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Dualtone Celebrates 20th Anniversary With New Album 'Amerikinda'

Out on August 6th, the album features a slew of Dualtone artists and alumni including The Lumineers, Brett Dennen, Gregory Alan Isakov, Mt. Joy, and Shovels & Rope.

Dualtone Celebrates 20th Anniversary With New Album 'Amerikinda'

Beloved Nashville-based indie label Dualtone Music Group has announced the celebration of 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.

"When we started touring in our 15 passenger van, we used to park at the venue and bide our time until it was time to load in," stated The Lumineers' Jeremiah Fraites. "We didn't have money for hotels and we'd usually be splitting Subway sandwiches or Cliff bars between us. I'll never forget when Paul Roper showed up to the parking lot behind the venue in Nashville and met us with beer and pizza. It was a small gesture on his side, but a massive one to us. I'll never forget that. Congrats Dualtone on 20 years, you guys deserve it!"

Wesley Schultz continued, "Dualtone has been with us since Day 1 - and I'm so grateful that they have trusted us and empowered us. Over the last nine years, Dualtone has continuously supported our vision time and time again. Cheers to a label with real dedication to its artists."

"Not only are they incredibly good at table tennis, Dualtone is an astounding team of humans," stated Isakov. "I had never worked with a label before, other than my own label, and it's been an absolute pleasure teaming up with Dualtone. They are such a hardworking, collaborative, kind-hearted group, and it's an honor to be a part of their 20th anniversary compilation."

"The Lumineers have been our friends and local comrades here in Colorado for years, and when Wes sent me the premaster of their last record, I was instantly drawn into every song," says Isakov about his cover. "The song 'Salt And The Sea' particularly spoke to me, lyrically, along with that haunting melody. I collaborated with my bandmate Steve Varney to pluck out Jeremiah's piano part with clawhammer banjo. What a beautiful song. I hope we did it justice."

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."


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