Independent Record Label | Est. 2009
Wilmington, North Carolina



Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Thank you, New Hanover County

As we end this short work week to take a moment and share what each of us individually are thankful for tomorrow with family and friends, we would like to take a moment ourselves to share with you how thankful we are to have received New Hanover County's support with and contribution to GROW: A Compilation in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter. Pictured here are Kate Oelslager (left) and Lauren McConville (right), both Communications and Outreach Coordinators with our local county government, holding not only the county office's own archival copy of GROW, but the I Stand in Solidarity Because... card that their team provided for each vinyl GROW record, allowing you as the listener to express your own solidarity with our project and efforts to help ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination in our community. We recommend each of you take a moment to write-in how you Stand in Solidarity on your personal card, if not to share with others, at least to express and document your own feelings as they are right now, this year. We hope New Hanover County's I Stand in Solidarity Because card serves as a welcomed outlet for each of you. Additionally, THANK YOU dearly for your support with GROW. Be well, and enjoy your holiday weekend. ~ Fort Lowell Records 💛🧡❤️💖

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Satellite Bar & Lounge Holiday Market - Saturday, November 21 - 10:00am-4:00pm

Wilmington NC: We can't wait for this coming Saturday, November 21st, as Fort Lowell Records will be at Satellite Bar & Lounge from 10:00am-4:00pm on Greenfield Street in the South Front District for their annual Holiday Market. We will be selling GROW: A Compilation in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter vinyl records at the market, alongside all of these amazing local vendors: Ruben Ricks Handmade Wooden Toys, Home Body Field Goods, Jess James + Co. Vintage, HEXED, Crewel Ghoul, Fig.7 Jewelry, Lincoln Morris Pottery, Whistlepig Workshop, Liz Stanley Family Artisans, Ravenworks Studio, The Charm School Dropout, Foxhound Flowers, The Plant Outpost, Moonset Drifters, Beauty and Bloom Salon, Block Taco, Donut Bus, and Spill Coffee Co.. Stop by to do some holiday shopping, and pick up a lil' something or two (or three) for yourself!

Remember, 100% of the sale from our record GROW will be donated to the North Carolina New Hanover County NAACP to help ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination in our community. We are asking for a minimum donation of $30.00 per vinyl record.

Read the 'repost' below to learn about what all of the vendors + Satellite are doing additionally to help our North Carolina neighbors, ...and then purchase your Raffle Tickets today!

• • • • • •

[Repost from Satellite Bar & Lounge]:

We’re so excited about our HOLIDAY RAFFLE & MARKET ON SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 21st! Swipe to see some of our incredible raffle prizes~$5 per ticket. If you’d like to purchase a few in advance, please PayPal -- -- & DM us as well. Proceeds will go to NourishNC and they need us now more than ever.❤️

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Happy Birthday, Joel Finsel of Third Person Project

Before the day is over, please allow us the opportunity to introduce you to our friend, American Author -- Joel Finsel -- pictured here holding his own personal beautiful Teal Green copy of GROW: A Compilation in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter. Joel is one of the leaders with Third Person Project, the group of students and professionals who have been archiving The Daily Record: the Black owned newspaper that was burnt down in 1898 during the Wilmington Massacre. Their organization rescues any remains of the paper they can find by partnering with UNC to digitize the paper, ensuring its preservation for countless years ahead. Third Person Project is utilizing the GROW album to provide patrons of the vinyl record with a print-out of the earliest version of the paper -- Volume 2, from 1895, when the paper was called "The Wilmington Record" (before it was a 'daily' publication) -- to enjoy while listening to the various music from Cape Fear. You can actually read the news from 1895 while you are listening to new music of today. We cannot thank Joel enough for his contributions to GROW. But in an attempt to do so, we wanted to take a moment this evening to celebrate Joel on his special day, so...


