• Philville Records

Philville Records 20th Anniversary Anthology Vol. 1, The Driftless Revelers debut album, & more...

Philville Friends and Family:


Hope 2022 finds you upright, enduring, and looking forward to brighter days ahead.


As everyone is aware, the last few years have been pretty challenging for everyone--including artists and independent labels--but 2021 was not without its bright spots.


Last summer marked the creation of my latest project, the Driftless Revelers, and brought with it my first multi-state tour since 2019. The new band was very well received in the upper Midwest, and we're now hard at work on our debut album which is due out this spring. Here's a link to a press kit, videos, and bio on the new project: https://www.philvillerecords.com/thedriftlessrevelers

We've already got some festivals lined up for summer of 2022, and more dates on the way. The band feels incredibly fortunate to be back out playing and booking shows again after the roller coaster ride of the last few years.


For fans of my prior string band projects (Frostbitten Grass and the Ventucky String Band),

I think you'll love the Driftless Revelers. Ben Nelson and Jerod Kaszynski are both brilliant musicians, and our shared love of roots music and the weird ephemera of old time blues, hillbilly, and hokum music have combined into some 21st century freak folk that's truly unique. Check out the videos here and I hope you dig them! Beware of gophers in your woodpile...especially in the midst of cabin fever season...

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In other exciting news, the first volume of the Philville Records Anthology is going be released this spring/summer!

We had hoped to get it out this past fall, but due to delays at several of the record pressing plants (yes--it's going to be on a limited run vinyl LP!!!), we had to push the release date to this spring. In many ways, it's perfect timing, as 2022 marks the 20th anniversary release of Philville's very first album, Frostbitten Grass.


Vol. 1 of the Anthology covers the first recordings on Philville, starting with Frostbitten Grass, Acoustic Beef, No Shame, and El Heno De La Muerte.


Vol. 1 highlights selected tracks off each of those records, and will include detailed stories, liner notes, history, and anecdotes about the characters and musicians I worked with in the early days of the label.


Vol. 2 will be released in 2023 and will cover selected tracks from the California years of Philville (album highlights from Matthew R. Sayles, Running on Wires, Ventucky String Band, the Detroit Sportsmen's Congress, Hannah Jobus, and a few other surprises).


Special thanks to my old Marquette music scene pals Nate Bett (photographer extraordinaire) and Ross Johnson for helping coordinate the cover art for Vol. 1 on the Phil's 550 sign (an homage to our co-founder and purveyor of sundries, Phil Pearce).

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The last few years also culminated in the creation of a great new podcast by my pal Christian Gallo: The Old Dingy Jukebox

The show's concept came out of record listening parties that Christian and I would have back in Ventura, CA. where we'd share rare and eccentric 78's, old LP's, and the stories behind the songs artists.


I've guest hosted a few episodes (and hope to contribute a few more in 2022), so please check out the show! You won't be disappointed. Christian is an excellent host, and the music is as varied as it is good. It's also pretty unique, in that nearly all of the songs on the show are transcribed from records in our collections--like the old radio shows, you're actually hearing DJ's spinning records!

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I'll be sure to send out another update with specifics on release dates for the new albums as they get nailed down--so stay tuned!


Thanks again for supporting Independent Artists and Labels, and as a great pal of mine always used to end his messages:


Keep Grinnin'!

Matthew R. Sayles

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