In 2008, the Compass Records Group acquired Dublin, Ireland-based legacy Irish music label Mulligan Records, home of cornerstone releases from The Bothy Band, Andy Irvine & Paul Brady, and Matt Molloy; with that acquisition, the Compass Records Group became the largest catalog of Celtic music in the world.
Garry West, Compass's co-founder, commented, "We are tremendously excited by our new relationship with Naxos of America. It's a new day at record retail, and specialization--whether through the artist/fan relationship or the distributor/retailer relationship--is the way forward. Naxos's deep and varied account base coupled with their knowledge, service, efficiency, and infrastructure, makes them particularly well-suited to deal with the changing marketplace, and a perfect fit for the Compass Records Group of labels and artists."
Naxos CEO, Jim Selby, added, "Naxos of America is delighted to embark upon this new relationship with Compass Records Group. Compass's intelligent and refined approach to recording, promoting, and exploring the heritage of roots music makes them leaders in their field. We believe that the partnership between our two vibrant companies will forge new ground in the world of independent music promotion and distribution."
Paula Mlyn, Naxos of America
About the Author
I've been listening to classical music most of my life, starting with the classical excerpts on The Big John and Sparkie radio show in the early Fifties and the purchase of my first classical recording, The 101 Strings Play the Classics, around 1956. In the late Sixties I began teaching high school English and Film Studies as well as becoming interested in hi-fi, my audio ambitions graduating me from a pair of AR-3 speakers to the Fulton J's recommended by The Stereophile's J. Gordon Holt. In the early Seventies, I began writing for a number of audio magazines, including Audio Excellence, Audio Forum, The Boston Audio Society Speaker, The American Record Guide, and from 1976 until 2008, The $ensible Sound, for which I served as Classical Music Editor. Today, I'm retired from teaching and using a pair of VMPS RM40s. In addition to writing the Classical Candor blog, I served as the Movie Review Editor for the Web site Movie Metropolis (moviemet.com, formerly DVDTOWN) from 1997-2013. Music and movies. Life couldn't be better.
It is the goal of Classical Candor to promote the enjoyment of classical music. Other forms of music come and go--minuets, waltzes, ragtime, blues, jazz, bebop, country-western, rock-'n'-roll, heavy metal, rap, and the rest--but classical music has been around for hundreds of years and will continue to be around for hundreds more. It's no accident that every major city in the world has one or more symphony orchestras.
When I was young, I heard it said that only intellectuals could appreciate classical music, that it required dedicated concentration to appreciate. Nonsense. I'm no intellectual, and I've always loved classical music. Anyone who's ever seen and enjoyed Disney's Fantasia or a Looney Tunes cartoon playing Rossini's William Tell Overture or Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 can attest to the power and joy of classical music, and that's just about everybody.
So, if Classical Candor can expand one's awareness of classical music and bring more joy to one's life, more power to it. It's done its job.
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