Compass Records Group Announces October 30th Releases

August 28, 2012



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Compass Records Group Announces October 30th Release
New releases include Irish singer-songwriter Luka Bloom and N. American distribution of Navigator’s supermassive Bellowhead and UK festival favorites The
Luka Bloom
This New Morning
Compass 4586
A master interpreter, Bloom has continued to balance original songs with reinventions of tunes by a diverse range of songwriters. On THIS NEW MORNING, Bloom continues to shake up the folk genre with clever chord sequences and arrangements while still retaining folk’s core values of story-telling and commentary. Bloom is primarily known in Ireland as a solo guitar and mic man. Here, he has gathered together a Who’s Who from the Irish folk pantheon. THIS NEW MORNING sounds like a band album—and what a band: Glen Hansard, Donal Lunny, Iarla Ó Lionaird, Eimear Quinn, Steve Cooney and Conor Byrne. The playing is magnificent throughout. Bloom co-produced this record with his old sparring partner, Brian Masterson, and together they have created an album of outstanding beauty, sensitivity and fun.


Navigator 073

Bigger, bolder, brassier and more brazen than ever, Bellowhead blaze back with their mighty new album, BROADSIDE. Their third album Hedonism was the highest- selling independently released traditional folk album of all time, yet the new one BROADSIDE (a title that rather cunningly melds an early form of printed song sharing with an appropriate nautical reference to firepower) is sure to eclipse it with its thrilling arrangements and non-stop party spirit.
Like Hedonism, BROADSIDE is produced by the great John Leckie, who has previously worked closely with the Stone Roses and Radiohead; he has again effectively captured the explosiveness of Bellowhead, incorporating the top-notch jazz, world, folk and classical musicians of the gung-ho 11-piece line-up in a swathe of brass, strings, squeeze box, percussion and anything else that seemed like a good idea at the time. Tracks on the album may be familiar to the folk revival, including the mining song “Byker Hill,” the rocking sea shanty “Go My Way,” and the gruesome romp “Black Beetle Pies,” but they’ve never sounded like this as the band flex their considerable musical muscles with storming vocals, blitzing percussion, rampaging strings and mad, bad brass. With four albums, an abundance of awards, sell-out tours and a long trail of thunderous festival appearances down the line, Bellowhead have transported folk music into hitherto unknown territory, introducing a whole new audience to it with them.


The Young’uns
When Our Grandfathers Said No
Navigator 075

After bursting onto the folk scene three years ago, The Young’uns have fast become one of the most popular, entertaining and sought after live acts in the UK today. Hailing from the northeast, the Hartlepool trio ooze bags of charm, talent and an abiding enthusiasm for traditional song. Sean Cooney (vocals), David Eagle (keyboards and piano accordion) and Michael Hughes (guitar) bring freshness and dynamism to their arrangements of close harmony songs, both with and without accompaniment. Everything from traditional sea and working songs to more recent compositions are present in their repertoire, and are delivered with originality and flair. They are effortlessly entertaining, with an irreverent sense of humour that engages every audience.
WHEN OUR GRANDFATHERS SAID NO is their fourth album and is expected to launch them well and truly onto center stage of the neo-folk scene. Under the watchful eye of producer Stu Hanna (Megson), the guys serve up an irresistible plate of traditional song and close harmony singing backed on occasions by guitar, piano and accordion. In 2012, they joined top names such as Bellowhead, Bella Hardy and Lau by signing to Navigator Records in London, and have just returned from what could only be described as a “triumphant” performance at this year’s Cambridge Folk Festival as one of the festival’s “buzz” bands. The Young’uns will continue to “buzz” as their brand new album reaches parts and people that others have not yet reached—as well as sustain their substantial existing loyal fan base, as they continue to tirelessly tour—leaving no one disappointed along the way.


