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“We realize there are a lot of artists out there disgruntled with their relationship with their labels. We are providing a great option for musicians as they attempt to find a balance between their business arrangements and the ability to be creative.”
——Starbucks’ Ken Lombard

JONI, JAMES GO FOR STARBUCKS

Heritage Artists Mitchell, Taylor Ink With Hear Music for New Albums
Move over, Macca. You’ve got some company at the local coffee bistro.

After the success of the Paul McCartney album, StarbucksHear Music, their joint venture with Concord Music Group, have announced their next signing, and it’s another legendary brand name.

Joni Mitchell’s Shine will be released on the label Sept. 25, and as with the McCartney album, it will be available at both the 9,000-plus Starbucks locations in U.S. and Canada and traditional retailers.

“I am thrilled to be able to work with the Hear Music label on my new CD,” said Mitchell. “Starbucks and Concord are joining me in releasing a project which has enabled me to appreciate what I loved about making music in the first place.”

While Starbucks Entertainment President Ken Lombard was close-mouthed on the identity of other signings, sources insist it will be veteran singer/songwriter James Taylor, now out of his deal with longtime label Columbia.

 “This is the storytelling album Joni’s fans have been waiting for,” said Lombard. “Her voice, both in the physical and lyrical sense, is as powerful as ever. It’s a perfect fit for what we’re trying to do—put out great music from extraordinary artists.”

Lombard admits that heritage and new artists alike were coming to him even before the success of McCartney’s Memory Almost Full.

“We realize there are a lot of artists out there disgruntled with their relationship with their labels,” he said. “We are providing a great option for musicians as they attempt to find a balance between their business arrangements and the ability to be creative.”

Lombard refused to divulge when they’ll announce Taylor’s signing.

“We don’t comment on rumors,” he said, which is a shame because here at HITS, innuendo is our stock in trade. “We’re in lots of discussions with artists, as you can imagine. We absolutely hope to be able to announce additional signings in the near future.”

Lombard expects to release a total of three artists on Hear Music in 2007, and another eight in 2008. “Our goal is to continue to sign great artists who can provide us with great music opportunities for the music consumer and Starbucks customer. That’s what drives us.”

“Our goal is to continue to sign great artists who can provide us with great music opportunities for the music consumer and Starbucks customer. That’s what drives us,” Ken Lombard, Starbucks Entertainment

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