Los Angeles, February 2018–Inspired by women across many industries, musicians Adrienne Isom (NOCONA), KP Hawthorn (California Country Records/CALICO the band) and event producer Karen Rappaport McHugh (Muddy Girl Productions) have announced the formation of a new company, REBELLE ROAD ( www.rebelleroad.com ) to fiercely champion Americana, Roots and Country music from a female vantage point. They will produce a handful of events in California before the official launch during SXSW, on Wednesday, March 14 at Ramada South Austin with a full day of showcase performances.
“We’re thrilled to join with many women already working to ‘change the conversation’ for female artists,” they acknowledge. “We’re joining them in a specific way by creating opportunities for the many incredible females in American music – both on stage and behind the scenes. It is our aim to strengthen parity – male and female – across all outlets.”
Deriving their company name from the gutsy life and legend of Belle Starr, the Los Angeles-based partners with roots in California and Texas, are developing a local venue showcase series, a traveling Rebelle Roadshow, as well as a podcast and boutique music festival. They have also optioned several properties to develop for Film/TV.
As part of their mission, Rebelle Road also hopes to strengthen the identity of musicians from the “California Country” community. Artist KP Hawthorn, who runs California Country Records and is one of the few female record producers in country music, created the annual “California Country Social” at Fond Object Records during Americana Fest in 2016 after realizing that the Golden State was under-represented. “We have a rich history in country music that has been minimized over the past few decades and there are so many incredible working artists on the West Coast that we want to spotlight.”
The trio is taking a page from the Bandit Queen’s life as they acknowledge studying and stealing from every venue series and festival, mostly created by men, to develop new concepts that are infused with feminine energy. “Belle Starr was a maverick of her time, an outlaw who lived by her own rules to survive,” they state. “If women need to step up to receive parity, then that’s what we’ll do — create our own platform.” With a nod to traditional booking standards, they emphasize that male artists will not be excluded.