Click to strea Noble Stranger

Nuala Kennedy
Noble Stranger
Compass 4579
"A flute player and composer of remarkable finesse…digging deep to discover her fullest potential." - Irish Times
"Cheeky, dynamically textured and full of ideas, this distinctive sound is new but already fully formed." - Scotland on Sunday
Although her repertoire is rooted in the traditional music of her native Ireland and adopted homeland of Scotland, Nuala Kennedy has also gained critical attention for her eclectic cross-genre work, featuring liltingly beautiful vocals, adventurous instrumentation, and an imaginative mix of influences. For her Noble Stranger album release tour, her American band accompanies Kennedy, consisting of Kyle Sanna (guitar) and Dana Lyn (fiddle). She has performed and recorded Will Oldham (Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy), Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub), Norwegian musicians Frode Haltli and Vegar Vardal, and the late Canadian composer Oliver Schroer.
On her third solo album ’Noble Stranger’, Nuala is accompanied by her Scottish touring band: percussionist Donald Hay, guitarist Mike Bryan and mandolinist Iain Macleod. The tight musical arrangements and deep grooves on the record attest to the staying power of her new road-tested tracks. Classic traditional songs such as ‘My Bonny Labouring Boy,’ and ‘Matt Hyland’ re-emerge as a natural part of this recording where a small but beautiful vintage Casio keyboard also inspired new songs, including ‘Gabriel Sings’.

Claire Lynch Signs With Compass Records

August 28, 2012

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Claire Lynch Signs With Compass Records
2x IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year, GRAMMY award nominee joins esteemed, Nashville-based roots music company
(Nashville, TN) August 27, 2012 – Compass Records is proud to announce the addition of award-winning singer, songwriter and bluegrass all-star Claire Lynch to their reputable roster of artists. Claire joins fellow IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year Dale Ann Bradley, as well as labelmates Colin Hay, The Gibson Brothers, Peter Rowan, Larry Stephenson, Special Consensus among others. Claire will release her as yet untitled Compass debut in early 2013 and will commence recording in the fall with her band, guitarist Matt Wingate, bassist Mark Schatz and Bryan McDowell on mandolin, along with a hand-picked selection of special guests.
Claire Lynch is one of the most established female vocalists and songwriters in roots music today, renowned as a pioneer who has continually pushed the boundaries of the bluegrass genre, and as a songwriter of inventive and evocative Music Row hits. She has earned two International Bluegrass Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year awards and, during her work with the Front Porch String Band, earned two GRAMMY award nominations. She has recorded and performed with Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Pam Tillis, Patty Loveless, Ralph Stanley, Alison Brown and Kathy Mattea. As a songwriter, her original songs have been recorded by Patty Loveless, The Seldom Scene, Cherryholmes, Kathy Mattea, The Whites and Stephanie Davis, among others.
The Compass Records Group is a Nashville-based roots music company called by Billboard Magazine, “one of the greatest independent labels of the last decade.” Founded by GRAMMY-winning musician Alison Brown and Garry West, the company provides a thriving haven of creativity for artists and a reliable beacon of quality for roots music fans.
Compass Records | 916 19th Ave. S | Nashville, TN 37212

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Compass Records Bluegrass Artists Receive 9 IBMA Award Nominations

