New Bloodshot Re-Signs Lydia Loveless, Jason Hawk Harris, More
Ever since being officially shuttered in October of 2021, and then being purchased by Exceleration Music on October 23rd, 2021, fans of Bloodshot Records and the artists once signed to the label have been wondering what the future may hold. Up until January of this year, there was little to no word about what the plans were for the label, who might sign to it, and just how much their vast back catalog of music critical to the country music revolution we’re currently experiencing would continue to be promoted and kept in stock.
Some answers came when the label officially restarted by announcing Nashville Songwriter Hall of Famer Layng Martine Jr. was releasing a project called Music Man on the label May 19th. Now the new Bloodshot Records has announced a host of other signings, and it’s not only with artists that embody the “insurgent country” spirit of Bloodshot Records, it’s artists that were signed to the label before the sale.
Issues began at the label on February 16th, 2019 when alt-country singer and songwriter Lydia Loveless came out with a statement claiming that Bloodshot Records did not properly address the behavior of co-owner Nan Warshaw’s partner, Mark, who regularly sexually harassed and groped her during label functions over multiple years. After a public outcry ensued, 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.
Now as the new Bloodshot Records launches, Lydia Loveless is returning to the label, not just adding a layer of legitimacy to the new company, but in some respects making the wrongs she was done right by the new owners. “It will be great to be with a team that will pay me on time and promote the hell out of my record,” Lydia Loveless says.
She’s not the only one. Jason Hawk Harris was also a linchpin for holding the previous Bloodshot regime accountable. On July 20th, 2020, a letter from Bloodshot Records employees was published publicly by Jason Hawk Harris that revealed the private negotiations between co-owners Nan Warshaw and Rob Miller had not reached a conclusion, with Miller possibly not being in a position to pay market price for the other half of the company. The letter also stated that they believed creators were not being fairly compensated due to Nan Warshaw not fulfilling her continuing role as 50% owner of the label.
Jason Hawk Harris has also decided to sign onto the newly revamped Bloodshot Records as well. “I’ve been sitting on an album for a long time and I’m thrilled to be part of the resurrection of this legendary label,” Harris says.
Also rejoining the label is one of Bloodshot’s long-time signees, Scott H. Biram. “I’m really excited that my 13th record will be on the new Bloodshot Records,” Biram says. “I’m pretty stoked to be a part of it.”
All three of these artists are expected to release new albums in 2023 through Bloodshot, along with The Watson Twins, who’ve also signed on with the label. When Bloodshot originally started making moves for a relaunch in January, Saving Country Music had reached out to Lydia Loveless, Jason Hawk Harris, and others to gauge their reactions, and to see if the new label owners were properly administrating their catalogs. Both gave SCM a “no comment” at that time. Perhaps they were taking a wait and see attitude, or just did not want to spoil the surprise.
Robbie Fulks did respond to Saving Country Music, but he is not part of the newly revamped label. Just announced this week, Fulks will release his latest album Bluegrass Vacation via Compass Records on April 7th.
In a statement, the new Bloodshot Records says,
While new music might dominate the headline (and rightly so!) we’re also revisiting the groundbreaking back catalog, reissuing popular long out of print albums alongside deep-cut favorites and albums never before released on vinyl. This campaign will revisit the catalog of the late Justin Townes Earle in collaboration with his estate.
We’re committed to honoring and expanding the label’s legacy, rebuilding relationships and continuing to put out records by trailblazing artists who embody the Bloodshot sound and ethos. From the corner bar to the summer festivals, Bloodshot looks forward to continuing to be the soundtrack to your Insurgent Country life. In the words of one of Bloodshot’s spiritual forefathers, Joe Strummer, “The Future is Unwritten”.
Bloodshot Records was founded in Chicago by Rob Miller and Nan Warshaw 30 years ago, and quickly became one of the focal points and instigators of the independent country music revolution we’re currently enjoying the fruits of today. Helping to launch the careers of artists such as Ryan Adams, Neko Case, The Old 97’s, Justin Townes Earle, Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers and many more, Bloodshot laid the groundwork for insurgent country artists and labels to challenge the mainstream.
Sarah Shook and the Disarmers, Wayne “The Train” Hancock, Ruby Boots, Laura Jane Grace, The Vandoliers, The Yawpers, The Banditos, Murder By Death, and The Mekons were some other acts signed to the label.
There are no specific dates yet for the new albums from Lydia Loveless, Jason Hawk Harris, Scott H. Biram, or The Watson Twins. But they’re expected to be announced in the coming months.
Jerry Clower's Ghost
March 10, 2023 @ 12:51 pm
Lydia and Jason really have to be commended for being so brave. Both their careers have been hurt greatly by coming forward about these abuses. It’s great to see a potential happy ending to this, and it feels like this could be the beginning of wonderful things for these artists. I’m looking forward to the Loveless and Biram comebacks, and I absolutely can not wait to see Jason follow up an album that showed so much promise for a young artist. He’s showed signs to be a potential member of the royal court of Americana. I’m really rooting for all these artists and the revamped label.
March 10, 2023 @ 1:32 pm
Bloodshot played a huge role in getting me back into country in the late 90s, happy to see the new owners make right with the artists. But Trigger, you buried the lead: Robbie Fulks is putting out a bluegrass album! Speaking of bloodshot, the Waco Brothers have a new album coming out later this month.
March 11, 2023 @ 12:33 am
Finally! Some Jason Hawk Harris news. He’s one of my favorite new artists over the last several years and his debut album is accordingly one of my top albums from that time. Been eagerly awaiting his next record so im very happy to hear this
March 11, 2023 @ 8:06 pm
Love & the Dark is one of my favorite albums altogether, not just from a few years ago. It is so good! I was always surprised it didn’t seem to gain more steam. Very much looking forward to the new Jason Hawk Harris content!
March 12, 2023 @ 12:36 pm
Completely agree. I didn’t want to over hyperbolize but it’s as good as any other record. I had it on repeat for quite a while. It’s a relatively short album so I’ve legitimately listened to every song on there around 40 times or so. Been seriously needing new music from him.
March 12, 2023 @ 3:19 pm
I smoked a cigarette with one of Lydia Loveless’s band mates once and then briefly talked to her. I kept my 100% batting average up of awkward experiences with singers (although, my first one was meeting Allison Moorer while on ecstasy…she was an angel, but still, drugs are bad kids).
I talked briefly to Lydia about Kirsty MacColl who she had covered on record. I thought I was doing it right, not fan girl-ing out on her, wine lips and all. I mean, I’ve been in Sissy Spacek’s bathroom, I was trying to be low key Sissy style (Sissy is everything you’d want her to be, fyi).