Mystery Street Records is celebrating its official launch with the February 1 release of "Sounds of New Orleans: Frenchmen Street," the first in a series of themed CDs that explore the phenomenally eclectic music of New Orleans.
Fresh off an incredibly successful last few years with the fan-funded and volunteer run Threadhead Records label and its sister Foundation, founder Chris Joseph created the new affiliate Mystery Street Records label in part for the purpose of releasing themed albums from the Threadhead Records family of artists, which focuses on Louisiana's rich musical heritage.
Mystery Street Records, which is expected to quickly emerge as a premier label for Louisiana music, just secured national distribution with IODA/Red and has also announced a sponsorship with Zatarain's, a producer of New Orleans-style food products. Future themed releases will focus on the various unique streets and landmarks in the Crescent City, encapsulating the "Sounds of New Orleans."
Formed in 2007, Threadhead Records was created as a way to help New Orleans musicians expose their talents to as many listeners as possible. In less than four years the label has released 25 records and raised more than $300,000 for New Orleans musicians. Not your typical record label, musicians' projects are funded by loans or grants.
"Frenchmen Street" represents the myriad of musical styles heard pouring out of the numerous music clubs and bars on any given night on one of the most unique and exciting streets in the United States. Featured artists on the record include Paul Sanchez, John Boutte, Shamarr Allen, the New Orleans Nightcrawlers, Alex McMurray, Jesse Moore, Glen David Andrews, Margie Perez & the King Cake Babies, Craig Klein, Holley Bandtsen & Amasa Miller and Matt Perrine & Sunflower City. The CD also includes an exclusive live track by John Boutte, "Louisiana 1927," recorded at the 2006 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
Following "Frenchmen Street," the label's next endeavor, scheduled for release just in time for Mardi Gras (March 1), will be "Nine Lives, A Musical Adaptation, (Volume 1)," a 2 CD collection of 24 original songs based on the book "Nine Lives" by Dan Baum. The music was written by New Orleans' own singer/songwriter Paul Sanchez and Los Angeles-based screenwriter Colman deKay and features over 100 of New Orleans' finest musicians and singers, including Irma Thomas, Allen Toussaint, John Boutte, The Dixie Cups, Harry Shearer, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and others. Cast members from HBO's Treme, including Wendell Pierce, and Tony Award-winning Broadway star Michael Cerveris, also perform on the CD. The project was financed with a grant from the Pepsi Refresh Project/Do Good for the Gulf Contest and a host of private investors.
Joseph comments, "Ultimately the goal is to help out as many New Orleans musicians as we can ... to help them earn a living and to help them get their records made. We need to keep the music we love alive."
For more information please visit http://mysterystreetrecords.com/ and http://www.threadheadrecords.com/.