Texans Build Nashville Teams

Brandon Rhyder

Nashville is experiencing an influx from the Lone Star state as Texans build teams made up of Music City mainstays. All of the acts listed here have several albums under their belt buckles and have pushed hits up the Texas charts. Now they are seeking bigger success stories and bigger audiences.

Brandon Rhyder is gearing up for the release of his sixth full length album, Head Above Water, and has made some new additions to his team, signing with Ambiance Artists for management and Sweet Talk Publicity for public relations. Rhyder is currently represented by Thirty Tigers for marketing/distribution, APEX Music for radio promotion and Red 11 Music for booking. The album’s lead single “Rock Angel” landed in the No. 2 spot on the Texas Music Chart this week.

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The band No Justice is signed to new Dallas-based indie Carved Records, and has inked with Scott Welch for management and Jon Folk of Red 11 Music for booking. Founded by CEO Tim Porter in 2009, Carved Records is anchored by VP of Operations Phil Thomas (formerly of UMG Distribution/Fontana, RED Distribution) and Label Director Jenn Littleton (CO5 Music, former Sr. Marketing Director/A&R Geffen Records). No Justice is currently in Nashville completing its debut album with producer Dexter Green.

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Aaron Watson with Pam and Billy Minick, proprietors of Billy Bob’s, where he performed for over 3,000 people, his largest attendance yet at the venue.

Aaron Watson is working on his tenth album, and already has a Texas hit with lead single “The Road.” For the project he has joined forces with David Haley’s Edgehill Music and Media, Larry Pareigis and Tom Moran of Nine North Records, Nancy Tunick’s Grassroots Promotion, and Jules Wortman’s Wortman Works Media & Marketing. This is in addition to working for over a year with Paradigm Agency and being distributed by Sony RED. Watson took home two “Gruene With Envy Awards” on January 13, then wrapped the week performing at “Honky Tonkin’ For The Hungry” at Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth, TX, where he helped raise over $10,000.

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Texas singer/songwriter Zane Williams appeared on WSMV's "Better Nashville" recently to promote his new project, "The Right Place," which was produced fellow Texas native Radney Foster. Williams is the writer of "Hurry Home," the hit for Jason Michael Carroll. Williams has signed with Vanessa Davis's Splash PR. Pictured (L-R) "Better Nashville" host Kacy Hagerty and Zane Williams.

Others Texans on the rise that have recently been reported on by MusicRow include Josh Abbott Band and Reckless Kelly. Josh Abbott Band is celebrating its highest single debut to date with “She’s Like Texas,” the title track from the album coming February 16 via Pretty Damn Tough Records and Thirty Tigers.

Off the helm of an Americana Music Award nomination for Best Duo or Group, Austin based Reckless Kelly releases its seventh studio album Somewhere In Time today (2/9). The group is crossing genres with recent features on  AOL’s The Boot Feb. 8-12th Listening Party, and Country Weekly.

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Mark McKinney has had six consecutive top five hits on the Texas chart as well as two videos on GAC and CMT. McKinney is signed to Rob Dennis’s Super Loud Music for recording and management and is booked by Red 11. During 2009 he was on the cover of Best in Texas, had music featured by NASCAR and scored a sponsorship deal with Budweiser.

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About the Author

Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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