I am a big fan of The Avett Brothers, but there’s this amazing behind-their-scenes dude that deserves significant attention. His name is Dolph Ramseur and he manages The Avett Brothers. I assure you you would want Dolph on your team if you could have him.
Dolph manages five artists, including The Avett Brothers, Carolina Chocolate Drops and the everybodyfields. He is the founder of Ramseur Records.
Recently I had the privilege of catching up with one of the nicest, and most effective, guys in the music industry.
Clore: Your genuine, honest and true love and passion for music is evident in all you do. How do you maintain that spirit when you’re actually part of the music industry?
Ramseur: First and foremost I am just a fan of music. My love of music is always the first thing I take into consideration. So if you love something you try to take care of it and treat it with respect. I try and always treat music like a lady. I also don’t even think I am in the music industry. I just represent music that I have a passion for, but at Ramseur Records, we do things totally different than the norm.
Clore: Can you give us a brief history and overview of your company, Ramseur Records?
Ramseur: I started Ramseur Records in the year 2000. I started helping English singer-songwriter Martin Stephenson. He was my guide. I learned from him what to do and what not to do. From that relationship I discovered that I could start a label and management company.
Clore: How did you originally connect with The Avett Brothers, and what were some early stages of determining you would work together? What did you see in The Avetts that drew you to them?
Ramseur: My mother told me about them first. She read an article in the local paper. The Brothers and I are from the same town. I contacted the guys and they invited me out to a show. Since we are from the same town, we connected on lots of levels. We both came from blue collar families, so hard work was just something that came naturally to us. It was expected, not something we strived for. I saw in the Brothers a lot of talent as artists, performers and songwriters. From day one I thought they were one of the best bands in the world.
Clore: It has taken years of work, furniture moving jobs and countless miles on the road to get to where you all are now. What has kept you going through it all?
Ramseur: Just believing in the artists I work for is a big inspiration. Wanting to share them with the rest of the world – my love for their music. Kind of the philosophy of them being a mix tape I am making for the rest of the world.
Clore: It is nearly impossible to put The Avetts in a single, musical category (a good thing). How have you dealt with this in your years of introducing the band to everyone you meet?
Ramseur: This has been a tough thing. I am at the point where I just call them Rock-n-Roll. We have had folk rock, rock, grass in every possible way (punkgrass, grungegrass, etc….). The guys can take music so many places.
Clore: How important are core fans to The Avetts? How do you all interact with, and reward, them?
Ramseur: Very important. Besides the songs and the performances the fans have helped make the band what they are today. We try and give them the old Nascar approach. When I was a kid, Richard Petty would sign autographs until nobody wanted one. So we went with that kind of approach. We try out best to treat the fans with the respect they deserve.
Clore: What is your favorite moment/highlight during your years with The Avett Brothers, and/or your career in general?
Ramseur: With The Avett Brothers, seeing the joy they bring to the fans. I have had so many great moments like that it would be hard to single one out. With my career in general…seeing how much my kids have been exposed to music and the arts. They are only 7 and 10, but are way beyond their years with music and art knowledge. That is something you cannot put a price tag on.
For further reading on Dolph, read Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen’s industry profile of the man.
*Originally published on July 28, 2010