BMG Rights Management launches “Renew Records”

BMG has announced the launch of a new recordings label, Renew Records, to focus on an eclectic mix of artists and special projects rooted in American-roots and Americana music. The Los Angeles-based label will be led by BMG EVP David Hirshland, an acknowledged expert in the genre.

The launch of Renew Records comes just three months after the announcement of Modern Recordings, a BMG label dedicated to new classical, jazz, and electronic music, and the first new label to be launched by BMG since it commenced operations in 2008.

Both initiatives reflect BMG’s commitment to expand and diversify its repertoire base.

Renew Records will now be an integral part of a BMG roster of US-based labels which include Nashville’s Broken Bow Records, Stoney Creek Records and Wheelhouse Records, New York pop label S-Curve Records and Los Angeles’ rock label Rise Records and hip-hop label RBC Records, operating alongside the core BMG label. 

The new venture capitalizes on BMG’s unparalleled position at the forefront of American-roots and Americana music, representing many of the most notable artists and songwriters in the genre including contemporaries Dave Alvin, Wilco, Calexico, Delta Spirit, Valerie June, Devendra Banhart, Larkin Poe, Nathaniel Rateliff, Amanda Shires, Hurray For The Riff Raff, alongside luminaries Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly, Woody Guthrie, Jim Croce, Hank Williams, and Willie Dixon, among others.

Hirshland said, “Renew Records is a wonderful opportunity for BMG to provide further creative outlets for our great talent, as well as new discoveries. BMG’s lineage to some of the most lauded American roots music artists and songwriters is unparalleled. From the historic to contemporary BMG is the destination for great artistry and we look forward to helping artists and songwriters achieve more.” 

Renew Records’ release schedule kicks off on Record Store Day (April 18) with the all-star tribute album Wilcovered. Originally available as a promotional CD bundled with copies of UK’s Uncut Magazine, the album will be re-released for the first time on LP, with select tracks released digitally. The 19-track Wilcovered features a wide-range of artists, interpreting and covering songs from Wilco’s celebrated catalog, including Billy Gibbons, Kurt Vile, Courtney Barnett, Sharon Van Etten, Parquet Courts, and many more.

Additional upcoming releases include a new album from The Suitcase Junket; an Americana-inspired railroad compilation, featuring well-known and original train songs from Dave Alvin, I See Hawks in LA’s Rob Waller, Carla Olson, and more; and a never-before-released Johnny Cash live album recorded in 1968 at the historic Carousel Ballroom in San Francisco (since renamed the Fillmore West) a week before the release of Live at Folsom Prison

Hartwig Masuch, BMG CEO, said, “The launch of Renew Records serves to amplify BMG’s strong position in Americana and offers further opportunities for artists to expand their relationship with us. The fact it will be headed by David Hirshland is another big plus. David joined BMG nearly a decade ago, following the acquisition of Bug Music. He has always had his finger on the pulse, and is one of the leading executives in the space. I am delighted he will now apply his expertise to our fast-growing recorded business”

US: Huey Lewis and The News sign to BMG to release first new album of original music in 18 years

Grammy award-winning, chart-topping rock and rollers Huey Lewis and the News have signed a new recording agreement with BMG to release their forthcoming 10th studio album in spring 2019. Following their last album release in 2010, a Stax/Volt tribute album, the upcoming studio album is the bands eagerly awaited first set of all new original music in 18 years.

Entering their 39th year together, Huey Lewis and the News’ contagious brand of music has outlasted countless trends and is as fresh today as ever. They incorporate a variety of musical influences including R&B and soul to create their own unique sound. Formed from two rival Bay Area bands in 1979, they continue to thrill audiences worldwide, selling over 20 million albums in the process, earning them the right to mark their place on the pop history map.

With the back-to-back smash success of the 7X Platinum-certified Sports and 3X Platinum Fore!, followed by the Platinum-certified Small World, the group have written and performed such classic Top Ten hits as ‘Heart of Rock & Roll’, ‘Stuck With You’, ‘I Want A New Drug’, ‘If This Is It’, ‘Hip To Be Square’, ‘Do You Believe In Love’ and ‘Workin’ For A Livin’. The group also wrote and performed ‘The Power of Love’ and ‘Back in Time’ for the hit film Back To The Future. Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song, ‘The Power of Love’ went on to reach Number One on the charts and was a smash hit worldwide.

Lewis said, “We’re very excited about our new album, and honestly feel that it’s among our best work – we cannot wait to get it out to fans! We’re equally excited to be with BMG, whose reputation as a ‘music-first’ label precedes them admirably.”

John Loeffler, EVP, Marketing & Repertoire, New York, said, “In the time we’ve grown closer with Huey and the band it became clear that this is a perfect match. We’re thrilled to welcome Huey Lewis and the News and proud to call BMG their new label home. We look forward giving the band more opportunities to take advantage of all we have to offer and working alongside them to develop some new creative endeavors.”

Huey Lewis and the News are Huey Lewis (vocals and harmonica), Johnny Colla (saxophone, guitar and vocals), Bill Gibson (drums, percussion and vocals), Sean Hopper (keyboards and vocals), Stef Burns (guitars and vocals) and John Pierce (bass). The live show features their long-time horn section of San Francisco bay area luminaries including Rob Sudduth (tenor saxophone), Marvin McFadden (trumpet), and Johnnie Bamont (baritone saxophone).