Holger Petersen and Forty Years of Stony Plain

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Submitted by Don Graham

Stony Plain Records, one of Canada’s longest standing independent record labels, is celebrating 40 years in business with a classic 3 disc collection of amazing music, 40 Years of Stony Plain. This three volume set celebrates with some of the label's favourite tracks, including one full CD of rarities and previously unreleased music by artists like Eric Bibb, Maria Muldaur, Duke Robillard and Sam Chatmon. Stony Plain was named "2014 Record Label of the Year" by the Blues Foundation in Memphis. Add to that 6 Grammy nominations, 11 Juno Awards and dozens of Blues Awards and Maple Blues Awards.

Stony Plain Records has been recognized worldwide for its consistent, high quality roots and blues releases.

We caught up with founder Holger Petersen at his office in Alberta as he readies for his annual trip to France for MIDEM. “I’m really proud of what we’ve accomplished in the 40 years we’ve been in business and have seen a lot of changes in the business during that time. But one thing that has stayed consistent is our commitment to quality with artists on our roster and the music we put out to the world and our reputation for integrity.” Holger and team have seen it all in the last 40 years, have stayed the course and kept it all about good music. “We’ve been very selective about are product and kept the quality high. Ian Tyson is a big part of our success. Ian made it possible for us to go from working at our kitchen table to having an office and becoming a legitimate record label.”

Holger PetersenHolger PetersenAnd legitimate they are. “The label calls itself “Canada’s Roots, Rock, Folk, Country, and Blues label” and that is exactly what it is. The term roots didn’t really exist back then so we were considered folk in the early years.”

And to celebrate the 40 year anniversary comes the release of 40 Years of Stony Plain. The three-disc set is categorized by Singer-Songwriter, Blues and Rarities.

The first disc contains known material from acts like Doug Sahm,“Louis Riel,” Spirit of the West, “The Crawl”and the legendary Emmylou Harris “Where Will I Be”; all great songs that deserve to be heard again.There is more current material, like a cut from Colin Linden’s (who has gained new exposure from his involvement with the hit TV series Nashville,) latest album “No More Cheap Wine” and the Guitar Heroes album. Then there’s Corb Lund, Harry Manx & Kevin Breit, Rodney Crowell, Valdy & Gary Fjellgaard, Junio’sr. Gone Wild, Ian Tyson, and others. .It’s really a great collection of what Stony Plain has been responsible for in the folk, roots, and country music genres over the last 40 years.

Holger Petersen presents Ian Tyson with a platinum record for Cowboyograph in 1989Holger Petersen presents Ian Tyson with a platinum record for Cowboyograph in 1989The second disc is songs from the Blues and R&B efforts.There are songs from Rory Block and Paul Reddick’s “Mourning Dove,” from his new album, Jim Byrnes “Wrapped Up, Tied Up” , King Biscuit Boy’s “Blue Light Boogie”, MonkeyJunk’s “Mother’s Crying,”, Ruthie Foster “Keep Your Big Mouth Closed,” and Long John Baldry’s version of “Midnight Special.”
Disc three ,12 rarities, out of print, and even some never released tracks including Duke Robillard’s “Rehab” and a couple of Eric Bibb songs previously unavailable. Also live cuts from Maria Muldaur, recorded in 2001. Colin Linden fans get fed with a couple of songs recorded with Sam Chatmon.

The liner notes from industry legend Richard Flohil tells the Stony Plain story and history from tape to disc to CD to digital downloads.

This collection has something for everyone. If you are a fan of country/folk/roots and have followed the growth of the label this will take you back and if you’re new to the genre, sit back and enjoy a little history.

So a tip of the hat and a big “well done sir” to Holger Petersen as well as to the Stony Plain Team. Here’s to another 40 years of great music.

For more visit www.stonyplainrecords.com