In The Clouds – A Little Rant & Vanguard Records: A Leading Independent Music Label

Lee DeWyze  amd More Artists from Vanguard Records  So to make things clear before I start, I do not like reality TV, and for that matter: reality TV shows that serve the purpose of humiliation, specifically music related. I find it a waste of time. To quote Dave Ghole: It’s destroying the next generation of musicians! Musicians should go to a yard sale and buy and old f*cking drum set and get in their garage and just suck. And get their friends to come in and they’ll suck, too. {…} You don’t need a f*cking computer or the internet or The Voice or American Idol.

With this being all said and done, the other day while listening to the radio this song came on, and I really, really liked it. I didn’t really hear who this artist was but later on that evening while browsing through Soundcloud looking for inspiration I was lead to Vanguard Records where I found the artist Lee DeWyze (song, Silver Lining).  I thought the name rang a bell,  so I researched him, discovering that Lee DeWyze won American Idol in 2010. I usually strongly dislike winners of shows like this because of their pop-y, cookie cutter sound, but DeWyze’s shows his true colors with his expressive songwriting.  I found that his advanced chops on a variety of instruments and his stylistic approach he employs was delightful. Inspired by his lifelong love of classic folk-rooted artists like Simon & Garfunkel and Cat Stevens, he shines.

His first single, “Silver Lining” from his upcoming summer release he collaborated with renowned producer/songwriters such as Toby Gad, Drew Pearson, Jim Scott, Matthew Wilder and Phil Allen. In an interview he said that he “wanted to take it back to what I’m really about, which is writing emotionally charged, meaningful songs, I knew what kind of album I wanted to make and knew I could make. The way I see it, everything that’s happened throughout my career has happened so that I can make this record.”

This, in my opinion, proves that with the right support an artist can succeed. Succeed not only in a monetarily way, but artistically aswell. Vanguard Records is a perfect example of this.  It’s a family owned record label, and one of the world’s leading independent record labels. Set up in 1950 by brothers Maynard and Seymour Solomon in New York; what started as a classical label, it’s catalogue of recordings  grew by a number of pivotal folk and blues artists. Vanguard diversified in the mid-1950s by challenging the blacklist and signing Paul Robeson and the Weavers. In the summer of 1965 Maynard Solomon hired Samuel Charters to edit the tapes of the 1964 Newport Folk Festival. Following that project, the company sent Charters to Chicago to capture the broad range of blues musicians there. Those sessions resulted in the classic 1966 three album series titled Chicago/The Blues/Today!, which introduced a new generation to the blues. The albums included sets by Junior Wells with Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters’s bandmates Otis Spann and James Cotton, Otis Rush, Homesick James, Johnny Shines, Big Walter Horton, and Charlie Musselwhite.

Now here in 2013 Vanguard records houses some of the top artist in the industry such as Barenaked Ladies, Indigo Girls, Lee DeWyze, and California country music legend Merle Haggard. This label, and Lee DeWyze are on my watch list- amazing music.

Take A Listen to  Lee DeWyze  and More Artists from Vanguard Records – and

– Article by Lana Nimmons 

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