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Bio : Single Lock Records
From a humble start in 2013 as a community music project to its current status as a globally respected independent record label, Single Lock Records has held firm to the original goal: gathering and releasing interesting, challenging Southern American music regardless of genre.
Based in the Florence/Muscle Shoals area of North Alabama, Single Lock draws on the musical heritage of the Shoals and pushes it into the 21st century, combining the efforts of creative legacies and young trailblazers to redefine the music of our region. Dreamt up by musicians, founded by musicians and run by musicians, the label pushes for fairness in their business dealings and transparency with their artists.
Started as, simply, a co-op, the label found it’s audience and had to grow up fast. Single Lock’s first major success was St. Paul & the Broken Bones’ debut LP, Half the City. Later successes include Donnie Fritts’ Oh My Goodness, Dylan LeBlanc’s Cautionary Tale, Erin Rae’s Americana-nominated Putting On Airs, and Cedric Burnside’s GRAMMY-nominated Benton County Relic.
Since then, the label has moved from office to office, often running off laptops and mobile hotspots in the backseat of touring vans. It’s how they maintain their artist-first sensibility-- they are artists, too. Many of Single Lock’s releases feature it’s owners, whether it’s Ben Tanner as producer/engineer or keyboards, John Paul White on vocals or guitar or Reed Watson on drums. It’s a labor of love that draws on the creative spirit of Muscle Shoals music culture.
In 2020, Single Lock opened an office in New Orleans, Louisiana, expanding their footprint and connecting two vital Southern music cultures. The label also responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by establishing the Advocacy Fund for Alabama Musicians, distributing over $15,000 in no-strings-attached relief grants to Alabama musicians-- an effort that is currently ongoing.
In 2021, Single Lock will mark its 50th release by continuing to push the boundaries of what is generally accepted as “Southern music”, featuring New Orleans Mardi Gras-indian funk outfit Cha Wa, Alabama ghost country stalwarts Pine Hill Haints, Mississippi hill country blues legend Cedric Burnside, cosmic country cult-favorite The Kernal and deep south indie-rock veteran Duquette Johnston.
To achieve all this, you need great music, but you also need strong relationships and a firm moral bedrock. It’s the foundation of Single Lock Records.
As The Bitter Southerner said in 2019: “Single Lock, as a noun, a commodity, a philosophy, is a collection of great music from all influences and sensibilities, music made without narrow boundaries, without dollar-focused directives, and with 100% artist integrity at its core. You don’t have to be an A+ music aesthete or discophile to get it.”