Whistler co-owner Billy Helmkamp understood that when the Whistler opened, it was all about keeping the business steady and establishing the space as a reputable music venue—the work with his fledgling record label would have to wait, for the most part. “We managed to produce a couple seven-inch records here and there, but it’s only in the past year that we’ve been able to focus more of our energy on records and artist development,” he explains.
When your business is a nationally renowned hot spot for craft cocktails and a small indie record label dealing mostly in locals, chances are that the label is going to be overshadowed by the Old Fashioneds. But Whistler Records has managed a solid output of indie rock, jazz, and garage from the likes of This Is Cinema, White Mystery, Matt Ulery’s Loom, Cains & Abels, Hood Internet & Kid Static, and In Tall Buildings—the band that helped Helmkamp realize the Whistler’s potential to act as a conduit for the label after he saw them perform at the bar.
You can check out a few of the aforementioned names in today’s label soundtrack, submitted by Billy Helmkamp and Whistler Records.