Cleveland-based indie Rust Records says it has entered into a distribution agreement with Universal's new indie distribution arm Fontana. The deal represents the first official announcement of a Fonta

Cleveland-based indie Rust Records says it has entered into a distribution agreement with Universal's new indie distribution arm Fontana. The deal represents the first official announcement of a Fontana label signing.

The deal includes an upstreaming component, at which point Rust will enter a joint venture with Universal. The first artist to be released via the deal is Cherry Monroe, which has had some local success in the Midwest. The band's self-titled debut will be re-released in the summer on Universal.

Other Rust artists will start out on Fontana, and Rust will have the option of upstreaming. Fontana will distribute the first release from Pittsburgh band the Yards in early 2005.

Rust was formed in 1998 by former Sinomatic leader Ken Cooper.