To celebrate its 15th birthday this fall, local label Yep Roc Records is gathering the tribes in mid-October for a three-night blowout at Cat's Cradle with Nick Lowe, Robyn Hitchcock, Dave Alvin, Fountains of Wayne, Chuck Prophet, Jon Doe, the Minus 5 and many other artists who have released records on the label in the past decade and a half.
The shows, set for Oct. 11-13, also will feature Liam Finn, The Sadies, Sloan, Cheyenne Marie Mize, Jim White, Eleni Mandell and others to be announced. Top local acts in the lineup include Chatham County Line and a reunion of Mayflies USA. John Wesley Harding will serve as master of ceremonies.
In addition to standard show tickets, the label will sell a limited batch of 100 passes that will also be good for a kickoff party on Oct. 10 at Local 506 with Los Straitjackets and The Fleshtones plus longtime local favorites Southern Culture on the Skids and the Countdown Quartet; a private reception at the West End Wine Bar in Chapel Hill on Oct. 12; and a collaborative recording session on Oct.13 helmed by local producer Chris Stamey and longtime Yep Roc roster cog Scott McCaughey (Minus 5, The Baseball Project).
Glenn Dicker and Tor Hansen launched Yep Roc in 1997 as an in-house arm of Redeye Distribution, which they had opened the previous year. (It gradually grew into one of the nation's top distributors of independent releases.) The first Yep Roc product was Revival: Brunswick Stew & Pig Pickin', a 16-song compilation of mostly alt-country bands from that era's Triangle scene, including Whiskeytown, the Backsliders, Two Dollar Pistols, Six String Drag and Trailer Bride.
The label expanded into indie-rock and other realms over the ensuing decade. A key addition to the roster came in 2001 when Yep Roc issued The Convincer by British pub-rock legend Nick Lowe, who'd previously worked with Dicker on records with the Rounder affiliate Upstart. Lowe's presence helped attract other artists, including McCaughey, whose 2004 album Down With Wilco, a collaboration with Jeff Tweedy and his bandmates, further established Yep Roc's reputation in indie circles.
Early on, Redeye and Yep Roc were based in Graham before moving to Haw River, where the Redeye distribution operation will remain when Yep Roc relocates its label offices to Hillsborough later this year.