Beloved Nashville-based indie label Dualtone Music Group will celebrate their 20th anniversary this year with the release of a brand new album titled Amerikinda: 20 Years Of Dualtone. Out on August 6th, the album features a slew of Dualtone artists and alumni including The Lumineers, Brett Dennen, Gregory Alan Isakov, Mt. Joy, Shovels & Rope, and Langhorne Slim all covering each other’s songs in celebration of the label’s landmark birthday. Today, they shared a pair of Guy Clark covers: Wild Child covering “My Favorite Picture Of You” and Hayes Carll covering “Worry B Gone.”
Pre-order Amerikinda: 20 Years Of Dualtone HERE.
“I’ll be the first to admit that, personally, I hadn’t spent a lot of time with Guy Clark’s catalogue,” said Wild Child. “I’ve always known he’s a badass but I never let his songs marinate enough to soak in, and this was a big oversight. Guy’s lyrics in particular are pretty special. He has an innate ability to find beauty in the small details of life and with all great songwriters offers a unique insight on what those moments mean and it’s beautiful. ‘My Favorite Picture of You’ is about a literal snapshot memory of his pissed-off wife leaving his house while Townes Van Zandt and him were skunked drunk and she had enough of their shit. He was able to take his own snapshot of that memory in song form and it’s magic. RIP Guy.”
Hayes Carll stated, “I’m proud to put my music out on Dualtone Records. They’ve been nothing but good to me and it’s reassuring to know that I’ve got a killer team of passionate and talented people looking after my work and helping turn people onto it all over the world. One of my most vivid memories of Guy Clark was hanging out at his house about a week after he had written ‘Worry B. Gone’ with Gary Nicholson & Lee Roy Parnell. He was enamored with that incredibly cool guitar riff and he kept playing it over and over. I loved the song – it’s so slinky, greasy, and true – and I started covering it in my own shows.”
Upon the announcement of the anniversary album last month, Dualtone shared Gregory Alan Isakov’s cover of The Lumineers’ “Salt And The Sea” and The Lumineers’ cover of Gregory Alan Isakov’s “Caves,” which were both featured on NPR’s World Cafe.
Known for their incredible roster of artists who straddle the line between roots and AAA, Dualtone Records was founded in 2001 by Scott Robinson and Dan Herrington, joined soon after by Paul Roper, who quickly established the company as a label that would change the paradigm of what a successful independent model could be. Based around a co-operative approach built on fair, transparent partnerships, Dualtone bred a family atmosphere where artists could effectively build and grow with the label. Their format is now taught in business schools and is considered by many to have helped usher in a new era of more artist-friendly record contracts across the industry.
Inaugural releases from Dualtone included David Ball’s Amigo as well as the pivotal June Carter Cash GRAMMY Award-winning album Wildwood Flower. As the label grew, they continued to bring in elder statesmen like Guy Clark and Bobby Bare, while at the same time branching out to attract younger indie artists such as Brett Dennen, Shovels & Rope, Drew Holcomb, Noah Gundersen, Langhorne Slim, The Felice Brothers, Delta Spirit, Shakey Graves, Wild Child, Mt. Joy, Amos Lee, Gregory Alan Isakov, Robert Earl Keen, The Lone Bellow, Kathleen Edwards, and The Lumineers.
Looking over the prodigious list of GRAMMY Awards, gold and platinum releases, and luminary artists that have called Dualtone home over the years, you’d be forgiven for expecting a staff of dozens, but the entire office could fit into a 15-passenger tour van (with room to spare). It’s this small, tight-knit family that’s been responsible for fostering so many influential careers and helping to redefine what’s possible for an indie label in the 21st century. Even after a tumultuous 2020, which saw Dualtone HQ in East Nashville leveled by a tornado and a global pandemic hitting within weeks of each other, the label isn’t just surviving right now, it’s thriving, posting some of its all-time best sales and streaming numbers to date. The trials and tribulations of the past year have laid bare the strength, passion, and creativity that have served as the label’s foundation from the beginning.
“From the very start, we’ve tried to build this safe, encouraging space for artists to experiment and create,” said Robinson, “and it’s just so cool to see how deeply these bands have connected with each other and to hear the influences and friendships that stretch across the whole history of the label. At the end of the day, there’s something special about the energy of Dualtone, and it’s not because of me or Paul or any other individual. It’s because of the way that everyone, artists and staff alike, come together as a community.”
01) Wild Child – “My Favorite Picture Of You” (Guy Clark)
02) Mt. Joy – “Ain’t No Reason” (Brett Dennen)
03) The Wild Reeds – “Younger Days” (Mt. Joy)
04) Gregory Alan Isakov – “Salt And The Sea” (The Lumineers)
05) The Lumineers – “Caves” (Gregory Alan Isakov)
06) Angie McMahon – “Tea, Milk & Honey” (Oh Pep!)
07) Langhorne Slim – “Stubborn Love” (The Lumineeres)
08) Brett Dennen – “Life Is Confusing” (Langhorne Slim)
09) Drew & Ellie Holcomb – “Keep On The Sunny Side” (June Carter Cash)
10) Ivan & Alyosha – “Let Your Heart Hold Fast” (Fort Atlantic)
11) The Lone Bellow – “O’ Be Joyful” (Shovels & Rope)
12) Shakey Graves – “Cheers” (The Wild Reeds)
13) Shovels & Rope – “Dearly Departed” (Shakey Graves)
14) Hayes Carll – “Worry B Gone” (Guy Clark)
15) Radney Foster – “Riding With Private Malone” (David Ball)