Concord Music Group picks up roots

Label snaps up Rounder Records

Beverly Hills-based Concord Music Group has acquired Boston-based roots music label Rounder Records. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

Rounder, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, issued one of the biggest roots releases of recent years, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ “Raising Sand,” winner of the album of the year Grammy in 2009. Its 3,000-title catalog covers the breadth of American roots music; labels acts include Krauss, country luminary Willie Nelson, banjo iconoclast Bela Fleck and chanteuse Madeleine Peyroux.

Label was founded in 1970 by a trio of Cambridge folk enthusiasts, Ken Irwin, Bill Nowlin and Marian Leighton Levy. Originally a bluegrass-centric imprint, Rounder eventually branched into blues, Cajun and zydeco, reggae, children’s music and every other imaginable roots style. Firm was also an important indie-label dis-tributor and mail order operation.

Irwin, Nowlin and Levy will remain active in creative and advisory capacities with Rounder, which will continue to be headquartered in Boston. Label president John Virant and general manager Sheri Sands will stay on with the company.

Acquisition adds further heft to Concord’s formidable catalog of 10,000 titles. Concord president/chief executive officer Glen Barros said in a statement, “With the addition of Rounder, Concord is gaining a magnificent catalog of recordings, the opportunity to work with more of the world’s most amazing artists and a company filled with some great people. Plus, Rounder’s uncompromising commitment to authenticity and intense independent spirit is perfectly in line with everything that Concord is about.”

Both Concord and Rounder are distributed by Universal Music Group.

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