August 28, 2012


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Compass Records Bluegrass Artists Receive 9
IBMA Award Nominations
Nominees include The Gibson Brothers, Dale Ann Bradley,
Special Consensus and Missy Raines
(Nashville, TN) August 16, 2012 – The Compass Records Group congratulates its bluegrass artists on receiving 9 total nominations at yesterday’s International Bluegrass Music Association award nominees press conference. Nominees were announced at the Loveless Café Barn in front of an enthusiastic audience of artists, label representatives, media personnel and curious bluegrass fans, all anxious to hear nominees for the five coveted spots in each category. A full list of all nominees can be found here.
The Gibson Brothers received 4 total nominations, including Entertainer of the Year and Vocal Group of the Year categories as well as a nomination for Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year and Recorded Event of the Year for "Singing As We Rise" from Help My Brother (Compass 4549). Dale Ann Bradley was again nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year after taking the title last year and previously in 2009, 2008 and 2007. The title track from her 2011 release Somewhere South of Crazy (Compass 4564), co-written with Pam Tillis, received a nomination for Song of the Year and "I Pressed Through the Crowd" was nominated for Gospel Recorded Event of the Year. Special Consensus, led by 2011 Distinguished Achievement award winner Greg Cahill, received a Recorded Event of the Year nomination for the critically-acclaimed Scratch Gravel Road (Compass 4573) single “Monroe,” which features guest vocals from Special Consensus alumni Josh Williams and Chris Jones. Missy Raines received another nomination for Bass Player of the Year and Noam Pikelny’s highly accliamed new album Beat The Devil and Carry A Rail (Compass 4565) received a nod for Best Graphic Design.
Results of the balloting will be revealed at the International Bluegrass Music Awards at Nashville’s legendary Ryman Auditorium on Thursday, September 27, 2012. A summary of Compass Records nominees follows below:

The Gibson Brothers nominated for:
Entertainer of the Year
Vocal Group of the Year

“Singing As We Rise” with Ricky Skaggs; Joe Newberry (songwriter); Eric Gibson, Mike Barber & Leigh Gibson (producers) nominated for:
Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year
Recorded Event of the Year

Dale Ann Bradley nominated for:
Female Vocalist of the Year

"Somewhere South of Crazy," written by Dale Ann Bradley and Pam Tillis nominated for:
Song of the Year

“I Pressed Through The Crowd” by Dale Ann Bradley (artist), Joe Isaacs (songwriter), Alison Brown (producer) nominated for:
Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year

“Monroe” by Special Consensus with Josh Williams & Chris Jones (artists); Alison Brown (producer) nominated for:
Recorded Event of the Year

Missy Raines nominated for:
Bass Player of the Year
Noam Pikelny nominated for:
Best Graphic Design for a Recorded Project
Caroline Hadilaksono (designer) for Beat The Devil and Carry A Rail
Compass Records | 916 19th Ave. S | Nashville, TN 37212

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Colin Hay Announces Fall US Tour

