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: Drive-By Truckers finds little to celebrate – While introducing "Guns of Umpqua," off the new "American Band" album, Drive-By Truckers' Patterson Hood wondered out loud - in a profanity-laced observation - why he can never seem to see a flag not at half-mast anymore. "We can do better, people!" he admonished the crowd. In an election year with two of the most... »»»
Concert Review: Simpson rides the night out in style – Sturgill Simpson came to Beantown with a deserved music reputation after three albums and a well-received, albeit quite adventurous release earlier this year, "A Sailor's Guide to Earth." He doesn't have hits per se or much of a commercial presence. His rep has been built on quality. While the Kentuckian's first two discs... »»»
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

For Shires, home is where the family lies Mercy Rose Isbell recently celebrated her first birthday and, ironically, the album she helped inspire has just been released. Synchronicity is a beautiful thing. Mercy Rose is, of course, the daughter of singer/songwriters Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires, two of the most gifted Americana artists working today... ... »»»
The Earls of Leicester rattle and roar Something old is new again. The Earls of Leicester, fresh from their first release in late 2014 and the IBMA Entertainer of the Year Award for 2015, followed that remarkable success with "Rattle and Roar." The Earls of Leicester play the songs popularized by, and in the musical style of Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs.... »»»
Watkins does all the right things on "Young in All the Wrong Ways" In the nine years since Nickel Creek declared itself on indefinite hiatus, violinist/vocalist Sara Watkins has been relentlessly busy. She discovered a new pathway for her harmonic gifts with Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O'Donovan in the vocal trio I'm With Her.... »»»
White Christmas Blue CD review - White Christmas Blue
There are some "country" stars that can't seem to make true country music. Then there are artists like Loretta Lynn that can't not create pure country music. Lynn's "White Christmas Blue" album may feel like a Christmas miracle to many traditional country fans.  »»»
For Better, Or Worse CD review - For Better, Or Worse
With "For Better or Worse," John Prine follows up his "In Spite of Ourselves" album with more male/female duets. And this one is a true A-list effort, as it finds Prine trading lines with the likes of Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves and Alison Krauss. Once again, though, Iris DeMent steals the show with the angry and sarcastic "Who's Gonna Take the Garbage Out," the same way she did with the prior album's title cut. »»»
Blue Mountain CD review - Blue Mountain
Bob Weir's "Blue Mountain" opens with a song titled "Only a River," which borrows liberally from the old folk song "Shenandoah." In fact, much of this album, which Weir wrote with producer Josh Kaufman and singer Josh Ritter takes its inspiration from timelessly meditative Americana folk songs. The aforementioned album opener's lyric finds Weir repeating the line, "Only a river gonna make things right." »»»
Farm Tour...Here's to the Farmer CD review - Farm Tour...Here's to the Farmer
Luke Bryan has been in that "hardware" phase of his career for the last few years. There have been several armloads of awards, many on the strength of the high-caliber singles from 2013's "Crash My Party." It might present a challenge to stay grounded. But Bryan has kept himself busy with work for charities (he's embarking on a traditional tour of farms to benefit his scholarship fund), and the use of the EP - this marks his eighth.  »»»
Sunset Motel CD review - Sunset Motel
With "Buckaroo" off Reckless Kelly's "Sunset Motel" the band gives us one of the best hurtin' songs in recent memory. "You were my angel/I was your buckaroo," they tell us with deep regret. And after all the booze has worn off, the cold, harsh facts of life come clearly into view. "Now that I'm sober/I wish you were home." »»»
Redemption & Ruin CD review - Redemption & Ruin
Charles Baudelaire and Verbal Kint separately and astutely noted that the devil's greatest trick is in convincing the world that he doesn't exist. There could be a corollary concerning the reality of The Devil Makes Three; the trio exists in so many different musical forms that they may well have talked us into believing they're a dozen distinct bands when they are in fact just one single, extraordinarily talented unit. »»»