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: Moakler does it his way
Steve Moakler told the good-sized crowd that he had played just about every college there is in the area. Now, that would be quite a lot and probably a bit hyperbolic. But the point is he's trying to do it his way.
Without the benefits of commercial radio play or a label behind him, Moakler has benefitted from extraterrestrial radio playing his... »»»
Concert Review: Giddens captivates, engages
About the only thing wrong that Rhiannon Giddens did was play a too small 900-plus seat venue that sold out months in advance. Aside from that misstep of not allowing in even more of her fans, Giddens was captivating, engaging and certainly not afraid to continue as potent musical force, although she was far more overtly political.... »»»
Country News Digest
Elsewhere in the news
Currently at the CST blogs
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... »»»
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 sure to be marked by many different special appearances and commemorations during the festival's four-day run, is no exception.... »»»
There's no more solid live bluegrass show than the Gibson Brothers. They play with great technical skill and crispness. Their harmonies are just what a brother act should be: sweet, true and never forced. Brothers Leigh and Eric Gibson surround themselves... »»»
Hipsters may only consider checking out Bobby Bare's "Things Change" due to the participation of hot item Chris Stapleton, who sings on a remake of the old hit "Detroit City." Hopefully, though, they'll immediately recognize Bare's immense talent and stick around for the whole shooting match. Bare's no spring chicken anymore, but he sounds extremely good throughout this classic-sounding country effort.
Formed in 2014 in the far reaches of Sheridan, Wyo., a place well off the map as far as connectivity with the bigger marketplace is concerned, The Two Tracks make a sound that ought to be instantly engaging to anyone appreciative of a true down home delivery. Consequently, the band's sophomore offering, "Postcard Town," brings them as close to the mainstream as one might imagine. »»»