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Various Artists - 1 January 03 2007

Sugar Hill Records: A Retrospective

When the major record labels turned from provocateurs to profiteers in the late 1970s, more concerned with money than art, one benefit was the rise of independent labels. They became the breeding ground for the top groups of the time: R.E.M., U2 and Bob Marley all recorded for independents. The North Carolina-based Sugar Hill Records was founded in 1978 by Barry Poss to record modern music that was grounded in traditional styles. His formula was simple: sign good bands and give them artistic freedom. This four-disc set celebrates the label's first 25 years and includes a bonus DVD; it's essential for any roots-music fan. Included artists range from Guy Clark to Rodney Crowell to Ricky Skaggs to Doc Watson to Townes Van Zandt to Nickel Creek, demonstrating both the quality and eclectic mix of Sugar Hill. 5 stars