News Column

Renick Street Records launches Saturday

July 12, 2013

YellowBrix

July 12--If you want to go anywhere in life, you have to get out of the house. For years, St. Joseph-based label Renick Street Records has been located mainly on the street where it takes its name. Starting this weekend, it's taking it to the streets and venues of St. Joseph.

On July 13, the local rock record label will officially take off as The First Ward House hosts the Renick Street Records launch party with Missouri Homegrown, Burnstyles and If You See Kay at 9 p.m.

It's a watershed moment for Renick Street Records owner and creator Steve Mann, who remembers when it was a passion project in 2006 created in his house to support his bands, like the hard rock and blues-based band If You See Kay.

With four out of five band members living on Renick, it quickly became a place of music and celebration.

"It was just a jam house, you know, party house where we would practice all the time. We started doing some recording and pretty much took it from there," he says.

Things have definitely changed since those days. The record label now has a solid stable of acts, including the punk band Benkirkland, the rock and reggae-tinged Burnstyles, psychobilly band Jerkface and punk and roots-based band Sticky Throttles, and a lineup of albums scheduled for release this year.

"We're really trying to unite the scene, trying to get multiple bands nationwide exposure, instead of one band," Mann says. "We want bands to get as much exposure as they can, get out of town, start doing something bigger."

The launch party serves as a preview of what's to come for the label, such as the upcoming Missouri Homegrown album "You Asked For It" and Burnstyles' debut album "If There's Smoke ..." Both albums can be pre-ordered at the show or online at renickstreetrecords.com.

In a similar fashion to This Tall Records, another recently launched record label in St. Joseph, Renick Street wants to help bands find their voice and learn how to market themselves so they can move on.

"It's cool in the sense, to me, that most bands need help because they can't do a lot of things themselves, even something as simple as getting on Facebook and using it accurately," says Bret Yager, singer and guitarist for Burnstyles and staff member of Renick Street Records.

For the record label, it's making sure bands get the best chance at scoring bigger gigs, like those offered in competitive markets like Kansas City.

"If you're trying to impress a promoter in Kansas City when there's a national band coming and they want local support, well, this band's phenomenal, but this (other) band is also phenomenal, but they've got music videos and an (electronic press kit) ... that band's probably going to get chosen because they look the part more," Yager says.

As a musician, Mann says he realizes most artists in the area don't have the time or capital to make playing music a full-time gig. His goal is to help make their musical ride smooth and help bring projects to life doing it.

"I know a lot of people in town that are musicians, they're part-time musicians. They're musicians that have full-time jobs, and we want them to get the most out of their experience, and we think we can help do that," he says.

Having an impressive lineup of talent that can help pass on its shine to its labelmates isn't a bad place to start.

"They're all different styles of music, but I don't think they're so far apart that a fan who likes one band would not like the other ones," Yager says. "Having that family aspect where it's not just, 'Our band's cool.' It's more than just the one band."

Watching all of the label's hard work come to an apex on Saturday, Mann says he's both excited and nervous. But it's a good kind of nervous.

"It's like letting your kid drive for the first time, you know?" he says.

Andrew Gaug can be reached at andrew.gaug@newspressnow.com. Follow him on Twitter: @SJNPGaug.

Andrew Gaug can be reached at andrew.gaug@newspressnow.com. Follow him on Twitter: @SJNPGaug.

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(c)2013 the St. Joseph News-Press (St. Joseph, Mo.)

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