BEST LOCAL RECORD LABEL (1998)
An easy, obvious choice. Bob Feldman's little label had an outstanding year, boasting a typically stellar new release from folksinger Greg Brown, a distribution arrangement with Appleseed records that produced a glorious two-CD tribute to Pete Seeger (featuring everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Ani DiFranco), and a delightfully quirky and surprisingly trenchant solo album from Suzzy Roche. But in some respects, the real beauty of Red House is a fidelity to its mission to present classic, often local, acoustic musicians who both affirm and challenge the folk tradition. This year, the label released satisfying new records by the likes of Dean Magraw, Peter Ostroushko, and Kate MacKenzie. Iconoclasts such as Utah Phillips and Adrian Legg further extended Red House's roots, turning out feisty, organic music.