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
John J. Puccio, Editor, Publisher, Reviewer
Understand, I'm just an everyday guy reacting to something I love. And I've been doing it for a very long time, my appreciation for classical music starting with the musical excerpts on The Big John and Sparkie radio show in the early Fifties and the purchase of my first 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 use a pair of bi-amped VMPS RM40s loudspeakers for my listening. In addition to writing the Classical Candor blog, I served as the Movie Review Editor for the Web site Movie Metropolis (formerly DVDTown) from 1997-2013. Music and movies. Life couldn't be better.
Karl W. Nehring, Contributing Reviewer
For over 20 years I was the editor of The $ensible Sound magazine and a regular contributor to its classical review pages. I would not presume to present myself as some sort of expert on music, but I have a deep love for and appreciation of many types of music, "classical" especially, and have listened to thousands of recordings over the years, many of which still line the walls of my listening room (and occasionally spill onto the furniture and floor, much to the chagrin of my long-suffering wife). I have always taken the approach as a reviewer that what I am trying to do is simply to point out to readers that I have come across a recording that I have found of interest, a recording that I think they might appreciate my having pointed out to them. I suppose that sounds a bit simple-minded, but I know I appreciate reading reviews by others that do the same for me--point out recordings that I think I might enjoy.
For readers who might be wondering about what kind of system I am using to do my listening, as of right now it comprises an Onkyo C-7030 CD player, Legacy Audio High Current preamplifier, AVA FET Valve 550hc or Legacy Audio PowerBloc2 amplifier, and a pair of Legacy Audio Focus SE speakers augmented by a Legacy Point One subwoofer.
Bryan Geyer, Technical Analyst
I initially embraced classical music in 1954 when I mistuned my car radio and heard the Heifetz recording of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto. That inspired me to board the new "hi-fi" DIY bandwagon. In 1957 I joined one of the pioneer semiconductor makers and spent the next 32 years marketing transistors and microcircuits to military contractors. Home audio DIY projects remained a personal passion until 1989 when we created our own new photography equipment company. I later (2012) revived my interest in two channel audio when we "downsized" our life and determined that mini-monitors + paired subwoofers were a great way to mate fine music with the space constraints of condo living.
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. --John J. Puccio
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