In the first of an occasional series, I thought I'd shine a light on some of those record labels that are, themselves, a recommendation of quality.
I first registered the Cooking Vinyl label with their excellent sampler compilation 'Cooking Vinyl 1986 - 2016'. Suddenly, a lot of favourite bands had a link in common - they were or had been on Cooking Vinyl. (We'll overlook Hayseed Dixie!)
Tom Robinson, Ron Sexsmith (or as I think of him, the sainted Ron Sexsmith), Lilac Time, Echo and the Bunnymen, Obi (Oh my sainted aunt. I thought I was the only living person who remembered them!), Underworld, Groove Armada, City and Colour, Turin Brakes and Madness. Besides being attached to Cooking Vinyl, all these acts had one thing in common - excellent songwriting and performances. Perhaps the best aspect was being introduced to Paul Kelly and his song 'Bradman'. Without doubt this is the best song written about sport, and one of the best songs ever written about nostalgia too. And if you like cricket, you'll love the video.
You could say that there was a bias towards folky songs in the early days, but the roster has broadened out considerably since then. The current roster includes a strong cohort of female singer songwriters. The link below is to their current mixtape playlist and is a good indication of their quality, new and old.
Of all the labels out there at the moment Cooking Vinyl are perhaps one of the most traditional.Increased chart success wouldn't go amiss, but they don't compromise their strengths to achieve it. You may feel there's a backward looking feel to their roster or you could argue that they only take acts of proven quality. Either way Cooking vinyl are a hallmark for great singer songwriters.