Black River Entertainment Deepens Roots in Music City with Black River Americana

Black River Entertainment CEO Gordon Kerr unveils Black River Americana and further expands its musical footprint. Forging the path, Carolina Story is the first group signed to the label and publishing roster.

Excited to announce the formation of Black River Americana, Kerr states, “Americana music has a long history of celebrating the authenticity of life lived out through music. We are pleased to begin this journey forward as we celebrate, honor and embrace the art form of American Roots Music. Black River’s vision in establishing the studios, publishing house, management, and Country and Christian labels has always been to ‘leave this place better than we found it,’ and adding Black River Americana to our label family is a natural next step in Black River Entertainment’s story.”

Carolina Story, the married duo comprised of Ben and Emily Roberts, met at Visible Music College in 2007, where music and fate ultimately drew them together. Influenced by Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Loretta Lynn and Johnny Cash, to name a few, they began writing and performing together after a camping trip in North Carolina. In 2009, they were married and set out on their first tour. Since then, they’ve played close to 1000 shows across 43 states, including their home states of Arkansas and South Dakota.

As an integral part of signing Carolina Story, EVP of Black River Records Rick Froio is thrilled to have the duo as the first act on the BRA roster. “Every once in a while, you have that moment in the music industry that moves you more than you thought it could. Meeting Carolina Story, and then hearing them sing, was one of those moments,” says Froio. “When Ben and Emily Roberts sing together, life just seems to come into focus. Honestly, it’s inspiring. I’m thankful to Christian Barker for introducing Carolina Story to us. It’s amazing the story that can be told when you keep yourself open to musical experiences you didn’t even know you were looking for.”

“From the moment we walked in the doors at Black River, we felt something different. Something special,” says Ben Roberts. “That initial feeling has only grown stronger since becoming a part of the Black River family. It’s just that. One big family. For years, we have been working extremely hard and searching for the right people to come alongside us and our music. We’re so incredibly glad to have found a true family of people who believe in not just our music, but in us as individuals. Black River is a place where we can truly grow and thrive all while being encouraged to be ourselves. It’s a breath of fresh air to be here.”

Sharing the sentiment, Emily Roberts adds, “Ben and I have been searching for a family like BRE for a very long time, and what’s great about this story is that they found us. Our goal has always been to let doors open ‘naturally and organically’ which we haven’t always been so patient in doing, but BRE has been worth the wait. We are thrilled about this partnership and can’t wait to get started!”

The duo returns to the studio in July to begin working on their debut release with Black River Americana. For further updates from Carolina Story, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

(PHOTO L-R: Black River’s Gordon Kerr, Attorney Lauren Kilgore, Christian Barker, Carolina Story’s Ben Roberts, Black River’s Rick Froio, Carolina Story’s Emily Roberts, Black River Publishing’s Katie Barolak, and Black River Publishing’s Dave Pacula)


Black River Entertainment is home to country music entertainers Abby Anderson, Kelsea Ballerini, comedy group Bobby Bones and The Raging Idiots, Jacob Davis, Ronnie Milsap, Craig Morgan, Black River Americana duo, Carolina Story, Black River Christian artist, Hannah Kerr, and Passport Productions artist, Nikita Karmen.

Part of the Pegula Sports and Entertainment family (Including: NFL’s Buffalo Bills, NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, AHL’s Rochester Americans, NLL’s Buffalo Bandits, HARBORCENTER, Buffalo Marriott HARBORCENTER, KeyBank Center, IMPACT Sports Performance), Black River Entertainment also owns and operates the premiere recording studios Sound Stage and Ronnie’s Place, as well as Black River Records, Passport Productions, Black River Americana, Black River Christian, Black River Publishing, and Thrive Management. For more information about Black River Entertainment, please visit

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