Tonight, November 15th at Bottega in Wilmington, North Carolina

Happy Birthday to Shaun Paul Jones of Kicking Bird from Wilmington NC

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Together we will GROW

Saturday, November 7, 2020

HCTF premiere - Brec: "Patience... or Whatever" video

[Repost from Here Comes the Flood; by Hans Werksman, November 2, 2020]

Richard Dudley started his Brec post-rock project as a solo outing, but is quickly evolved into a collaboration with former moyamoya bandmate Scott Madgett. Debut single Patience... or Whatever finds them exploring repetitive guitar textures and drones. Recommended if you like The Fierce and The Dead.

The video was made by Zane Hall. Patience... or Whatever will be released via Fort Lowell Records. Release date: November 13.

» Brec on Instagram

Friday, November 6, 2020

Fort Lowell Records presents GROW: A Compilation in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter

[Repost from Blood Makes Noise; by KL Martin, November 5, 2020]

"Moved by the horrific Memorial Day murder of George Perry Floyd Jr. at the hands of four Minneapolis Police officers, Fort Lowell Records presents GROW: A Compilation in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter. The project, focused on Wilmington, North Carolina, is a response to the racial injustice continuously displayed by law enforcement across the United States of America.  Friends of the formerly Tucson, Arizona-based label involved with GROW have donated their own talents to allow 100% of the sales from the record to endow the New Hanover County NAACP with working capital to help Fort Lowell’s newly adopted local community.  GROW is an effort to help address the dire effects of racism in America." - Fort Lowell Records

So, one of the great things that has come out of the societal upheaval wrapped around the persistent systemic racism in the form of police brutality has been the proverbial artist “circling the wagons” around art’s most vulnerable and marginalized groups. Collectives, collaborations and compilation have been a marked bright spot in an otherwise dark overcast sky that is 2020.

I myself have been apart a few in almost every capacity that isn’t being a musician. There is no denying how important, at least to me, it is to see all walks of life and genres create and donate in the name of this cause. That energy, from the perspective of an African American man, is something that’s not only needed but immensely appreciated.

Listening to Fort Lowell Records effort, GROW: A Compilation in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter only reaffirms that appreciation.

Now all things being honest, as you get to know me as a writer and music reviewer, I am both blunt, honest and unbiased when it comes to listening and critiquing music or artist regardless of what it’s for. That said, this might be the first compilation, in a list that includes my own efforts, that I happen liked EVERY song on.

Top to bottom it is clear that there is an abundance of talented musicians in Wilmington, NC that you need to know and listen to ASAP.

That said there are some legitimate bands that you should seek out and give more than one listen to. They, at least for me, carry so much of this album that make it a “whole album” if that makes sense.

These are my Standouts:

Kicking Bird - What would all the Other Girls Say (If They Knew What I Was Doing)

Honestly one of my favorite songs on the album. It’s an entire vibe that makes me think of The Cardigans, Two Door Cinema club and Silversun Pickups with a 60’s froth that I want swim through. If I hear anything that even stands under the same roof as those aforementioned three bands, it has my automatic and undivided attention.

The Love Language - Throwing Darts

Weezer vibes all around but “Pinkerton” Weezer with better guitar playing, an airy sound and superb use of synth that seems to be well ahead of what Weezer was at that time. I feel like they, however, captured the Cali sound way before Rivers milked it for everything it was worth. No complaints here about that though. If you don’t hear, see or smell the Pacific Coast highway while driving in a drop top while listening to this, I question how well your brain works. Please do yourself a favor and look them up, their 2013 album “Libraries” might be the best album I never heard before.

Sean Thomas Gerard - Strange & Electrifying

As a filmmaker, screenwriter and music supervisor, I take great pride in how I pick music to be used in projects. It always helps when a song can build a visual for me. “Strange & Electrifying screams rom com in the most enjoyable way possible, it’s a music lucid dream honestly that has been stuck in my head for a few days now. This is a guy who has a great understand of what he can do in the studio which is harder to find among indie artist. I’m definitely going to sit through his discography and see what I have been missing.

