Country Thunder Records folds
Monday, March 16, 2009
– Country Thunder Records, the home of Heartland, closed today, a victim of the stock market downturn.
"It's not a fun deal," said Herb Graham, who started the Nashville-based label. Graham cited the economy as the reason for the decision.
Heartland, who had a number one hit with I Loved Her First for Lofton Creek in 2006, never released an album for Country Thunder. Others on the label included Shawn Hammonds, Bluefield and Burns & Poe, a duo consisting of Keith Burns of Trick Pony fame and Michelle Poe, who once had a solo recording contract and played bass for Dierks Bentley.
"The biggest thing I was running this record label off my portfolio, which would be my dividends," he said. "My dividends were cut by about 85 percent on my stock. Also, I think the value (of my investment) is 69-70 percent is gone."
"I'm looking at it, and I'm thinking is it going to get worse?" Graham said. "Personally I feel it may have bottomed out, but if it don't, where do I drop the bleeding?"
"At this point, I just have to use my CDs (certificates of deposit) to run," he said.
He said he employed about 10 people for the label and laid off five. "I had a tremendous amount of money going out," Graham said. He said it was not an easy decision. "No. I'd been thinking about it."
"I really hated that I let people down and the company," he said. "You run a lot more with emotion in music."
"I'm really fortunate that my other businesses re holding up relatively well," he said. He said he owns nightclubs in Tennessee, Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Arizona, Kansas and Oklahoma.
Graham also managed Trick Pony and Billy Dean. He currently manages Rio Grand, who are on Curb Records. He owns a publishing company with seven writers.
More news for Heartland
CD reviews for Heartland
I Loved Her First
Blending acoustic guitars, colorful traces of fiddle and Southern rock instrumentation augmented with little dabs of soul, Heartland's 11-song debut highlights snappy execution and catchy hooks galore.
The Alabama-based ensemble consists of vocalist Jason Alberts, guitarists Craig Anderson and Mike Myerson, bassist Keith West, fiddler Chuck Crawford, and drummer Todd Anderson. Despite the presence of several guest musicians, their sound is appealingly lean and in-the-groove, especially on »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk
When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Gibson Brothers join "Brotherhood" in style
The idea of releasing "Brotherhood" by veteran bluegrass band The Gibson Brothers was a natural. The disc paid tribute to a long list of brother acts including the Everlys and lesser known acts like the York Brothers and the Four Brothers.
While the younger Gibson, Leigh, sure gave Eric a ton of grief throughout the show - all in jest, of... »»»
Concert Review: Moorer, Gauthier pull for each other
In their own right, Allison Moorer and Mary Gauthier did not really need the other because each is most capable of headlining.
But in one of those geniuses of booking, fans had the chance to see the two in a most enjoyable and alternative setting - a good, old-fashioned guitar pull.
That meant that the two were seated in comfortable chairs on... »»»
Country News Digest
Elsewhere in the news
Currently at the CST blogs
Young bluegrass artist Nathan Stanley doesn't fall far from the branches of the family tree; he honors the legacy of his grandfather, Dr. Ralph Stanley, by delivering straight ahead traditional bluegrass music, interpreting old classics that have shaped him and his music. At the same time, young Stanley is an original, refusing to sing the old songs in the ways they've been performed before. "If it's been done," he says, "I don't think I'll do it that way."... »»»
Eric Gibson, the elder (by less than a year) of the award winning, New York-born Gibson Brothers says that the new Rounder release by he and brother Leigh, "Brotherhood," was more than a decade in the making. "It seemed like every time we'd get ready to do a new record, we'd have a batch of new songs that we felt we needed to get out there...but (Leigh) really pushed me on this... »»»
When you call yourselves The Mavericks, you have a reputation to live up to. The long-running country band may have addressed that issue from the get go with "Mono," their second disc since reforming in 2011. For non-audiophiles, music is almost exclusively recorded in stereo, considered a higher quality sound.
Although opener "Homegrown Honey" has a few hip-hip sonic elements fueling it, "Southern Style" is a fairly traditional - well, as traditional as Darius Rucker can get - album. "Homegrown Honey," along with the title cut and "Half Full Dixie Cup," make a play for Rucker's Southern credentials, and for the most part support these claims. »»»