By: Chelsea Gillis
Bloodshot Records is a collaboration of sounds based out of the Irving Park Neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. Their artists include infusions of punk, country, soul, pop, bluegrass, blues, and rock making this label as diverse as they get. Bloodshot Records became the child of co-founders Nan Warshaw and Rob Miller in 1993. Warshaw and Miller sat many sleepless nights at local bars crafting their idea for Bloodshot. It started off with Warshaw and Miller noticing that there were several bands playing around town that stemmed from old school country and punk. They thought putting out a compilation of these bands would be a good idea and figured that they had enough knowledge and drive to start their own label. After 17 years, Bloodshot has released over 125 albums and continues to rage in the old school country, underground rock and punk scene today.
Bloodshot represents over 60 bands. Just to name a few, their label rocks the ears of fans of Justin Townes Earle, Ha Ha Tonka, Old 97’s, Wayne Hancock, Deadstring Brothers, The Scotland yard Gospel Choir, Waco Brothers, Wee Hairy Beasties, Eddie Spaghetti, The Bottle Rockets, and Ryan Adams.
One of the more recent artists to raise the profile of their label, Justin Townes Earle, has had great success with his latest album, Harlem River Blues. Quotes about him such as “He is on the brink of becoming a superstar” – BeyondRobson.com and “Justin Townes Earle is living proof that despite the freak show that is modern day Nashville, there are still artists out there who revere the deep roots of the American musical tradition while still pushing the boundaries to create something new and wonderful.” —PopMatters.com prove that Bloodshot knows who to choose in the huge pot of artists brewing in the world today. The quote from popmatters.com expresses not only Justin as an artist but also the basis for Bloodshot Records. They take the roots and make them the vibe of today; being the reason people thrive to buy their records and see their artists, having faith in Bloodshot that they will deliver no less than the most badass of artists for fans ears to “rock on” to for years to come.
Bloodshot’s records are distributed by Alternative Distribution Alliance, which was formed in 1993 by Warner Music Group and Sub Pop Records. This distribution company came to life to distribute and manufacture records owned by Indie Labels. ADA represents a huge amount of Indie Labels and Bloodshot, from the beginning, has been one of them.
Bloodshot has a very straightforward marketing plan. They are a label that has too much spunk and charisma to contain and man does it explode when you dive into their library of diverse old country, punk and rock explosion of sound. They are a label that has learned their niche and not only that, realized that their niche isn’t so small, after all. They take chances with the music that they splash onto the racks of record stores and they aren’t afraid to blow the minds of fans across the country. Not only does Bloodshot put out great music, they also throw parties that people anticipate. Their most talked about party is perhaps their SXSW Yard Dog Party. It’s a day full of beer, grub, and good ‘ole tunes. Bloodshot not only knows how to rock your ear buds, but your taste buds and groove moves too.
Bloodshot Records is one of the most diverse and entertaining record labels in the world of Indie today. If you have any kind of love for music in general and even the slightest rockin’ bone in your body, you will have no other choice than surrender to the seduction of Bloodshot Records. Jump on the crazy train of punk, country, soul, pop, bluegrass, blues, and rock, ya’ll; it’s going to be one hell of a Bloodshot ride.