Lauds - Don’t Mind 

They are probably the best band on the compilation. I have zero clue what rock I have been living under that I haven’t heard of these guys. I’m fairly certain i went and followed them on what little social media I could find from them. The opening guitar melodies and over all dream pop sound makes me automatically feel like they are an indie, not as polished, not as over produced (which is awesome) Snow Patrol. It just automatically makes you bop your head and want to know more about what they are doing and just how good the music in Wilmington, North Carolina is.

Fort Lowell Records

- KL Martin, BMN Contributor

New ‘GROW’ album benefits New Hanover County NAACP

[Repost from WWAY TV-3; by Matt Bennett, November 5, 2020]

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A brand new locally-produced compilation album aims to get racism out of Wilmington.

The album is called GROW, and was produced thanks to about $15,000 worth of donated time and materials.

It features North Carolina artists and bands, but the record is about much more than music.

“GROW stands for ‘Get Racism Out of Wilmington’, or it could be ‘Get Racism Out of the World,'” said Art in Bloom Gallery owner Amy Grant.

The album is the brainchild of Fort Lowell Records owner James Tritten.

“It is a collection of musical artists, visual artists, and literary artists that all stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter,” Tritten said.

Tritten says he was inspired by the killing of George Floyd, and wanted to use his platform to make a difference in the Wilmington community.

“I turned to my wife immediately and said we have to make this project happen,” he said.

Tritten reached out to his contacts in the business and never expected the response he got.

“Every single one of our manufacturing partners, they all donated everything, 100 percent,” he said. “Whether it was the materials, whether it was their time.”

This means 100 percent of proceeds from album sales will go directly to the New Hanover County NAACP.

Inside you’ll also get artwork and a copy of a Wilmington newspaper from 1895, thanks to sponsors like Dreams of Wilmington, the Third Person Project, and Art in Bloom Gallery.

“At Dreams of Wilmington, three of the students 12-14 years old Drake, Dylan, and Jamie did this graphic maze,” Grant said.

Other sponsors include New Hanover County Government and Gravity Records, which is helping to distribute the album.

“I feel like so many people are so focused on other things right now and the whole Black Lives Matter thing is kind of off their radar or it’s fallen off their feed,” said Gravity Records owner Matt Keen. “This isn’t going away.”

With 1,000 albums for sale at $30 a piece, that’s as much as $30,000 for the local NAACP to further their mission for equality.

“It’s very important that I don’t want people to see this as a Fort Lowell thing, my thing, it’s not my thing,” Tritten said. “I merely had the voice of being able to create this, but part of creating it was really empowering people in the community.”

The record can be purchased at several local businesses like Gravity Records and Art in Bloom Gallery. You can also listen online on Spotify, and that revenue will also go to the local NAACP.

Click here for more information about the New Hanover County NAACP.

Click here for more about the album.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

GROW Album and the New Hanover County NAACP

[Repost from WKNC 88.1 FM Eye on the Triangle; by Aaron Kling, November 3, 2020]


James Tritten of Fort Lowell Records and Deborah Maxwell of the New Hanover County NAACP discuss the upcoming indie rock album "GROW," its inspiration, and how 100% of sales will go towards community enrichment and voter education.


Eye on the Triangle is WKNC 88.1 FM HD-1/HD-2’s weekly public affairs programming with news, interviews, opinion, weather, sports, arts, music, events and issues that matter to NC State, Raleigh and the Triangle.



Community comes together to ‘GROW’ beyond division, creates fundraiser for New Hanover County NAACP with new LP

[Repost from Port City Daily; by Shea Carver, November 4, 2020]
Team Player’s Marty Cunningham, Chandler Hicks, and Chris Warren contributed “Wake for You” on the 12-song compilation of ‘GROW,’ a new LP out from Fort Lowell Records that’s acting as a community fundraiser for New Hanover County’s NAACP. (Port City Daily/Courtesy of Team Player)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — “The world ain’t coming back until I hear you sing,” Team Player’s guitarist Marty Cunningham croons on “Wake for You” — one of the songs on “GROW: A Compilation in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter.” The latest 12-song compilation was released on Oct. 30 as a fundraiser for the New Hanover County NAACP and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. According to producer James Tritten of Fort Lowell Records, the goal is to raise $30,000 for the nonprofit to create a positive impact toward justice.

