Checkered Past Records was founded in May 1997 by Bloodshot Records cofounder Eric Babcock, Yvonne Jones and Laurence Lipson. The label’s first release wasThe Neighborhood Is Changing by Nashville artist Tom House. Chicagoans Scott Schaefer and Lipson took over the Checkered Past reins in the late 1990s and released albums by the Silos, Ass Ponys, 16 Horsepower, the Great Crusades and others. In 2017, Checkered Past was rebooted to put out vinyl releases by critically acclaimed and cult favorite bands like Firewater and Big Lazy. The label remains determined to partner with artful innovators to bring important music to the fore. The Checkered Past sound? Americana, alt-country, art-damaged, dark roots—call it what you want. This is music stripped down to its raw essentials to tell a human story. And, sometimes, with a bit of bitterness to boot.