Black Music Matters Festival

New West label forms new label

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 – New West Records announced it was forming a new label, Normaltown Records, to launch new artists.

Normaltown Records, based in Athens, Ga., was named for the artist centric neighborhood of Athens. The label announced the signing of five artists - Kalen Nash, White Violet, Daniel Romano and Lily Hiatt and Ronnie Fauss.

A limited edition split 7-inch release will be available to commemorate the label's opening with a concert June 12 in Nashville. The split disc will feature Nash's White Oak and Lays Around Lazy from White Violet. Both songs are also available for free download at normaltownrecords.com.

"Normaltown allows us to develop and grow young talent without immediate expectations or pressures typical of getting signed," explains George Fontaine Jr, co-founder of Normaltown Records. "We are excited to give emerging artists an opportunity to focus on their music while we provide label support."

Nash's "Ukred," available digitally on May 29, will be the first release for Normaltown. Nash, who also fronts the New West Records band Ponderosa, showcases a reflective, more intimate side on his debut solo release.

Next on the schedule is "Hiding, Mingling" from White Violet on Aug. 14. White Violet is an Athens quartet with Vaughan Lamb, Brad Elliott, Josh McCauley and Nate Nelson. Nelson has been writing songs for 10 years and has releases out there under his own name.

Country artist Romano is currently working on his 3rd album, which will be released later this year. The new project follows "Sleep Beneath The Willow" and "Workin' For The Music Man." He has a platinum record for his production work with City and Colour and a Juno Nomination for graphic design. For the past seven years he has performed in the rock band Attack in Black.

Hiatt plays with a band, The Dropped Ponies. Upon her introduction to North Carolina guitarist Beth Finney, the two worked together. Soon after, the girls hooked up with drummer Jon Radford (Charles Walker and the Dynamites, Drew Holcombe Band) and bass player Jake Bradley (Over the Rhine). The Nashville band will release their debut album, "Let Down," this year. The disc was produced by Doug Lancio (Patty Griffin, Gretchen Peters). Hiatt is the daughter of John Hiatt.

Fauss, an alternative-country singer-songwriter from Dallas is part of the Texas troubadour tradition. After independently releasing a series of EPs over the last few years, Fauss is currently in the studio recording his full-length debut. The album, to be released in the fall, will be produced by Sigurdur Birks (drummer for Will Hoge) and features Lily Hiatt on harmonies. Other musicians include Jason Mowery (John Fogerty), Dave Labruyere (John Mayer) and Chris Tuttle (Indigo Girls, Jewel).