August 16, 2012


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Colin Hay Announces Fall US Tour Dates
Tour Coincides With 30th Anniversary Re-Release of “Down Under” and Telstra Olympic Campaign
(Nashville, TN) Aug. 15, 2012 – Former Men at Work frontman Colin Hay will be touring the United States this September with dates in North Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, ending in California at his home venue Largo. The singer-songwriter recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Men at Work hit “Down Under” from the chart-topping album Business As Usual by releasing “Down Under 2012,” a re-recorded version of the #1 single. This version does not include the “Kookaburra” flute line, which is the subject of a drawn out and embittered lawsuit in Australia.
Marketing executives at Telstra, the Australian network provider, tapped the track as the theme for their Olympic games advertising campaign. "Down Under" has been the unofficial anthem of Australian sports since it was adopted by the Australian team during the 1983 America’s Cup which Australia won. Telstra chose "Down Under" as the centerpiece for their campaign in recognition of its unparalleled representation of the Australian national spirit. The campaign features Colin Hay in a series of 30- and 60-second commercials singing the song with groups of various sizes, ranging from people on the street to a children’s chorus up to a football stadium of 60,000. In addition to their TV campaign, Telstra is promoting the song through broadcasters Bigpond, Ninemsn, and worldwide via a social media campaign on Youtube, Facebook, Flikr, and more. Australian TV Channel 9 will also air a 3-minute ‘making of’ video during the Olympics. Compass Records Group will be promoting the release of the digital EP with a “Down Under” trivia contest and social media campaign targeting Hay fans. Watch the commercial here.
In 2009, a multi-million dollar lawsuit was filed by Larrikin Music Publishing against EMI Music Publishing and co-writers Colin Hay and Ron Strykert for allegedly plagiarizing the folk melody “Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree.” Despite overwhelming popular support for Hay, the court ruled that the two-bar flute line did infringe on the original copyright, though ultimately the claimant was rewarded a fraction of what they were seeking. The media attention surrounding this was further heightened this year with the death of Greg Ham, Men at Work co-founder, saxophonist and flute player who played the melody off the top of his head while recording the song.
The current re-release of the song and the simultaneous media campaign will serve as a vehicle for illustrating the integrity of the song. Comments Hay: “Fortunately on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the song Telstra, the communications company, have decided to license "Down Under" and are about to show it on the telly, as well as the cyber-world to hopefully inspire our athletes at the upcoming Olympics. I was happy to help, and along with my friend Dorian West, created a spirited version of the song featuring footballers, pub goers, sailors on the Thames, school kids in Sydney, and, well, you get the idea. This led me to the idea of re-releasing "Down Under 2012" (without the so-called infringing flute line), to re-establish the song in the consciousness of the public, and in so doing, highlight that the power and strength of the song lies in its original words and music. It speaks for itself.“
Colin Hay as a solo singer-songwriter attracts deeply passionate fans and international praise. His critically acclaimed latest album Gathering Mercury was released this April on 18-gram vinyl, followed by multiple performances at the hugely popular Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, TN, a feature in Forbes and he was invited last May to interview and perform on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. He has interviewed at length on CNN and this Februrary Colin was invited to serenade Ellen DeGeneres for her special birthday episode. He also performed exclusively for Rolling Stone Live, and was interviewed via video for Popmatters.
The tunes on Gathering Mercury are deeply affecting, but never maudlin. Despite the often-serious subject matter, they’re full of optimism. “It’s not a conscious thing and may have to do with the Scottish mentality. We deal with darkness by shining a light on it.” All Music Guide offers, “By this, his 11th solo album, Colin Hay’s records are as comfortable as a pair of old shoes…it speaks to the craft, there’s a lot of thought behind what seems so easy.” And Metro Pulse says, “…his finest post Men At Work tracks. The music is as hooky and well-manicured as anything he’s ever recorded.”
Fall Tour Dates
09-07-2012 The Clayton Center - Clayton, NC
09-08-2012 Mountain Song Festival - Brevard, NC
09-09-2012 McGlohan Theatre - Charlotte, NC
09-13-2012 Buckman Performing Arts Center - Memphis, TN
09-14-2012 The Old Rock House - St. Louis, MO
09-15-2012 Ferdinand Folk Festival - Ferdinand, IN
09-27-2012 Largo - Los Angeles, CA
Compass Records | 916 19th Ave. S | Nashville, TN 37212


The HillBenders Sign with The Compass Records Group

August 16, 2012



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The HillBenders Sign With The Compass Records Group
Dynamic bluegrass quintet pairs with esteemed, Nashville-based roots music company
(Nashville, TN) August 14, 2012: The Compass Records Group is thrilled to announce that The HillBenders, one of the most exciting new bands on the bluegrass and roots music scenes, had signed to Compass Records. The HillBenders will release their new album Can You Hear Me? Produced by Bil VornDick, on September 25th, 2012.
The HillBenders have quickly become favorites on the festival circuit— their contagious energy, tight-knit vocals and instrumental prowess contribute to their high-octane performances loved by the young and old alike. Since forming four years ago, the group has claimed the Telluride Bluegrass Band Competition championship as well as the National Single Microphone championship and has appeared on some of the most prestigious festivals, including the Philadelphia Folk Festival, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival, and the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA)’s Fan Fest. While grounded in bluegrass yet also incorporating influences from country, rock, blues, jazz and Americana, the HillBenders are an exciting addition to the Compass Records roster.
The Compass Records Group is a Nashville-based roots music company called by Billboard Magazine, “one of the greatest independent labels of the last decade.” Run by GRAMMY-winning musicians Alison Brown and husband Garry West, the company provides a thriving haven of creativity for artists and a reliable beacon of quality for roots music fans. The HillBenders are joining a legacy of excellence in bluegrass, with a roster that includes The Gibson Brothers, Peter Rowan, Dale Ann Bradley, Larry Stephenson, and Special Consensus among others.
Compass Records | 916 19th Ave. S | Nashville, TN 37212


