Wouldn't you know it, I was on furlough when word came down about a couple of area acts scoring impressive record deals. First up, peerless pop ensemble The Old Ceremony has signed with Grammy-winning local label Yep Roc Records, which sounds like a very fine match. The group's fifth album, "Fairytales and Other Forms of Suicide" will be released bearing the Yep Roc imprint on Aug. 21.
Then there's the Durham Americana group Delta Rae, which has signed with Warner-distributed Sire Records. What makes the deal all the more impressive is that Delta Rae is the first signing in years by none other than Seymour Stein, the legendary record executive who also gave the world Madonna, the Ramones and Depeche Mode, among others. Stein called the band "an important addition to our overall roster" in a statement, adding:
"Their music, all original, is a mix of blues, country and gospel with a strong rock and roll influence. I hate labels, but if forced I would have to call their music 'Original Americana,' not unlike what the English are sending over via Mumford & Sons and others. I'm very proud to welcome Delta Rae to Sire. I know you will love Delta Rae and their music as much as I do."
Sire/Warner will release Delta Rae's "Carry the Fire" album on June 19.