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: Hard Working Americans more than live up to moniker
Hard Working Americans is a generic enough sounding term, conveying that you're part of the lunch bucket crowd. Part of a faceless pack instead of an individual. In reality, it's something of a misnomer for the sextet of the same name heretofore considered a side project. That's because they or in most cases, their other... »»»
Concert Review: Wolf rolls on with ease
Peter Wolf starts off his first disc in six years, "A Cure for Loneliness," with "Rolling On." Great title for a song, and as he would prove in concert, he lived up to those words.
The song starts "You can lay down and die / You can lay up and count the tears you've cried / But baby, that's not me / There's a... »»»
Country News Digest
Elsewhere in the news
Currently at the CST blogs
James Reams is one of bluegrass music's unconventional stalwarts. A son of Kentucky, Reams' journey has taken any number of unusual pathways since the mid-seventies. Producing albums for more than 20 years, Reams' ninth release of personable bluegrass, "Rhyme and Season," is a relaunch for Reams, an artist who has never followed a singular route.
After scoring a 2015 IBMA nomination for Best Bluegrass Album for "Cold Spell," Frank Solivan tried something a little different this time around - an album of songs recorded by "Family, Friends and Heroes" (Compass). In an earlier musical life, Solivan served as stalwart in Country Current, the Navy's touring bluegrass band. Solivan left the service and formed Dirty Kitchen, a hat-tip to his background and continuing efforts as a chef.... »»»
Aubrie Sellers just may be onto something on her debut - garage country. After all, we've already witnessed traditional country, new country, neo-traditional, country rock, pop country and bro country. Sellers, a 25-year-old Nashvillian with a big time musical pedigree who released her debut, "New City Blues," in January, said the moniker came to mind as her bio was being written.... »»»
If I'm Honest
Blake Shelton makes it abundantly clear that this is not going to be a light-hearted listen, despite his public demeanor. "I have never recorded a more personal or reflective album in my career," Shelton wrote on the cover insert. He said the 15-song release "touches both the highs and low of past year of my life." »»»