Although The Record Company has been a band for the past six years, its greatest successes have come recently. The trio — guitarist/vocalist Chris Vos, bassist/vocalist Alex Stiff and drummer/vocalist Mark Cazorla — coalesced in 2011 around a shared love of traditional electric Blues masters like John Lee Hooker and their translational boogie children, including The Rolling Stones, with the visceral passion of The Stooges adding fuel to the creative fire. In fact, it was Vos’ tale of seeing Iggy and the Stooges at L.A.’s Palladium that led them to start playing together — within two days of their initial jam session, the musicians set up mics in Stiff’s living room and started recording themselves, with the results cementing their decision to become a band.
The Record Company subsequently played every conceivable gig it could book and built a zealously loyal fan base in and around Los Angeles by consistently offering an incendiary live show that transcended the constraints of a mere Blues band. In the process, the palpable buzz the trio generated led them to opening slots for Blues legends B.B. King, Mavis Staples and Buddy Guy, as well as contemporary sensations like John Mayer, Dawes, Kurt Vile and Grace Potter.
The Record Company also squeezed a ton of promotional attention from its three initial EPs, Superdead and Covers (both in 2012) and Feels So Good in 2013. Songs from all of these releases, some of which would feature on the band’s first full album, were used in commercials for Coors Light and Miller Lite and in a variety of television shows, including Nashville, Suits and Orphan Black.
On the heels of The Record Company’s successful European circuit opening for Blackberry Smoke in 2015, the band finally released its debut full-length, 2016’s Give It Back to You. The almost universally acclaimed album hit the Top 25 of the Billboard 200 chart, while its lead single, “Off the Ground” — sounding like a butt-shaking hybrid of The Black Keys and Morphine — topped the magazine’s Adult Alternative Songs chart. Within two months of the album’s release, Rolling Stone cited the band as one of its “10 New Artists You Need to Know.” Give It Back to You generated airplay on a broad spectrum of Rock radio stations and was eventually nominated for a Grammy in the Best Contemporary Blues Album category.
The Record Company play with a controlled ferocity and an honest desire to make great music and, unlike most other record companies, they know exactly what they’re doing.
The band is part of the Big River Get Down at the RiversEdge outdoor amphitheater in Hamilton, Ohio, a day-long fest created by David Shaw, Hamilton native and frontman for New Orleans’ group The Revivalists. Shaw’s band headlines, and other acts include Smooth Hound Smith, Atlas Road Crew and The Marcus King Band. For details, visit bigrivergetdown.com.