Over 20 years, Bloodshot Records has been home to some of alt-country and rock’s most eclectic artists, including the Old 97’s, Neko Case and Justin Townes Earle. That legacy is celebrated on the two-disc set While No One Was Looking: Toasting 20 Years of Bloodshot Records. Set for release November 18th, the compilation features non-Bloodshot acts covering some of the artists that have defined the label.
After disbanding Whiskeytown, Ryan Adams released his influential solo debut Heartbreaker on Bloodshot in 2000, and his “To Be Young (Is to Be Sad, Is to Be High)” is a highlight of the tribute album. Listen to an exclusive premiere of the song below. Interpreted by Portland country progressives Blitzen Trapper, the song is an energetic harmonica-laced jam and, according to Bloodshot co-owner Rob Miller, is representative of the compilation’s spirit.
“Often times in this, the venal snake pit that is the music industry, it’s easy to feel like you’re screaming into void, that no one’s paying attention,” says Miller. “So when we concocted the endeavor that became Toasting…., we were all alternately humbled, stoked and shocked at the speed, sonic breadth, ingenuity and diversity of artists who responded, and who, in some small way along our journey, found music we were involved with that resonated with them.”
Other artists featured on While No One Was Looking include Frank Turner (covering Cory Branan’s “The Corner”), Superchunk (another Adams’ Heartbreaker song, “Come Pick Me Up”) and Shakey Graves (Wayne Hancock’s “Happy Birthday Julie”).