In the early 1970’s three members of the rock band FINGERPRINTS formed BLACKBERRY WAY RECORDING STUDIOS. The record label BLACKBERRY WAY RECORDS was formed in 1984.
In the late 1970’s Twin/Tone Records signed three bands to launch the now infamous Mpls record label, FINGERPRINTS, THE SUBURBS & Curtiss A’s band SPOOKS.
BLACKBERRY WAY recorded most of the early records released by Twin/Tone including BIG HITS OF MID-AMERICA Vol THREE. Considered one of the most important albums of the era it has been on display in THE ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME for over ten years.
If the walls could talk, they would tell stories of the SUBURBS recording IN COMBO as well as most of their Twin/Tone recordings, the first HUSKER DU record, SOUL ASYLUM and of course THE REPLACEMENTS. Most of THE REPLACEMENTS early work was recorded at BLACKBERRY WAY including the critically acclaimed LP LET IT BE. In the Nov 16th 1989 issue THE 100 Greatest Albums of the 80's, ROLLING STONE named LET IT BE the 15th most important album of the decade. Peter Gabriel was 14th and Prince was 16th. The album featured Peter Buck of REM playing on the single I WILL DARE. The pre-production of PLEASED TO MEET ME was done at BLACKBERRY WAY for SIRE/WARNER BROTHERS as well as the promotional interview with PAUL WESTERBERG for radio stations across the nation. BLACKBERRY WAY’s role in the career of THE REPLACEMENTS is well chronicled in Bob Mehr’s New York Times best seller TROUBLE BOYS The True Story Of THE REPLACEMENTS.
MIX MAGAZINE calls BLACKBERRY WAY “a haven for pop rock bands." The truth is we recorded all styles of music. Heavy metal band HURRICANE ALICE recorded an album that led to a signing at ATLANTIC RECORDS. Country band LIVE'N KICKING also recorded an album that led to a deal with WARNER BROTHERS and a GRAMMY NOMINATION. TETE NOIRE did a recording that led to a signing with ROUNDER RECORDS. Producer ROB STEVENS (Lennon, Red hot Chili Peppers and Herbie Hancock) produced a major label demo for FUN HOUSE and was very impressed with the sound at BLACKBERRY WAY. Two time Grammy winner BOBBY Z, late of PRINCE'S REVOLUTION, produced tracks for TRIP SHAKESPEARE that led to a signing with A&M RECORDS. British producer CLIFF DAVIES (Ted Nugent) produced an album for local great BARRY GOLDBERG, a fun week indeed! Also included on the client list THE TRASHMEN, THE CASTAWAYS, THE SUICIDE COMMANDOS, GRAMMY AWARD winner GARY HINES (Sounds Of Blackness) A&M RECORDS, JIMI DESTRI of BLONDIE,GRAMMY AWARD winner JOHN MADOCK....and many more.
In the early 1980's BLACKBERRY WAY RECORDS was formed. Owners/producers Mike Owens & Kevin Glynn produced several critically acclaimed albums for the label. SWING SET was called "Pop Stalwarts" by BILLBOARD, "Pop Album of the Year" by MPLS/ST.PAUL MAGAZINE and "Worth two or three million spins around the block" by ALBUM NETWORK. MUSICIAN MAGAZINE called the TOM BRIGHT LP "A top ten record." THE OH'S (Flamin' Oh's) PAINT THE SKY was a BILLBOARD recommended record. The first release on the label was Idiot Savant "The Rest On Down" fronted by Brian Drake currently with The April Fools followed shortly by Mike & Kevin’s band The Idle Strand "Cut & Run". IDIOT SAVANT and THE IDLE STRAND garnered college radio airplay across the Nation and rave reviews from ROCKPOOL, CASH BOX, BOSTON ROCK MAGAZINE, CMJ & US ROCK to name a few BLACKBERRY WAY RECORDS carries on today with new releases from THE APRIL FOOLS, MICHAEL OWENS, THE LITTER, SONICBOUQUET as well as planned reissues of some of the most historically important music from the MPLS/STPAUL area.
Blackberry Way Records has placed several songs in TV shows including RED OAKS on Amazon, WICKED CITY on ABC TV, STRANGER THINGS & THE OA on Netflix, YOUNG SHELDON on CBS and several songs in the Jay's Longhorn Documentary about the infamous bar that in the late 1970's was the Minneapolis counter point to New Yorks CBGB's. The documentary is currently competing in film festivals around the country and the Queen City Film Festival in Cumberland, Maryland awarded the film “Best Music in a Feature Film”