When it comes to throwing a party, Rounder Records travels first class all the way. The label's star-studded 40th Anniversary Concert was celebrated last October on one of the world's most famous stages, the Grand Ole Opry.
It's not often you see a lineup of such high-caliber artists who collectively have tallied more than 50 Grammy Awards. Banjo great Bela Fleck himself lays claim to 11 of those coveted statues. But, then how often does the label, known around the globe for its eclectic offering of contemporary bluegrass, folk, alternative rock and Southern blues, turn 40 years old.
It didn't take much coaxing to get actress and singer Minnie Driver to pack her bags and come to Nashville for Rounder's much-anticipated anniversary concert. Driver, who signed with Rounder Records in 2001, sings "Beloved" on the album.
Rounder's roster of Louisiana artists includes some of the best in Cajun, zydeco, blues and boogie-woogie; from Marcia Ball and Buckwheat Zydeco, to The Balfa Brothers, James Booker and The Dirty Dozen Brass Band. On hand to celebrate the label's milestone anniversary were the "Soul Queen of New Orleans" Irma Thomas, pianist Henry Butler, and zydeco favorites Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas.
Also sharing the Grand Ole Opry stage were multi-Grammy Award winners Mary Chapin Carpenter and Alison Krauss. The newly-released CD and DVD contain tributes from earlier concerts by singer Madeleine Peyroux and comedian and banjoist Steve Martin, as well as a duet by Alison Krauss and Robert Plant of their Grammy-winning collaboration "Rich Woman."