After I heard the exciting news that Bay area label New Granada Records (which just celebrated its 15th anniversary) got an official showcase at this years SXSW festival, I called chief-in-charge Keith Ulrey to get the juicy details. It was basically just handed to us, Ulrey said, sounding thrilled. And he didnt have to go through the rigorous application process or pay any of the app fees. For me to be handed this platform, a free coupon ... Im still a little stunned.
The series of auspicious events that led New Granada to their current official status were engineered in large part by Josie Fluri. Last year, the bassist/vocalist of Austin-based New Roman Times was working as a bartender at the Ginger Man and had persuaded her boss at the pub to host an unoffical SXSW party that featured her own modern rock outfit supported by a handful of bands from her label New Granada. The show also served as the last hoorah at the Ginger Man before it moved to a building around the corner. But by the time the pub settled into its new digs, the city had registered its old digs as historic and decided not to tear it down. So the space was re-vamped, the Ginger Mans sister bar, The Ghost Room, was born, and Fluri was brought on as the venues manager-booker.