Tritten reached out to Wilmington artists, past and present — and many of whom he’s known since the mid-’90s — to flesh out the record. More so, he went beyond musical partners and connected with literary and visual artists, plus the business community, to create a wide circle of advocacy.

“Art is healing, and vinyl records specifically allow for multiple types of art to be showcased — not just music,” Tritten said.

The album art, titled “Persistence,” was created by James L. Williams from New Elements Gallery, with additional design elements and liner notes contributed by Trevor Van Meter of Hey TVM, Chet Childress, students at DREAMS of Wilmington and Third Person Project.

According to New Hanover County’s communications and outreach coordinator, Lauren McConville, even the county got involved with the project. Originally posted around county workspaces were signs noting, “I stand in solidarity because…” Employees filled in the phrase with their own thoughts, intended to be a conversation-starter in the workplace.

“James asked if the county would consider sharing the sign image as part of the ‘GROW compilation record as [smaller] inserts,” McConville said. “And we were happy to do that as a show of support — and to help promote the county’s efforts and shared values of diversity, inclusion, equity, and respect county-wide.”

Each vinyl record comes with a card insert, encouraging folks to consider the phrase for themselves.

Cunningham’s lyric also will have listeners considering the importance of human rights and inclusivity, regardless of race, ethnicity, creed, beliefs or political affiliation.

“The betterment of society isn’t coming until every voice is heard loud and clear and justly represented,” the singer explained.

“Wake for You” was recorded in Cunningham’s bedroom after Team Player picked up a free piano they saw advertised on Facebook. The band, also consisting of Chandler Hicks on bass and Chris Warren on drums and piano, tends to post up whenever and wherever they can to flesh out a tune. 

When Tritten approached them about “GROW,” “Wake for You” gained new legs.  

“It gave us a definitive direction,” Cunningham said, “something that matched the energy we wanted for it all along.”

Covid-19 put a damper on many bands’ plans in 2020, including Team Player, which was slated to hit the road for their first tour. Instead, they’ve focused on another compilation, “The Quarantine Sessions” and their own LP. 

“With Covid, we can’t affect people in person the way we’ve always tried to,” Cunningham said, “but with a compilation like ‘GROW,’ we just might be able to bring about some positive change right here from home, and that’s a beautiful thing.”

Local band Lauds also has felt the hardships and effects of the shutdown this year, with some bandmates in school and others working full-time. McKay Glasgow (guitar and vocals), Holt Evans III (guitar), Boyce Evans (drums), Rett Nabell (bass), and Colin Allen (synth and vocals) are trying to get by—in that regard, music hasn’t been at the forefront of 2020.

However, Evans had a song which never made it onto a Lauds album, so he and Glasgow decided to rearrange and record it with an upbeat vibe—opposite of the more lamenting and brooding sounds they’d otherwise been playing around with.

“We added a bridge and spent a while filtering through different riff arrangements and eventually locked in on the ones you hear on the track,” McKay described. “We felt like it was a good song for the project because it has the positive message of needing each other to figure out what to do.”

Summer Set, consisting of Brian Weeks (above) and Robert Rogen (above), with Jeff Bridgers, took an old unreleased song, “Comfortable Town” and contributed it to ‘GROW.’ (Port City Daily/courtesy of Summer Set)

Another song on the compilation includes Summer Set’s “Comfortable Town,” created years ago by band members Brian Weeks, Robert Rogan and Jeff Bridgers. But Summer Set never released it. The time felt right, according to Weeks, to send it out into the ether in 2020.

