Joshua James

In the past few months, locally based North Platte Records has seen some exciting times. Artist and label co-owner Joshua James had a No. 1 song on iTunes. And the label released a new CD earlier this year from an artist called RuRu, a student at Timpanogos High School.

"It came as a surprise to us with Joshua James' CD," said label co-owner McKay Stevens. "Since its release June 3, it has already been at the No. 1 spot on iTunes' folk charts, and we've sold more than 20,000 copies."

The CD, "The Sun Is Always Brighter," is available in retail stores across the nation.

As for RuRu's album, "Elizabeth," it was released on iTunes on June 6.

Both artists will bring their acoustic Americana music to Velour tonight.

RuRu, whose real name is Isaac Russell, named the album after his mother, who passed away from cancer. "It's a tribute to his mother as well as a snapshot of what was happening in his life during the ongoing trial of losing his mother," McKay said. It can be purchased at

Stevens and James started North Platte Record a year ago. "Although we were doing an underground version of the label until we decided to open it up," Stevens said.

The hard part was working the business side of music, he said. "Both Joshua and I are musicians and have spent our years playing and producing music. So trying to wrap our heads around the business side of things is a little tricky."

Still, the duo decided they liked the idea of finding new talent and producing music.

"It's a good feeling to have an idea in our head and see it come to reality when it concerns an artist that we believe in," said Stevens.

They felt starting small was a wise way to kick off their label.

"We felt we needed to with singer/songwriters, or folk artists," he said. "We have seen some success with Joshua's CD in Los Angeles and have been scouting places to sign new people to the label. We have been talking about branching out with different styles in the future."

If you go ...

What: Joshua James, RuRu

Where: Club Velour, 135 N. University Ave., Provo

When: Today, 8 p.m.

How much: $10

Phone: 801-818-2263


E-mail: [email protected]