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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: Girls with Guitars show voices – With the official departure of Taylor Swift from the genre, country music is eager to find replacement star power. Pittsburgh's annual Girls with Guitars show is proving to be a nebula. This year's crop of artists featured former "The Voice" contestants (one winner), a television star and some local flair. Texas cutie... »»»
Concert Review: Washburn, Fleck give reasons to be happy  – "I sing because I'm happy," sang Abigail Washburn toward the end of her show with fellow banjo picker (not to mention, husband) Bela Fleck in the closing number of the night "His Eye is on the Sparrow." Washburn had a lot of reason to be on this night in a beautiful setting at Harvard University. The two held court over two... »»»
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