Irish Crossover Trio .the olllam. Announces Debut Album

August 08, 2012




Irish-Crossover Trio .the olllam. Announces Compass Records Debut Album

Master Uilleann Piper John McScherry and Millish Members Tyler Duncan and Mike Shimmin Form New Trio For Eponymous Album out September 25.


(Nashville, TN) August 8, 2012 Belfast-born uilleann piper John McSherry and Detroit natives Tyler Duncan and Michael Shimmin have been dreaming of .the olllam. for the last decade. With a name inspired by the king’s own ollam bards of Irish lore, the trio wanted an ensemble that naturally represented their combined experiences in a multiplicity of styles.  McSherry, one of the best uilleann pipers in the world and a founding member of legendary Irish group Lúnasa, has been dubbed “a true master” by Irish Music Magazine and is well known for his current work with his group At First Light as well as his ’90s stint with Donal Lunny’s Coolfin.  Duncan and Shimmin have also been busy in the United States performing and recording with their award-winning Irish-jazz crossover group Millish with Duncan doing double-duty in the dance-rock group My Dear Disco/Ella Riot. It seemed that the right moment for collaboration between the three musicians would never present itself.


However, in February 2012 during the calm before the summer festival season, the trio finally wrote and recorded an original album together, overcoming the Atlantic divide by means of the internet — they rehearsed and composed live on Skype and built the tracks back and forth one part at a time between emails. The result, their eponymous debut .the olllam., available Sept. 25 on Compass Records, is lush with trance-like melodies, stunning instrumental virtuosity and a magical marriage of tradition and technology, finding the listener somewhere between Radiohead and Planxty with the ambient emotionalism of Nick Drake or Explosions in the Sky. 


Simplicity is key for the trio.  They wanted their musical ideas to mature organically in a controlled environment, rather than produce anything contrived or over-composed. It is their collective sense for arrangement — Duncan (uilleann pipes, whistles, guitar, Rhodes) and Shimmin (drums and percussion) both hold degrees in jazz performance, and the legendary McSherry (uilleann pipes and whistles) has performed and written with a wide variety of artists, from Ornette Coleman to Nanci Griffith — that gives the album its distinct style and form.


The trio’s approach to composition is unique in Irish music as well, foregoing the familiar jigs and reels. “We really wanted to investigate the melodies but focus on simplicity and memorability. Everything had a purpose with no excess,” comments Duncan. “Together we created a feeling of a narrative, each song is highly personal and tells a story. There are verses, pre-choruses and bridges instead of the traditional Irish tune forms.”


These 7 adventurous instrumental tracks are fully engaging, whether the rhythm section gradually adds and builds to a powerful climax as on “the belll” or energetic eighth note bass lines interplay with Duncan’s Rhodes piano and McSherry’s catchy melody as on “the follly of wisdom.” Subtle fuzz bass guitar from guest Joe Dart and stripped-down driving percussion of Shimmin compliment the complex and beautiful tone of both McSherry and Duncan. “Conceptually we took a more pop approach but really wanted to make sure it sounded totally organic at the same time. Basically, I was thinking more as a composer and less as a drummer,” comments Shimmin.


Mysterious and masterful as the legendary ollam Irish bards from which they draw their name, McSherry, Duncan and Shimmin have discovered a synergy within their diverse musical backgrounds – introducing a new Irish crossover group rife with creative brilliance and progressive appeal.  Reflects McSherry, "I think we were all nicely surprised at how quickly and easily our ideas merged together and manifested into the music - everything seemed to fall into place right from the start. It was like we all knew instinctively that this was to be a special musical journey"

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