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: Richey needn't chase any more
The opening lines of Kim Richey's "Chase Wild Horses," one of the best tracks on her excellent new CD, "Edgeland," starts with the lines:
"I don't chase wild horses any more/I'm all done running from the way I was before
Things I've done that I ain't proud of / I can't even stand the sound of
Follow Country Standard Time
Elsewhere in the news
Currently at the CST blogs
Dan Tyminski (known simply as "Tyminski" on his 2017 release "Southern Gothic") has traditional music roots and unassailable bluegrass street cred especially given his membership in Alison Krauss' Union Station. He is also a powerful songwriter and has been writing songs for himself and others for years now.... »»»
Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn have powerhouse individual talents; each has followed an estimable career path to where they find themselves today: making complex, but spare, records, writing music together and touring with their son Juno. Their new release, "Echoes In The Valley" features mostly songs written by Fleck and Washburn, banjos, Washburn's strong vocals and very little else.... »»»
Legends don't come any more legendary than Chris Hillman. The roll call of bands that comprises Hillman's half century in music reads like a wing exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas, the Souther Hillman Furay Band, the Desert Rose Band,... »»»
Apparently someone to forgot to tell Joshua Hedley that country music has passed him by. Where does Hedley, aka apparently known as the Mayor of Lower Broad, come off to incorporating honky tonk, Texas swing, western swing and countrypolitan all in the first three songs of his debut? »»»
Dave Cobb produced "Volunteer" for Old Crow Medicine Show, and while word on the street was that this promised to be a more rocking, less roots music effort, such talk shouldn't dissuade fans of the group's established sound from checking it out. »»»