I sent a few questions to folks I know in the music industry to see how they’re adapting to the change and challenges of 2020. I’ll be sharing bits of the interviews in an article for the Piedmont Lifestyle Magazines, but the full responses were too important (educational, authentic) not to share in their entirety. I’ll be posting them here, on


In this interview, Tanner Carlton shares what it’s been like to run his DIY music and podcast label, Rixey Records, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out all of Rixey’s releases by clicking here. Tanner has personally put out two singles this year as well, “This Whirlwind” and “Free Leaf Vinyl.” I met him in the local music scene back in 2018, and he just so happens to now be my fiancé.

This is the third interview of this series. Check out responses from Andy Valenti, the frontman of Oh He Dead, and Dan Barrett, who books music for Old Bust Head Brewing Company.

Maddi: You launched Rixey Records in August of 2019. What plans did you have for Rixey in 2020 and how did the pandemic affect those plans?

Tanner: We had a lot of random plans. Rixey doesn’t have a conventional form . . . [Running] a music and podcast label in the 21st century [seems] to be uncharted territory. I wanted to do a lot more live gatherings for our artists and contributors. That obviously will not be happening until 2021. We definitely wanted to continue producing music and podcasts in our studio. We can’t really do that with large groups anymore. 

Maddi: How have you all adapted? How have you redirected your energy?

Tanner: We started focusing on [helping] our artists and contributors create from home. I’d argue it was an important step in our work. We effectively decentralized a lot of [our content creation] . . . If Rixey can survive into the future, we will definitely grow from this experience.

The night of Rixey Records release party on August 15, 2019. Photo by Gina Nilce.

Maddi: Any words on the importance of music to our community, especially during challenging times? 

This is a great time to look into the mirror and develop. I feel like it’s a hard time for a lot of creators, but if you are in love with creating, lean into it. Use [your art] as an outlet in this terribly hard time. 

Final Words

Tanner Carlton and his brother Mason launched their Culpeper record and podcast label Rixey in August 2019. Rather than hosting artists in their studio, a house off of route 29 optimized for laid-back collaboration and productivity, they’ve started focusing on helping their contributors produce from home. Putting out fifteen records and six podcasts featuring local creators, Rixey has managed to stay productive despite the setbacks.

Thanks to Tanner for sharing a few words on that experience with us.

You can check out Rixey Records here and follow them on Instagram here. You can follow Tanner Carlton on Bandcamp, Spotify, and Instagram.

Records released by Rixey since August 2019. Listen to them all by clicking here.

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