Who We Are
Free Dirt is first and foremost a record label founded by John Smith and Dr. Erica Haskell in 2006. We break from tradition, however, by also offering distribution, business & tour management, as well as publishing administration services.
Dirt is underrated. Without it beneath us we wouldn't be able to move forward. It’s tough and enduring like the dedicated group of folks who mostly work out of Free Dirt Records & Service Co.'s Interstellar Headquarters in Takoma, DC. For us, growth isn't possible without an understanding of our roots and a clear and ethical sense of purpose. After all, music is, and always will be in flux, but that doesn’t mean we need to compromise our values to keep up with an industry that runs so efficiently on hype.
We quietly reject those apocalyptic industry statistics and instead strive to release the best roots music from around the world. We don’t subscribe to genres so much as good and important work that we hope educates and enlightens. That’s why we work with contemporary artists who respect the music of the past while broadening our understanding of it for the 21st century listener. We aim to give artists at all levels of success the space to explore the best of the old and the new. In addition to releasing new music, we seek to unearth and preserve archival traditional music and spoken word recordings and help them reach the ears of people across the world.
After a decade of groundwork, we’re really just getting started. There may be no such thing as a free lunch in this world but Free Dirt is here to stay.