“There was so much unrest this year, globally, nationally and locally,” he said. “It’s really been paralyzing, and I’ve been asking myself what I could do to make things better. . . It feels good to do something positive and together collectively.”

Heather Jensen, a.k.a. Pinky Verde, played guitar, drums and synth on “Come on Over”—a tune Jensen explored sonically with the yin and yang of chaos and calm. 

“Much like the social anxiety theme of the song,” Jensen explained, “it fits into ‘GROW’ because it’s calling upon awareness of social norms and society.” 

Neon Belly directly deals with angst of the day as well. Lacie Jay (vox), Nice Derek (drums) and PMattitude (guitar/bass) created a tune centered on themes of gender-based violence and white supremacy in “The Boys Are Alright.”

“Although this year has shed greater light on white supremacy and how it permeates our institutions, these issues are not new,” PMattitude said. “We take responsibility as artists and in our personal lives to be involved in efforts that contribute to meaningful change.”

For local artist Sean Thomas Gerard, “Strange and Electrifying” became an anthem to protect and look out for one another. He spent a great deal of the year in his home studio, putting his hopes and fears into music.

“I want the world to be a better place for my daughter some day,” Gerard said. “I want to look back some day and know I was on the right side of history.” 

The Love Language (“Throwing Darts”), The Rosebuds (“Get Up Get Out”), Life of Saturdays (“That Kind of Love”), Kicking Bird (“What Would All the Other Girls Say”), and The Majestic Twelve (“Amphibious Vehicular Love”) round out the LP. 

Tritten and his wife, Tracy Shedd, also make an appearance on ukulele, air organ, bass, synth and drum machine. “Holding Space” is about expanding minds and really making room for others intently.

“It is about creating space and listening—truly listening, not reacting,” Shedd said. “I think 2020 for me is about opening our hearts and stepping in someone else’s shoes. Seeing life from a different perspective. It’s been a crazy year. Hopefully, we can grow and learn and keep growing.” 

Shedd and Tritten started Fort Lowell Records in 2009 when they lived in Tucson, Arizona. They’ve worked with more than 70 artists, like Calexico, Neko Case, Jimmy Eat World, Meat Puppets, and Spoon.

“Releasing records is our voice,” Tritten said, “and after witnessing the horrific Memorial Day murder of George Perry Floyd Jr. at the hands of four Minneapolis Police officers, we could not help but want to use our voice to support our own community—with working towards a better, more just future for all persons.”  

Only 1,000 hard copies of “GROW” are available for sale at Gravity Records, Modern Legend, Record Bar, Yellow Dog Discs, and Angie’s Hair and Records. It also can be purchased digitally from Fort Lowell’s 
Bandcamp in a “name your price” capacity, or streamed at Amazon Music, Apple Music, Bandcamp, Deezer, Pandora, Tidal, and YouTube.

Tracy Shedd and James Tritten, founders of Fort Lowell Records, contributed to ‘GROW’ and produced the LP. (Port City Daily/Tracy Shedd)

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

On new album, Wilmington bands rock for Black Lives Matter

[Repost from StarNews Online; by John Staton, November 3, 2020]

A ton of compilation albums featuring Wilmington bands have been released over the years and, if we're being honest, they've been largely forgettable and of widely varying quality. The latest effort in the venerable comp tradition, however, is also one of the more notable. In fact, it's one of the better local comps in recent memory, maybe even the best ever, a mix of solid song craft, rockin' vibes and excellent production values.

Born of this summer's Black Lives Matter protests, the album "GROW: A Compilation in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter," was released Oct. 30 by Wilmington-based indie label Fort Lowell Records. It was masterminded by label founder James Tritten, who said the project was spurred by his desire to show support for the #BLM movement. Proceeds go to the Wilmington chapter of the NAACP, hence the title.

