From Halifax basement shows to a country wide promotion company and record label

Before they ever had thoughts of starting a record label, founder Laurie Storrie was holding basement shows in their house in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Deep in a community of musicians, buskers and starving artists, it was pretty common for every dollar that the attendees had to get tossed into the donation jar on their way in.  At a time before streaming services, where the only way to get music from independent bands was to buy a cd from the band at a live show, this meant nobody was taking home any new music, and bands weren’t making the much needed merch sales necessary to sustain a tour (to the Maritimes especially) in an effort to support the bands and get music into more hands, Laurie decided to start buying as many albums from band as they could afford to sell back to the community in the down time between shows. 

After a few years of doing this, Laurie moved home to the West Coast, excited to share their suitcase full of albums with a whole new audience. Now putting on living room shows in their home on a small farm with a porta potty in the driveway and no visible address, saying “We’re at the outhouse” became a common direction and the name was born.

Between vending at punk rock flea markets and anarchist book fairs, Laurie also started getting calls from all the bands out east asking to help with shows on the west coast. Combined with new contacts from touring in their own bands, Laurie suddenly had a country wide network of venues, promoters, and bands starting to take shape. 

Fast forward almost a decade to the start of the pandemic, and Laurie’s country band Ornery has to cancel a 75 day tour, circumnavigating Canada and the US. Trapped at home with no concerts for the foreseeable future, Laurie starts Outhouse Radio, and online radio show aimed at sharing independent music, and keeping the music community together during trying times.

Then comes the final missing piece, Mean Bikini band mate and best friend Craig Johnson. Seemingly unable to sit down for 10 minutes together without talking about bands they want to see, bass tones on their favorite albums, silly merch ideas, or venues they would love to play at, it suddenly became clear that the motivation Laurie and Craig got from each other could be used to produce something amazing.