Sign up for newsletter
 

New Nashville label starts with Sunny Sweeney aboard

Friday, June 5, 2009 – A new Nashville label was announced today, started by the heads of Universal Republic in New York and Big Machine in Nashville.

Monte Lipman, President and CEO of Universal Republic and Scott Borchetta, President and CEO of Big Machine Records, formed Republic Nashville, which will be based in Nashville. The imprint will be headquartered on Music Row and utilize the combined resources of Big Machine Records and Universal Republic Records.

Republic Nashville's inaugural roster will include Texas honky tonker Sunny Sweeney, who had one album on Big Machine, and new country duo Fast Ryde.

The two labels already had a relationship because Big Machine's Taylor Swift was pitched to pop radio through Universal Republic.

Former Capitol Records Promotion executive Jimmy Harnen was named president of Republic Nashville. Harnen worked with Borchetta in a previous capacity at DreamWorks Nashville.

Lipman said, "Scott Borchetta and his great team at Big Machine and the Valory Music Co. continue to tower over the country music landscape with a tireless commitment to their artists and a visionary approach to discovering new talent that has become the benchmark of Nashville. We're thrilled to expand our relationship with them, and welcome Jimmy Harnen as he steps into this key role at a crucial juncture in our two companies' unique history together."

"Monte and I have been searching for a way to expand our business relationship, and I believe we have found the perfect compliment in the creation of Republic Nashville," said Borchetta. "This venture is an opportunity to utilize the best of our Nashville resources and the best of Monte's New York resources to create a powerhouse entertainment company. It also affords me the opportunity to bring Jimmy Harnen into the family in a presidential role. Jimmy's tireless ambition, leadership, trend-spotting, A&R tastes and shared vision for this cutting-edge new company is going to prove to be very successful and a helluva lot of fun."

"Reuniting with Scott is fantastic in so many ways," said Harnen. "As a friend and a colleague, it's been a thrill to see him and his incredible team achieve such great success these past few years. I relish the opportunity to join the environment he has created that epitomizes the cutting edge of Nashville and the entire music scene. I'm also looking forward to working with Monte Lipman, one of the most respected executives in our entire business, as we combine our resources to make Republic Nashville a productive and unique success story."

Previously, Harnen was Senior Vice President of Promotion for Capitol Records, Nashville. In 2006 he was Vice-President of Promotion for the company. From 2000 to 2003, Harnen was co-National Director of Promotion for DreamWorks Records in Nashville, working closely with Borchetta, who was a DreamWorks executive at the time.

More news for Sunny Sweeney

CD reviews for Sunny Sweeney

Provoked CD review - Provoked
When we last heard from Sunny Sweeney in 2011 with "Concrete," her major label debut on Big Machine showed a very different side of Sweeney, whose album 5 years earlier was appropriately titled "Heartbreakers Hall of Fame." Texas honky tonk and traditional country songs blanketed her debut, but the same could not be said for "Concrete," which was the kind of disc that those bemoaning slicked up country had reason to be right. Sweeney is back and in excellent form on »»»
Concrete CD review - Concrete
If the name Sunny Sweeney seems vaguely familiar, there's good reason: the Texan and her sassy brand of country music have been bouncing around country music circles for years now, thanks to the collective buzz of her 2006 debut "Heartbreaker's Hall of Fame" and a four-song EP released earlier this year. But while the singer has floated around the Texas club circuit and flirted with radio airplay, she didn't enter the mainstream vernacular until single From a Table Away »»»
EP CD review - EP
In the past, Sunny Sweeney has professed herself to be a lover of "old school country." Her debut release was shot through with that sensibility; based on this EP preview of her upcoming full-length, that is no longer the case, for good or ill. But then, to expect anything else would be naive. Sweeney is now on a major label, where success is measured in chart position and units moved; the fact that not one of the three singles from her first record, "Heartbreakers Hall of »»»
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: Queen Taylor wears her crown well – When Taylor Swift brought Natalie Maines of Dixie Chicks on stage to sing "Goodbye Earl," it meant more than just another star guest, on an already celebrity-packed, five-night attendance record-breaking Los Angeles concert run. This duet also brought into clear focus the truth that Swift's huge success unintentionally fulfilled the... »»»
Concert Review: Mandolin Orange commands the room – Mandolin Orange presents a simple picture: two members, sharing fiddle, mandolin and guitar and two powerful voices. As Mandolin Orange, Emily Franz and Andrew Marlin command the room. The duo formed in Carrboro, N.C. a few years back, and have released an impressive series of CDs over the last few years, most recent "Such Jubilee" on Yep Roc Records.... »»»
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

No matter what you say, it's The Deslondes In the spirit of hard-hitting journalism, it seemed logical to ask Deslondes vocalist/guitarist Riley Downing the Mike-Wallace-from-60-Minutes question that has to be on everyone's mind: How the hell do you say the New Orleans-based band's name? "It's pronounced 'dez lawn,'" says Downing. "I know there's different ways that people have pronounced it over the course of history...... »»»
Watkins Family make time From their first, self-titled, major label release, the Allison Krauss-produced, "Nickel Creek," two-thirds of that trio - musical siblings Sara and Sean Watkins - have been in the musical spotlight continually since 1999. As for working with her brother off and on for most of their lives, Sara says, "We have been lucky...... »»»
Milk Carton Kids find themselves on "Monterey" Joey Ryan, half of acoustic folk duo the Milk Carton Kids, is girding his loins for the long trip from the band's Los Angeles home base to Australia. Although he's made this trip before, he's yet to acclimate completely to it.... »»»
Start Here CD review - Start Here
Maddie & Tea (aka Madison Marlow and Taylor Dye) start their biggest song "Girl in a Country Song" with a warning, "No country music was hurt in the making of this song." That warning also applies to the remaining 10 songs, which is about as country sounding as music seems to get these days for most artists.  »»»
Wild Ones CD review - Wild Ones
Kip Moore's sophomore release has been a long time in coming - 3 1/2 years - a surprise considering how well he did with his debut, "Up All Night," and its big hits ("Somethin' 'Bout a Truck," "Beer Money"). Moore has said he spent time expanding his sound - and he surely has done that - although two failed singles doubtlessly didn't help. »»»
Common Law Wife CD review - Common Law Wife
Slipping into the spot vacated by Nanci Griffith, South Carolinian Angela Easterling provides her perspective on modern country music, motherhood, the state of her nation, lost love, hometown shut downs and matrimony.  »»»
Michael Ray CD review - Michael Ray
The big single from Michael Ray's self-titled album, "Kiss You in the Morning," is one of the most annoying songs of the summer. It's an unbridled lust lyric that describes one man's pursuit of a girl in a country song. Ray is better on the driving song, "Drivin' All Night," though. Maybe it's the fact that Ray name-drops both Steve Earle and Tom Petty on it. »»»
The Blade CD review - The Blade
Ashley Monroe gains more acclaim for other projects than she does for her own solo efforts. Monroe is one third of side group Pistol Annies. She sang with Blake Shelton on his hit "Lonely Tonight." She received praise for her first proper solo album, "Like a Rose," in 2013, although that was a release that stood on the strength of the songs because three singles produced zero hits. Can "The Blade" turn the trick? »»»
Bittersweet CD review - Bittersweet
Australian songwriter Kasey Chambers has never managed to gain the profile elsewhere that she has Down Under, despite consistently releasing great albums as a solo artist and as a duo with her ex-husband. Almost a full year after initially releasing "Bittersweet," Chambers is giving the strong album an official U.S. release. »»»