Concord label buys Vanguard, Sugar Hill

Wednesday, April 1, 2015 – Concord Music Group announced today it bought independent record labels Vanguard and Sugar Hill from the Welk Music Group.

Among the artists on Sugar Hill are Lee Ann Womack, Don Williams, Kasey Chambers, Sam Bush, Sarah Jarosz and Marty Stuart.

This is the latest purchase by Concord, which bought Rounder Records, the home of Allison Krauss, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon and Blackberry Smoke in 2010.

Founded in 1947, Vanguard Records has released albums covering blues, folk, rock, country and jazz, although it is considered a key cog in the folk movement.

Vanguard's roster includes Indigo Girls, Chris Isaak, John Butler Trio, John Fogerty, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Matt Nathanson, O.A.R., Barenaked Ladies, Sallie Ford, Marc Broussard, Jerry Lee Lewis and Trevor Hall. The catalog includes Joan Baez, Doc Watson, Levon Helm, Buddy Guy, Country Joe and the Fish, Big Mama Thornton, Mississippi John Hurt, John Fahey and Buffy Sainte-Marie.

Sugar Hill veered more towards bluegrass, folk, country and Americana. The label was founded in 1978 ion North Carolina and later moved to Nashville. The label's catalogue includes Nickel Creek, Doc Watson, Dolly Parton, Guy Clark, New Grass Revival, Robert Earl Keen, Tim O'Brien and Tony Rice.

Post-acquisition, Welk Music Group President Kevin Welk will remain with Vanguard and Sugar Hill as Chief Creative for the labels. He will contribute toward the development and optimization of the labels' artist rosters.

"Concord is strengthened today by the addition of Vanguard and Sugar Hill's acclaimed artist roster, renowned catalog and gifted executives," said Concord Music Group CEO Glen Barros. "This acquisition further establishes Concord Music Group as a home for extraordinary artists. We welcome Vanguard and Sugar Hill into the Concord family and look forward to building upon their great legacies."

"Strategically, we couldn't find a better home for Vanguard and Sugar Hill," said Welk. "Not only will they care for our historic catalog and distinguished artists, their desire to grow the new artist business was paramount in the decision. Combining the executive talent of both companies will strengthen Concord's ability to nurture new talent and be a force in this business."