Ashmont Records was founded in 2000 by Joyce Linehan and Joe Pernice, two nice people from the Boston area who have worked together for a decade. They believe they met back in the 70's, having attended many of the same Catholic high school dances when they were students at Notre Dame Academy and Archbishop Williams High School respectively (always leaving room for the Holy Spirit of course). Joe and Joyce began their professional careers together when Joe was in the Scud Mountain Boys and Joyce worked for the record label to which they were signed. When Joyce left the label and Joe left the Scuds, they decided to forge ahead in an artist/manager relationship, and thus Joyce became the manager of the Pernice Brothers. After a bumpy ride with someone else's label, the two decided that ownership of the masters and control of their own destinies was the order of the day, and they started Ashmont Records. They did an exclusive distribution deal with the good folks at Redeye and lined up foreign licensing deals for the Pernices. Joe takes care of supplying the music, touring, and spending lots of time talking to journalists, while Joyce does the business from her quaint bungalow in the Peabody Square area of Dorchester, Massachusetts.
Ashmont Records detoured into Ashmont Books in late 2001 with the release of Joe's book of poetry, Two Blind Pigeons. It's essentially his Master's Thesis and it's very good. There are no plans to publish Joyce's Master's Thesis, The Day My Mama Socked it to the Harper Valley PTA: Country Music Womanhood in the Second Wave of Feminism. She doesn't think there's much of a market for it. In 2010, they released Pernice To Me, a book that collects the petulant banter between the two in tweets, which is actually more interesting than it sounds, according to the reviewers. Joe has also written a novella, Meat is Murder, for Continuum Books and a novel It Feels So Good When I Stop for Riverhead/Penguin.
Joyce and Joe get lots of help from the Ashmont Records family, many of whom practically volunteer their time and energy and who deserve enormous amounts of gratitude from the principals. These people include Laura Stein (a.k.a. Mrs. Joe Stein), the former keyboard player for the Pernice who does much of the artwork for the Pernice CD's, ads, posters, etc.; Revolving Pernice Brothers Peyton Pinkerton, James Walbourne, Patrick Berkery, José Ayerve, Ric Menck and Bob Pernice. Then there's Christopher Najewicz, who did the web site, directed and edited the 2004 DVD, pitches in with a lot of the art design and graphics stuff and lends general IT support and should move back to Boston soon. Of course, we can’t forget Charlie Ashmont, the label’s 70 pounds of hairy love mascot who has his own t-shirt, which is apparently very popular in Sweden. There are others too. Ashmont Records relies heavily on the kindness of friends as well as strangers, who are of course friends you just haven't met yet.
And that's the story of how the Irish Catholics and the Italian Catholics came to work together in harmony in Boston.