Music: Float On

Local label showcases its top talent

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Guitar master Mark Karan, represented by Floating Records, will perform on Saturday, April 14 as part of Throckmorton Theatre’s Spring Revue concert. Photo by Dave Hunter/Floating Records.

Floating Records was born on a boat—specifically a Sausalito houseboat—by longtime Marin resident and lifelong music lover Don Zimmer in 2011.

“I was really interested in recording original music, and that spurred an interest in distribution,” says Zimmer, a former Nasdaq trader who now splits his time between Marin and Blaine, Idaho. “Doing it for myself and for friends just blossomed into a record label.”

Over the past seven years, Floating Records has represented and distributed albums for dozens of local musicians like Tracy Blackman, Jesse Lee Kincaid, Go by Ocean and Fiver Brown. This week, Floating Records hosts a Spring Revue concert at Throckmorton Theatre, featuring performances by three of the label’s top current artists: Americana chart-toppers Jeffrey Halford & the Healers and guitar masters Mark Karan and Peter Kaukonen.

When Zimmer began Floating Records, he was selling CDs to Whole Foods Markets and other major platforms. These days, he’s getting into vinyl, and last year Floating Records put out its first vinyl release with Jeffrey Halford’s Lo-Fi Dreams.

“It got some chart time, it was on the radio, and we really liked that experience of making records,” says Zimmer of Lo-Fi Dreams. This year, Floating Records will release more vinyl, with albums in the works by psychedelic blues-rocker Reverend Freakchild, Southern rock band Moses Guest, Karan, Kaukonen and others.

Zimmer says that hosting live events was also always a part of Floating Records’ mission. “I appreciate the Throckmorton Theatre for the diversity of what it does,” Zimmer says. “I want to thank them and thank the support of the community.”

Spring Revue, Saturday, April 14, Throckmorton Theatre, 142 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley; 8pm; $21-$35; 415/383-9600.

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