Early Influences

  • Dave Freeman/County Records, and mentors including Hazel Dickens, Archie Green, Walt Saunders, Dick Spottswood, and many more.   

Came to Fame With

  • Rounder Records, 1970-present

Led the Way

  • One of the top independent record labels in the United States, Rounder has included bluegrass music from the very beginning. 
  • Produced debut studio recordings by Alison Krauss, Mark O’Connor, Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Hazel Dickens, Béla Fleck, Dailey and Vincent, The Grascals, The SteelDrivers, Sierra Hull, The Earls of Leicester, and numerous others.   
  • Pioneered in presenting women in bluegrass, with recordings by Hazel and Alice, Wilma Lee Cooper, Laurie Lewis, Claire Lynch, Lynn Morris, and others
  • Promoted many of the leaders in New Acoustic Music, including Tony Trischka, Andy Statman, David Grisman, Darol Anger, and Mike Marshall.
  • Active in formation of the Boston Bluegrass Union and trade associations NAIRD, Folk Alliance, IBMA, Blues Foundation, and Americana Music Association (AMA)
  • Rounder records have won 51 Grammy awards, including many Best Bluegrass albums.
  • The Rounders have received Lifetime Achievement Awards from Folk Alliance and AMA.
  • Bluegrass Hall of Fame, 2016.

By the Way

  • The label’s name was chosen because of the shape of a vinyl record, because a “rounder” is a traveling ne’er do well in American folklore, and in honor of the Holy Modal Rounders, an early favorite band.
  • The founders initially lived and worked in a living/working/political collective.
  • In their early days, the founders traveled and sold records out of a Volkswagen minibus.
  • None of the three founders is a performing musician, but all have graduate degrees.

Early Influences

  • Dave Freeman/County Records, and mentors including Hazel Dickens, Archie Green, Walt Saunders, Dick Spottswood, and many more.   

Came to Fame With

  • Rounder Records, 1970-present

Led the Way

  • One of the top independent record labels in the United States, Rounder has included bluegrass music from the very beginning. 
  • Produced debut studio recordings by Alison Krauss, Mark O’Connor, Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Hazel Dickens, Béla Fleck, Dailey and Vincent, The Grascals, The SteelDrivers, Sierra Hull, The Earls of Leicester, and numerous others.   
  • Pioneered in presenting women in bluegrass, with recordings by Hazel and Alice, Wilma Lee Cooper, Laurie Lewis, Claire Lynch, Lynn Morris, and others
  • Promoted many of the leaders in New Acoustic Music, including Tony Trischka, Andy Statman, David Grisman, Darol Anger, and Mike Marshall.
  • Active in formation of the Boston Bluegrass Union and trade associations NAIRD, Folk Alliance, IBMA, Blues Foundation, and Americana Music Association (AMA)
  • Rounder records have won 51 Grammy awards, including many Best Bluegrass albums.
  • The Rounders have received Lifetime Achievement Awards from Folk Alliance and AMA.
  • Bluegrass Hall of Fame, 2016.

By the Way

  • The label’s name was chosen because of the shape of a vinyl record, because a “rounder” is a traveling ne’er do well in American folklore, and in honor of the Holy Modal Rounders, an early favorite band.
  • The founders initially lived and worked in a living/working/political collective.
  • In their early days, the founders traveled and sold records out of a Volkswagen minibus.
  • None of the three founders is a performing musician, but all have graduate degrees.

From the Archives

“We got into the music business because of the music and the artists. When we started out, we weren’t even thinking of making a living…. Our goal at the time was to make one classic record, something that would be cited in a list of the ten best bluegrass or fiddle or banjo records.”
Ken Irwin, quoted by Richard Henderson in “The Rounder Founders: The Billboard Interview—The Trio Talks of Three Decades,” Billboard, February 10, 2001.
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