Black River Entertainment, the label home of Kelsea Ballerini, Craig Morgan and others, has launched an Americana imprint and signed its first act. Duo Carolina Story are Black River Americana's first signing.

MusicRow reports that Carolina Story -- made up of Ben and Emily Roberts -- signed with both Black River Americana and Black River Entertainment's publishing arm in mid-June. In July, they will head into the studio to work on their first album for their new label.

“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 Black River Records EVP Rick Froio. "When Ben and Emily Roberts sing together, life just seems to come into focus. Honestly, it’s inspiring ... 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.”

The Roberts met each other in 2007, at Visible Music College in Memphis, Tenn., and got married in 2009. That same year, Carolina Story began their first tour; they have played nearly 1,000 shows in 43 states in the years since, and released one album. Ben Roberts is from Arkansas originally, while Emily Roberts is from South Dakota; currently, they live in East Nashville and are the parents to one son, Wilder.

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"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," Ben Roberts says. Adds Emily Roberts, "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!"

In addition to Black River Records, Black River Publishing and Black River Americana, Black River Entertainment is also home to a Christian label, Black River Christian. Additionally, the company runs Nashville's Black River Sound Stage and Ronnie's Place Studio.

“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," says Black River Entertainment CEO Gordon Kerr. "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.”

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