Posted on February 27, 2018

For AirPlay Direct, it is with great pride and some professional sadness as Ken Irwin wraps up and deliver his brilliant year of Rounder releases as AirPlay Direct’s “Iconic Innovator” 2017.

“Ken is an incredible record executive and has been an absolute wealth of knowledge and music curator for both Rounder Records and AirPlay Direct throughout 2017," states Robert Weingartz, Chairman - AirPlay Direct.  "I personally have learned a tremendous amount from Ken, and will miss his monthly treasure trove of music, stories and knowledge. I am proud to call him my friend and to have him as a trusted advisor… he is a ‘one of a kind’ man. Somehow, I feel we have not seen the last from this industry titan.”

"This will be my final selection of titles from the Rounder catalog as AirPlay Direct’s 'Iconic Innovator' 2017.  It’s been a very enjoyable year, finding a reason for me to reach back and find music which I loved that might not have received the attention the albums deserved when released.  I’ve loved every minute of this process and hope that you have discovered some music you had not been familiar with before or have been reminded of songs or albums which you haven’t thought of in some time.

It’s been a pleasure working with Robert and Lynda this year, sharing our respective appreciation for and commitment to catalog.  They have come up with a concept to share catalog and a platform which enables them to share the music worldwide. Over the year, we’ve had numerous discussions about music, artists, the state of the music business and many other unrelated topics which have given me a greater appreciation of what they do and how they do it.  I look forward to continuing to work with them in the future and sharing more music with you. So long for now.  Enjoy.

Every month when put together this list it becomes a matter of whittling down from a very large list rather than having to find albums to put up. Where to start this month?

I’m With Her is the debut album from three virtuosic musicians – Aoife O’Donovan, Sarah Jarosz and Sara Watkins – each of whom have had successful solo careers, but have decided to put their voices and careers together for the next year.

We first saw Peter Stampfel and Steve Weber at a 72-hour hootenanny in Cambridge before they became the Holy Modal Rounders. They played for hours on end in the wee hours of the morning and their love of old-time music became influential in our education about old-time music, and led us to learn more about other artists. When it came time for us to come up with a name for our new record company, we borrowed the Rounder part of their name, though we also liked that records were round and we kind of identified with the rounders who rode the rode the rails.

Bobby Hicks has always been one of our favorite fiddlers and although he played on the Bluegrass Album Band albums, this is the only solo album we did with him, and Laurie Lewis and Lynn Morris are former female vocalists of the year at IBMA and among my favorite singers, both are also fine writers.

Steve Jordan has been referred to as the Jimi Hendrix of the accordion for his fiery Tex-Mex playing. Another national treasure is Irma Thomas, the soul queen of New Orleans for years.

John Hartford is best remembered for his songs and joyful stage shows, in his later years, he became a student of traditional fiddling, tracking down lesser known tunes and fiddle players. While Johnny Copeland was one fine Texas blues musician and soulful singer who recorded many albums for Rounder. He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame last year."  ~ Ken Irwin, Co-Founder - Rounder Records
Americana - Folk
Pop Rock - Jazz Bluegrass - Folk Country - Pop Rock
Blues Country - Bluegrass R&R - Soul
Country - Bluegrass Folk - Pop Rock Country - Bluegrass

About AirPlay Direct:
  AirPlay Direct is the premiere digital delivery / distribution company, brand and platform for engaging radio and airplay worldwide.  AirPlay Direct is a professional B2B music business environment for artists, labels, publishing companies, radio promotion firms, PR / Media firms, etc.

AirPlay Direct currently has over 11,000 radio station members in 90+ countries and serves over 42,000 artist / label members globally on a daily basis.  AirPlay Direct currently operates and services the largest global independent radio distribution network in the world with respect to Americana, Bluegrass, Folk, Blues, Alt. Country, Roots Music, etc.

About Collective Evolution:  Collective Evolution is a boutique, high-end entertainment and media consulting firm.  Our clients include recording artists, record labels, record producers, management companies and radio promotion / PR firms.  We deliver creative consultative services and customized business solutions to our clients based upon their specific needs and goals.

Go Back