Randall Deaton and Lonesome Day Records are making a big play in the bluegrass market, announcing a new partner and plans for a major expansion.
And not just any partner. Jeff Carter, co-founder of cable advertising giant Viamedia, has purchased a minority shareholder stake in Lonesome Day. While he doesn’t expect to be a truly silent partner, Carter won’t involve himself in day-to-day operations. But will be bringing his 30 years of marketing experience to the benefit of the label.
Perhaps most importantly, in addition to the stock purchase, Carter has agreed to provide short term financing as needed for operations and growth. Deaton tells us that this will allow him to double or triple their annual releases, and offer marketing, distribution and publicity services to their artists that will rival what the largest labels in bluegrass provide.
“Jeff has already exposed me to new ways of looking at the business, paying attention to things in new ways.
I’m really concerned for the future of bluegrass music. We need to cultivate new fans and artists. If we can provide services to more artists, and expose them to more people, I think it’s good for everyone.
With his contributions, we’ll be in a position to thrive, not just survive.”
Carter has spent the past 12 years as CEO of Viamedia. They launched in Lexington, KY – not far from Lonesome Day’s base in Booneville – and have grown into a national company with 59 offices around the country. Viamedia services cable television advertising to local, regional and national accounts, and ensures delivery for their clients. They have more recently gotten involved in online advertising and marketing, and self-service TV campaigns for smaller clients.
He and Deaton became acquainted about two years ago when Jeff was looking into the purchase of a large, full-service recording studio in Lexington. They quickly became friends, and Carter developed a fascination with both the music and Randall’s business model.
“I’m a performing musician myself, but not in the genre that the label specializes in. I have known Randal for a period of time. He’s always impressed me as a gentlemen with a good ear for music, and as an honest, hardworking guy who deals with artists on a fair and equitable basis. What he does is about the quality of the music.
I like the genre and the artists in bluegrass, and from the outside looking in, it seems like too much market share is being directed to a few larger labels, and some diversity would be good for the music.”
The ink is barely dry on their new partnership, and Randall says that it has been something of a whirlwind considering the new opportunities it will present to the label. In the meantime, he has a Christmas project to promote for Jeff Parker and an all-star bluegrass tribute to Bob Seger in the pipeline.
Look for Lonesome Day to be a big player in short order.