Chicago’s Bloodshot Records, ‘A Country Label With a Punk Rock Attitude,’ Returns With New and Archival Releases
Mark Guarino Chicago’s Bloodshot Records was a powerful and pioneering force in the alt-country movement of the 1990s and beyond, defining the genre with a roster of breakthrough artists including the Robbie Fulks, Old 97s, Alejandro Escovedo, the Waco Brothers, Neko Case, Justin Townes Earle, and the Bottle Rockets. In 2021, 27 years after its first release, label co-founders Nan Warshaw and Rob Miller sold Bloodshot to Exceleration Music, a global investment group that either owns the catalogs of or has strategic partnerships with other legacy labels like Alligator Records and Kill Rock Stars. At the time, Exceleration said it planned to largely manage and monetize Bloodshot’s back catalog. But this month it is releasing “Music Man,” a new album by Layng Martine Jr., a veteran Nashville songwriter who has written hits for legends like Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Trisha Yearwood, Reba McEntire, and the Pointer Sisters, among many others. It is one of five new albums Bloodshot is set to release this year, said Dave Hansen, an Exeleration principal.