Lucinda Williams, Kim Richey and Robert Earl Keen are among the familiar names surfacing on the new alternative-country label, Lost Highway Records. Luke Lewis, chairman of Mercury Records/Nashville, will head Lost Highway in league with Jim Caparro, president of Island Def Jam, Billboard Bulletin reports. Universal will distribute the label.
In addition to the artists noted above, the emerging roster also will include Ryan Adams, formerly of the group Whiskeytown, and possibly actor/director Billy Bob Thornton, who has been working on an album with country singer Marty Stuart. (Stuart and fellow Nashvillians Kristin Wilkinson and Larry Paxton provided the Golden Globe-nominated score for the Thornton-directed All the Pretty Horses.)
An early project for the new label will be an all-star tribute album to Hank Williams. Acts confirmed include Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow, Beck and Emmylou Harris and Mark Knopfler, who will do a duet. Several different producers will be involved in the album.
Frank Callari, whose management clients have included Williams, Richey, Whiskeytown and the Mavericks, will serve as Lost Highway’s head of A&R and artist development. Chris Stacey, former vice president of national promotion for Mercury, will be in charge of promotion.