As another work week begins, the skies over Music Row have cleared. And while “the many” are focused on the coming long weekend, “the experienced few” can’t help but feel a sixth sense tug that says something is going on. Picture a duck swimming like a big machine across a pond…on the surface it is gliding so slowly, but under the water its feet are moving swift-ly. Tongues aren’t wagging, but could Capitol’s former promo guy, Mr. “no comment” Harnen be going independent??? or is he joining a Republic? Ah that is a question to ponder.
Deals, deals deals. While everyone has been watching the changes in the management field concerning players such as Coran Capshaw, Frontline Management, rpm management, Red Light and most recently Morris Management, there has also been plenty of action surrounding a new hybrid label model that slowly seems to be emerging.
For example, Atlantic country artists Zac Brown Band and Jesse Lee have a nimble, but small Nashville-dedicated team. Meanwhile, the label’s main support staff remains quartered in New York headed by Chairman/CEO Craig Kallman.
Then there is Emblem who is making a not-so-small noise with Gloriana. They recently formed a strategic alliance with Warner Bros. for distribution and possibly more, but again the main label guns—the Serletic brothers, Dean and Matt—work far away from Nashville in lovely Calabasas, CA.
Arguably Lyric Street may have started the trend in 1997 when it formed an unusually compact Disney outpost. Now they are also tweaking tactics with the formation of a second imprint and by hosting the Miley Cyrus Hannah Montana soundtrack currently topping the country charts.
So yes, if one were to wonder about the odds of Big Machine and Valory Music getting a new sibling, perhaps a Republic, it hardly seems outlandish especially considering the chart success that Borchetta’s engine-that-could is scoring with names like Justin Moore, Jack Ingram and Taylor Swift on the current country chart and many others that have appeared or are soon to appear again. They say that the music biz is a lot like horseracing and look what is going on over in that arena at the first two races of the Triple Crown.
Ah well, it’s a long weekend, try to get an early start—beat the traffic….
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About the AuthorDavid M. Ross has been covering Nashville's music industry for over 25 years. firstname.lastname@example.org
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