Coppertree Records was a cool little vinyl-only imprint that was started by, apparently, two fans of twangy Americana who happened to be based out of Cardiff, Wales. And this 2006 release by Canadian singer/songwriter Ron Sexsmith was the very first release in what turned out to be a very short lifespan for the label. Too bad, really, as you could see via the end products that a lotta love went into the production of their vinyl – nice 180gm pressings housed in quite beautiful jackets. Another example of good taste being beaten down by not-so-good business acumen. Yeah, it happens.
I remember first seeing this Sexsmith record back when it was originally released, and not long after that I noticed that the label also issued Chuck Prophet’s excellent “Soap And Water” release. By the way, an “excellent” Chuck Prophet record is pretty much every Chuck Prophet record. Dude just brings it on a regular basis. Anyway, after those two titles, a couple of Daniel Johnston releases, a Blanche record and a Phosphorescent reissue, it appears the company dissolved itself in 2009.
The Sexsmith jacket is super nice, with the artist name and album title getting the embossed treatment, which you just don’t see that often anymore. (Prophet’s “Soap And Water” was also embossed). The Sexsmith was also issued in a limited, hand-numbered edition of 1000; this is #558. Again, when it came to presentation, these Coppertree guys did it right. But I’m guessing the costs involved in approaching these releases with such high quality standards ate into a good chunk of what might have been profit. Couple that with the fact that they were dealing with “niche” artists that don’t have a huge sales base and you can see how the business model might be, ummm, compromised.
And speaking to that last point, there are still copies floating around out there for the original retail – $25. And that is all I’m asking for this copy. So, not rare, but if you’re a Sexsmith fan, well worth picking up.