By Dave Carew
In a mass e-mail sent out early this morning, Brenda Cline, who until then served as COO of Luna Chica Records in Nashville, wrote, “It is with a heavy heart that I must inform you that Luna Chica Records has officially closed.”
Spotlighted in a recent cover story in Shake! Magazine, Luna Chica was founded in 2003, originally only for Burrito Deluxe, a band co-formed by “Sneaky” Pete Kleinow who, along with Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman, was a founding member of the legendary Flying Burrito Brothers. In recent years, the indie record label had expanded by signing several other Americana and blues artists.
The reason for the closing, according to Cline’s e-mail, was fundamental: “These are tumultuous times in the music industry, and everyone is struggling in every area of the business,” Cline wrote. “We here at Luna Chica Records have struggled as well. In the beginning, we were very optimistic that our new, unique business model and progressive thinking would sustain us . . . [But] when your businesses success depends on music sales—and consumers can get music free—that makes it really hard to survive.”
On a personal note, when I asked dozens of people to come to the Listening Room Café last December to hear Lynda Lucas (the Eva Cassidy of Dublin, Ireland), Brenda Cline and two of her associates from Luna Chica were the only industry insiders who readily agreed to come out.
Luna Chica—with its passion for great Americana music and its artists-nurturing spirit—will be missed.
David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter.” He also is a freelance book editor, publicist, and advertising/marketing/public relations writer.