Sign up for newsletter
 

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 CD review - 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: Blackberry Smoke, The Cadillac Three rock it – If you didn't know Blackberry Smoke appeals to Southern rock fans, the guy wearing the 'F-ing Skynyrd shirt might have given you a clue. But when Duane Betts, son of Allman Brothers guitarist Dicky Betts, took the stage to play the Allmans' "Blue Sky," there was no doubt. This was a night of loud electric guitars, always... »»»
Concert Review: McGraw, Hill keep it fresh and relevant – Tim McGraw singing his emotional "Live Like You Were Dying" has been the cathartic capstone of the country singer's concerts for over a decade now. This principle held true again during the latter part of McGraw's performance with wife Faith Hill during a stop on their Soul2Soul tour. At one point while singing it, McGraw humbly... »»»
Subscribe to Country News Digest Country News Digest      Follow Country Standard Time on twitter CST      Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook CST

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

May shifts gears, directions Headed into 2015, Imelda May was on a hit streak. Her rockabilly career was in full swing, nurtured by the likes of former Squeeze keyboardist Jools Holland and guitar icon Jeff Beck. Her albums routinely topped the charts in her native Ireland.... »»»
Lane assumes mantle of "Highway Queen" For most artists, eight years is a fair amount of time in their careers. For Nikki Lane, eight years represents the entirety of her recorded history, and she's filled that relatively short time span with a highlight reel of impressive accomplishments, not the least of which would be actually... »»»
The Avett Brothers come home to MerleFest For The Avett Brothers, MerleFest is a coming home of sorts. This year's edition of the MerleFest "traditional-plus" music festival in Wilkesboro, N.C., the event's 30th anniversary, a milestone...... »»»
Music in My Heart CD review - Music in My Heart
Charley Pride shows with "Music In My Heart" that he is still in fine voice at the age of 79 with this collection of mostly obscure covers. The most recognizable are effective takes on Merle Haggard's "That's The Way It Was In '51" and the Tommy Collins penned "New Patches" most notably recorded by Mel Tillis and George Jones. »»»
Mayhayley's House CD review - Mayhayley's House
For years, Lonesome River Band was proud to be "Carrying The Tradition" of bluegrass music. Then, with last year's release they began the process of "Bridging The Tradition" of bluegrass to something a little more progressive, a little more modern. Now, "Mayhayley's House" proves that LRB is continuing across that bridge. »»»
Positively Bob Willie Nile Sings Bob Dylan CD review - Positively Bob Willie Nile Sings Bob Dylan
The reasons musicians elect to record full-album tributes are as varied as the results. Willie Nile's previous album "World War Willie" was a fiery collection of roots rock that didn't delve far from the approach that served him across 35 years as a recording artist.  »»»