the label




Dead Reckoning releases some of the most interesting and unique music in Nashville, even if it’s not made by one of the Reckoners themselves.   Here are some of the label’s releases:

Big House

Big House, from the west coast country headquarters of Bakersfield, brings soul to the country underpinnings of its songs.  Lee Roy Parnell, with whom they have recorded, calls them his favorite band.  Originally signed to MCA, they had critical success, but corporate radio wasn’t looking for their kind of sound and, like most Dead Reckoning artists, they were unwilling to compromise their art for radio airplay. 

On Woodstock Nation, their first Dead Reckoning release, they have a pared-down sound to go along with a tightened-up band, made up of guitarist David Neuhauser, lead vocalist/guitarist Monty Byrom, drummer Benny Rappa and bassist Steve Vines.  Their “underdubbed” sound, in which they record live in a studio and then remove parts, rather than add them in typical Nashville fashion, gives their record a raw energy.

Woodstock Nation, released May 23, 2000
Get info / Buy it from or Dead Reckoning.

“It drips with gut-deep feeling.”–Anika Van Wyk, Calgary Sun



Charlie Major

Charlie Major is one of Canada’s most successful artists in any musical genre.    His first three Canadian albums all went gold or better, he wrote Ricky Van Shelton’s number one hit “Backroads,” and he’s won  three Junos, seven Canadian Country Music Awards and six RPM Big Country Awards, including winning the Juno Award for Country Male Vocalist of the Year three years running, beginning in 1994. 

He turned to Dead Reckoning for a label change, and it was a great fit.    Dead Reckoners Harry Stinson and Tammy Rogers had played on his records before, and for Charlie’s first record on Dead Reckoning, 444, Harry did the producing and various Reckoners contributed instrumentally.  The resulting album was a more mellow, relaxed sound than he had exhibited on past records.

444, March 21, 2000
Get info / Buy it from or Dead Reckoning.

“Alt country at it’s purest.”–Bob Paxman,



David Olney

A unique folk-country singer/songwriter, David Olney defies convention with his semi-spoken, semi-sung songs.  He made several albums in the ’70s, laid back for a while then returned in the ’90s with three more albums, all on Philo.  His songs have been recorded by Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Townes Van Zandt and others.

His special gift lies in creating characters, almost as an actor does.  He gets inside the head of the people his songs create and develops songs from their point of view.  In Omar’s Blues, his first Dead Reckoning release, he tackles the unlikely subject matter of Omar Khayyam, applying the poet’s themes to characters both contemporary and Biblical–and it works beautifully.  Using fairly standard country instrumentation, he conjures up visions of people and places that stay in your mind long after the CD has finished playing.

Omar’s Blues, March 14, 2000
Get info / Buy it from or Dead Reckoning.

“The cuts are beautiful to hear, stimulating to contemplate….”–Mark Gresser, Music Matters Review



The Fairfield Four

Despite the name, the Fairfield four is a quintet founded by the Rev. J.R. Carrethers of the Fairfield Baptist Church in Nashville in the 1920s.   Most of its members have been performing together for over 50 years. 

Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, and B.B. King have cited the group’s gospel performances as an influence.   Today, Lee Roy Parnell, Elvis Costello, John Fogerty, Steve Earle, and Dead Reckoner Kevin Welch are among the group’s biggest supporters; each has invited the Fairfields to accompany him onstage or on a record. 

A Fairfield Four performance is a virtual feast of  hands, voices, and feet, making a “joyous noise” that gets the audience moving!  And Wreckin’ the House, their recording for Dead Reckoning, captures those a capella songs and perfect harmonies live–their first live recording in all their decades of performing! 

Wreckin’ the House, July 7, 1998
Get info / Buy it from

” Breath-taking bass and high harmonies, and explosive vocal climaxes that send chills down your spine.”–Al Handa,