The employees of insurgent country and roots label Bloodshot Records got the attention of many earlier this week when they sent a memo to their artists explaining how the label was up for sale, and were accusing embattled co-owner Nan Warshaw of accounting irregularities that had resulted in underpayments to artists and songwriters.
“The amount of royalties we believe are due to artists and songwriters at this point in time is considerable,” the letter said in part. “We have repeatedly asked Warshaw that the statements be sent to the artists, and we have expressed frustration, disappointment, and skepticism at the lack of progress. It has become increasingly apparent to us that Warshaw’s attention is pointed toward the sale of the catalog and not the transparent and complete settling of these royalty statements.”
Nan Warshaw announced on March 9th, 2019, that she would be stepping down from her position at the company, and selling her 50% stake in the label to co-owner Rob Miller after sexual harassment and assault allegations were made against her partner, Mark Panick, by artist Lydia Loveless.
On Wednesday afternoon (7-22), Nan Warshaw released a statement to Billboard addressing the allegations.
“I have poured my heart and soul into Bloodshot Records since founding it more than 25 years ago,” Warshaw says. “For me, this label has always been, first and foremost, about growing and supporting unique and great artists. Having stepped away from day-to-day operations more than a year ago, I have been exploring ways to set up Bloodshot and our artists to succeed in the future, even as I know it is personally the right moment in my life for me to sell my stake in the company.”
“When conducting due diligence as part of that transition, we discovered that there may have been some errors in our prior accounting processes,” Warshaw continues. “As someone dedicated to the principle of making sure that all artists are compensated fairly and fully for their work, I made sure we immediately began to investigate those issues and how they might have impacted all of our artists, past and present. Whatever misleading reports might suggest, nothing is more important to me—professionally or personally—than making sure all accounting is entirely accurate and past mistakes are quickly rectified, and I am completely committed to doing so.”
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Bloodshot Records artist Sarah Shook also addressed the issue in a written statement posted on Wednesday that she also read aloud on Facebook and Instagram (see below). Shook says in part,
“To hold the entire roster and staff of the Bloodshot Records label hostage, despite Rob Miller and the staff’s literal best attempts to solve these issues in such a way that the least damage is done, is a personal decision Nan is making and her utter and blatant disregard for the well-being of everyone involved, her callousness in the face of heartfelt appeals to her sense of decency, her refusal to allow Rob Miller to buy her out of her share of the company, and the cease and desist letter she issued in response to the staff members demanding answers and accountability, are the marks of a truly sad and empty person for which life holds only the small-minded joy of punishing others.”
Sarah Shook added further on Thursday afternoon, “If you’re wondering why I’m taking the hard line stance on Nan that I am, please understand I have more information than I can publicly disclose and I’m making decisions based off that information that I believe is in the best interest of the affected Bloodshot artists and staff.”
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Bloodshot Records was founded by Rob Miller and Nan Warshaw in 1993 as an “insurgent country” record label catering to the punk-inspired roots resurgence. Bloodshot helped to launch the careers of artists such as Ryan Adams, Neko Case, The Old 97’s, Justin Townes Earle, and is the current label home of Sarah Shook and the Disarmers, Ruby Boots, Robbie Fulks, Jason Hawk Harris, Laura Jane Grace, The Vandoliers, Scott H. Biram, Wayne “The Train” Hancock, The Yawpers, The Banditos, Murder By Death, The Mekons, and others.
Incidentally, former Bloodshot artist Lydia Loveless also announced a new album this week called Daughter that will be released on her own label on September 25th. She has released a new song called “Love Is Not Enough.”
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Bloodshot Records is under attack by Nan Warshaw, one of its own owners. The other owner, Rob Miller, and the rest of the staff are exemplary humans doing an outstanding job in the face of a selfish and cantankerous husk of a woman. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask her to let Rob buy her out!! . . . . . @bloodshotrecords #chicago @vice @billboard @nowthisnews @buzzfeed @rollingstone @rscountry @nytimes @wsj @popmatters @glidemag @menshealthmag #buyherout