It all started so simply. It was noon on May 1st, 2007. Paul Sanchez and John Boutté, two well-known New Orleans musicians, played together as a duo. It was an acoustic set at a private, outdoor charitable event for the Threadheads, fans of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, on a Tuesday afternoon between Fest weekends.
The music sung and played and the stories told by Paul and John were magical in so many ways. And during the set, John asked Paul if he would produce his next record.
Listen to that short exchange here:
After their set ended, an innocent Threadhead wandered up to John and Paul and asked: when would the two of them put out a CD together? Paul’s succinct response, with his sweet smile, was, “Well, like I said, that would take money.”
And thus began Threadhead Records (THR), an unprecedented fan-funded and volunteer-run record company formed out of the love for New Orleans, its music and its musicians.
Our mission is:
- To help New Orleans musicians affected by the flooding that occurred in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to continue to produce projects
- To expose the world to the amazing new music that is being created in New Orleans
- To help celebrate and preserve New Orleans’ uniquely vibrant (and perennially endangered) musical and cultural heritages
Each CD project is funded by the fans themselves through THR; the money is loaned to the artist and is paid back by the musicians within 6-12 months of the CD’s release to the public. Loan recipients also agree to pay an additional five percent charitable return to the Threadhead Records Foundation, Sweet Home New Orleans, the New Orleans Musicians Clinic, or other similar charities benefitting New Orleans musicians, and a five percent administrative fee to help pay for our general expenses. All monies paid back by the artist (exclusive of the 10 percent described above) are returned to the fans who funded the project. More information can be found on our “How it Works” page.
The musicians own their own work; THR does not sign artists, nor are we involved in creative decisions or ownership of songs. We exist solely to help musicians get their CDs made. No more, no less.
Threadhead Records is a way for Louisiana-based musicians to continue to produce the music they crave to create and, in return, gives their fans the music they love to hear. It’s a truly wonderful partnership.
From David Simon, creator of Treme on HBO: ”Lots of American places used to make things. Detroit used to make cars. Baltimore used to make steel and ships. New Orleans still makes something. It makes moments.” New Orleans musicians are still making moments.
Please help us rebuild New Orleans, one song at a time.
Listen to Chris Joseph describe Threadhead Records during an interview on KGNU-FM:
Listen to Chris, John Boutte & Paul Sanchez discuss Threadhead Records on WWOZ: