Indie distro signs Rust, NPG

Sony BMG's RED Distribution has added two labels to its roster -- rock-focused Rust Records and Latin/world label NPG Music. Under the new agreements, the indie distributor will become the exclusive U.S. distributor of Rust and NPG products.

Rust, whose releases were most recently handled by Fontana, the indie arm of Universal Music Group Distribution, released a CD/DVD from newcomers the Povertyneck Hillbillies this week. Rust has also released albums from Blush, Cherry Monroe, Wake Hollywood and Between Home and Serenity. Additionally, the Cleveland-based label recently launched Rust Nashville, which is now home to such artists as Blackhawk, Shane Owens and Aaron Tippin.

This is the first distribution deal for NPG, which is not to be confused with Prince's NPG Music Club. NPG was co-founded by BMG veterans Larry Palmacci and Bob Navarette, and has licensing agreements in place with a number of labels, including Klasico, Sonico and Prima Vista.

Rust and NPG are just two recent RED signings. Last month, the distributor announced deals with the Nashville-based Category 5 (Travis Tritt, Sammy Kershaw), and hard rock label Facedown Records.