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”