Last week’s South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas once again attracted hordes of musicians and record industry executives hoping to make a big splash. One of them was 26-year-old James Cartwright, who runs a country/folk/roots music label, Trailer Fire Records, out of his Angeleno Heights home on Kensington Road. Cartwright brought along music samplers (pictured above) and organized showcases featuring Los Angeles acts “Leslie and The Badgers” and Olentangy John. It was an exciting and exhausting experience, which began with a 22 hour drive to Austin. He returned last night. Click on the link below to read Cartwright’s brief, first-hand account about what’s its like to work SXSW:
“My name is James Cartwright, I’m 26 and I started the label last summer. I’m friends with a bunch of musicians and wanted to give them a chance to put out their music. I moved to LA from Ohio and so we’ve been working with a mixture of Ohio bands and Los Angeles bands and trying to keep a Midwestern feel to our company while still maintaining a certain localness to Los Angeles. It’s been a fun balance to keep, and we love being based out of such a diverse music scene.
I’ve been running the label out of my Kensington house that I’ve lived in for a couple years. This was our first trip to SXSW as a company and it went off really well. We drove the 22 hours to Austin, stayed with some old college buddies outside of town, and put on two different shows during the festival. The monetary investment for the shows paled in comparison to the time and energy put in to pull something like this off. Olentangy John and I took most of the responsibilities on ourselves (anything ranging from securing the lineups, finding the PA system, making sure people showed up, to running the actual sound on the day-of.) We certainly learned some lessons along the way and we’re already excited for next year.”
Photo from Trailer Fire Records