Ten Years On The Lost Highway

Lost Highway Records will mark its tenth anniversary with a series of vinyl reissues and a blowout SXSW showcase.

On March 18, Lost Highway will team with BMI for a SXSW concert at the new Austin City Limits studio, The Moody Theater. Set to perform are Lucinda Williams, Robert Earl Keen, Hayes Carll, and Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears. Label reps say fans can also expect surprise appearances from guests who have played an important role in Lost Highway’s history.

Throughout 2011 Lost Highway—which almost always makes new projects available on vinyl—will release 20 different titles from its celebrated catalog on limited edition clear vinyl. This series will begin on Jan. 25 with releases of Ryan Adams’ Gold and the soundtrack of O Brother, Where Art Thou?. That will be followed on Feb. 15 by Hayes Carll’s KMAG YOYO and Drive-By Truckers’ Southern Rock Opera, and in March by Williams’ Blessed and Black Joe Lewis & The Honebears’ Scandalous.

As the brainchild of UMG Nashville chairman Luke Lewis, Lost Highway has become known for award-winning, critically acclaimed music. Since launching ten years ago, the label has released 80 albums, sold 18 million units, and had 53 Grammy® nominations with 15 wins. Among the highlights are the label’s debut release, the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack which won five Grammys, and more recently, Johnny Cash’s American IV: The Man Comes Around.

“I started dreaming of a label that might be a haven for artists that make enduring music not driven by hits on the radio,” Lewis recalls. “Only singer-songwriters need apply. Lots of people told me, ‘You can’t do that inside a major label,’ and hearing that made me crazy. I believed that if we were truly discerning and only signed great artists, we could create a brand that would in turn both serve Universal and the artist. And I was thinking at the time about how many incremental sales were created because consumers saw the logo of a label they trusted and knew stood for quality.”

Lewis won a Grammy as executive producer of The Complete Hank Williams, and received the 2010 Americana Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Over the last ten years, Lost Highway has released albums from acclaimed and award-winning artists, including Ryan Adams, Johnny Cash, Elvis Costello, Isaac Freeman (of the Fairfield Four), The Jayhawks, Lyle Lovett, Willie Nelson, Whiskeytown, Hank Williams, Lucinda Williams, Robert Earl Keen, Morrissey, Van Morrison, and Tom Jones.

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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