We posted last Friday with the sad news that Pinecastle Records was closing its doors, effective February 1, after 20 years producing and marketing bluegrass music worldwide.
The company was started in 1989 by Tom Riggs after a successful career as a Pizza Hut franchisee in Florida. Riggs moved the company to North Carolina in 2008, along with The Music Shed, a large online music retailer managed by his son, Cort.
Tom’s health is such that he now requires 24 hour supervised care, and can no longer be a part of the business. Both his need for nursing care, and the current state of the music business were given as the reasons why Pinecastle has closed down. Music Shed will continue to operate without interruption.
Over the years they had been home to bluegrass legends like The Osborne Brothers and Jim & Jesse, stalwarts like Special Consensus and John Cowan, as well as newcomers like Grasstowne and Dixie Bee-Liners.
We have learned that the two Pinecastle releases that had been scheduled for February 2010 will be the final installments in the company’s two decades of operation. Down Home from Josh Williams and 20th Anniversary from Larry Stephenson both officially hit on February 23. The label will not be able to provide any promotional support, however, as the Pinecastle staff has been laid off.
Cort will soon begin negotiating with the various Pinecastle artists and other potentially interested parties about the disposition of existing stock, as well as the masters for active catalog titles. Until these issues are resolved, artists will be able to order product through Music Shed, as will distributors, resellers and the general public.
Any of Tom Riggs’ many friends in the music business can send him words of encouragement and good will at the following address:
P.O. Box 765
Columbus NC 28722
I’ll repeat my appeal from last week: If you are in the position to patronize a business, artist, festival or concert you would like to see survive this perilous business climate, please do so while you still can.