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“If I’ve got on my Yep Roc T-shirt,” explains label co-founder Tor Hansen, “I’m not really a part of one music scene. I accept that, and I think it’s actually pretty great. I like the idea that Yep Roc has the idea of an all-inclusive approach.”

Hansen started the label in North Carolina in 1997 with his childhood friend and former bandmate Glenn Dicker.

It started ordinarily, with a few local compilations featuring some recognizable names (Ryan Adams archivists will note Whiskeytown’s “Take Your Guns to Town” on YEP-2001, the inaugural 1997 release) and some names they hoped people would soon spot. There were no strictures or typecasts, no attempts to use the best bands in the vicinity to define a North Carolina sound or a Yep Roc brand. It was all simply stuff that Hansen and Dicker liked.

The label currently serves as hosts to such notables as Nick Lowe, Dave Alvin, Paul Weller, and Chuck Prophet in addition to those heard on this NoiseTrade sampler.

Both Dicker and Hansen like to joke that such a release-what-you-love approach might not always make the most financial sense. After 15 years, though, this is a label that’s still very proud of the oeuvre they’ve built.