"GROW" is currently available on vinyl at Wilmington shops including Gravity Records, Yellow Dog Discs, The Record Bar and Modern Legend, as well as for streaming or purchaseonSpotify, iTunes, Bandcamp, Amazon Music and other online platforms.

Usually, compilations seek to the capture the zeitgeist of a town's music scene, kind of an aural snapshot of a moment in time. "GROW" is a little different, partly because there's not really a scene at the moment since live shows are on on hold due to COVID, but also because the bands represented are a mix of current and former acts. A couple of had their heydays in the mid-2000s and others haven't been based out of Wilmington for more than a decade.

Lyrically, not much stands out as being explicitly themed to the #BLM movement, and indeed many, if not most of the songs either predate the movement or seem to have been written with other subjects in mind. At any rate, "GROW" does showcase a good mix of styles, from classic and retro rock to dreamy pop and even some old-school skate punk.

The album leads off with the lilting drone of Tracy Shedd's "Holding Space," with its mantra-like lyrics hitting the album's theme and exhorting us to "make it a better world."

"Come on Over" from Pinky Verde -- aka Wilmington songwriter Heather Jensen -- slinks in with low-slung cool before breaking out into a sublimely noisy, blissed-out finale. Kicking Bird's "What Would All the Other Girls Say (If They Knew What I Was Doing)" is a fantastic, garage-y nod to the early '60s girl-group sound. And the newest band on the comp, Neon Belly, kicks things into high gear with the propulsive "The Boys Are Alright" and its disdainful lyrics about being "never man enough."

The veterans of Wilmington's rock scene are well-represented. The Love Language, who started out here before going on sign with Durham's Merge Records, deliver one of frontman Stu McLamb's trademark melodies buried under a wall of pounding cool. Summer Set, who hit their Wilmington peak around 2004 or 2005, offer the soft banger "Comfortable Town," which calls to mind the pleasures and pitfalls of living in a comfy burg like the Port City.

Ironically, for an inherently political record, the remix of The Rosebuds song "Get Up Get Out" from their 2007 album "Night of the Furies" -- this is the band's first new release since breaking up a few years back -- is the most direct call to action on "GROW." Wrapped inside an effervescent, celebratory melody, Ivan Howard sings of joining together to fight for light: "Get up get out, and fill the streets/ Let's dance in the ash of the big chimneys/ I know it's late, but meet us there/ We need our friends everywhere."

Sean Thomas Gerard of Wilmington band Onward, Soldiers captures the sublime folk rock he's known for on "Strange & Electrifying," a song driven by acoustic strums that amps up unto into a throbbing classic rock chorus.

Longtime Wilmington musician Kenyata Sullivan (Pandora's Lunchbox) has a delightful little track in the goofily bombastic yet endearing "Amphibious," using an electronic vibe to riff on an otherworldly tryst of some kind.

One of Wilmington's best and most seldom-seen acts is Life of Saturdays -- led by lyricist/vocalist John Jeremiah Sullivan and musician Nick Laudadio, I don't think they've ever played a live show in town -- and their pulsing rocker  "That Kind of Love" cuts a deep, dark groove.

"GROW" also highlights up-and-coming Wilmington bands, including Lauds, whose remastered song "Don't Mind" is a driving dream pop gem. Team Player, among the kings of the local scene when the pandemic hit, bring the album out on an anthemic note with the Beatles-esque "Wake for You."

On the whole "GROW" is a fine record that both documents Wilmington's past and present indie rock awesomeness and supports one of the most important causes of our time.

Pick up a copy, virtually or on vinyl, for the music lover on your holiday list.
Want to buy?
What: "GROW: A Compilation in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter," a collection of songs by current and former Wilmington bands from Fort Lowell Records
Where: Vinyl copies are available in Wilmington at Gravity Records, Yellow Dog Discs, The Record Bar, Modern Legend and a number of other local shops.
Online: Stream or purchase on Spotify, iTunes, Bandcamp, Amazon Music and other platforms.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

If you have not voted, please vote today.