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Music News (2/3/21)

[ 0 ] February 3, 2021 | |

Back Blocks Music Signs Songwriter Blake Pendergrass

Pictured (L-R): BMI’s Leslie Roberts, Blake Pendergrass, Back Blocks Music’s Rakiyah Marshall. Photo: Steve Lowry

Back Blocks Music announced the signing of its flagship songwriter Blake Pendergrass to an exclusive, worldwide publishing agreement. This is Pendergrass’ first publishing deal and comes on the heels of the success of the BMI-affiliate’s first major cut: Morgan Wallen’s “865.”

“From the very first playlist of demos I heard I became a fan of Blake’s and knew I needed to work with him. I loved his dynamic songwriting, work ethic, and the versatile network of writers he is building—it felt like a perfect fit,” says Rakiyah Marshall, Founder/CEO of Back Blocks Music. “I am thrilled to have Blake be a part of the Back Blocks family and the first publishing client. There are big things to come and I’m excited for our future together.”

A Raleigh, North Carolina native, Pendergrass moved to Nashville to study commercial music at Belmont University. At the end of 2020, Pendergrass got word he earned a coveted spot on Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album. He was the only un-signed writer on the 30-song project. Pendergrass also has upcoming cuts with Chris Lane and newcomer Ashley Cooke.

“From the moment I met Rakiyah I knew that she was the exact kind of person that I wanted to work with,” says Pendergrass. “She is strategic, driven, and connected yet she still manages to be incredibly kind. From the beginning it was clear that she understood me and my music and that she was committed to bringing my career to new heights. I am so thankful to be able to call Back Blocks my publishing home!”

Concord and Dan Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound Form Joint Venture

Dan Auerbach. Photo: Laura Partain

Concord has entered into a long-term, exclusive joint venture with Easy Eye Sound, the label founded by The Black Keys’ frontman Dan Auerbach.

Under this worldwide partnership, Concord will release all new recordings made for Easy Eye Sound and will distribute all catalog albums that have reverted or will revert to the label during the course of the venture. There are plans to release 12 albums this year, all under the Easy Eye Sound label name and logo.

Founded in 2017, the Easy Eye Sound label has an eclectic roster and has released over 20 albums to critical acclaim, garnering seven Grammy nominations including four for Yola’s breakout album Walk Through Fire and one for Bentonia bluesman Jimmy “Duck” Holmes album Cypress Grove. Easy Eyes’ roster also includes country legend John Anderson and Bay Area rockers Shannon and the Clams.

An eight-time Grammy winner himself, Auerbach earned nominations in the last two years for work on projects by Marcus King and Yola.

“When I founded Easy Eye Sound [studio] a decade ago, it was meant as home base for my musical vision and as a way to discover and support artists I believe in,” commented Auerbach. “It’s exciting to see the record label and recording studio evolve and begin a worldwide partnership with the fine folks at Concord.”

“I’m thrilled to partner with Dan and his label Easy Eye Sound,” said Tom Whalley, Concord’s Chief Label Executive. “Dan’s passion runs through Easy Eye’s in-house songwriting, production and the overall cohesive vision of the label. He brings a stellar roster and a committed staff under the leadership of Tom Osborn. Easy Eye Sound will be a great addition to Concord Recorded Music’s group of labels, and the partnership will give Dan and his artists a global platform of opportunity. I look forward to great things.”

Tunedly Inks Global Administration Deal With Spirit Music Group

Tunedly, a global innovative online music production and publishing source, has announced a new partnership with Spirit Music Group, one of the world’s leading independent music publishers. Through the deal, Spirit Music Group will administer Tunedly’s growing music catalog worldwide.

Tunedly ( is an online music recording studio, that connects songwriters and other music creators with session musicians for professional music production and music publishing services. Started by musicians and music managers, the idea for a live collaboration music production and publishing solution came out of a need to remove the barriers faced by many who want to succeed at music, but either lack the means to make it happen, or are unable to connect with the right talent and resources. Tunedly, which began its digital operations in 2015, aims to simplify the process of connecting creators with vetted session musicians, trained singers, skilled sound engineers, or noted producers and also to create increased royalty collections for creators through its partnerships with sub-publishers.

“We could not be more excited to work with Spirit,” says Chris Erhardt, CEO and co-founder of Tunedly. “Leveraging the strengths of Spirit Music Group’s administration platforms will help Tunedly users tremendously with monetizing their music, starting in Q1 of 2021. We’re proud to work in collaboration with such a renowned and respected company.”

Tunedly has already been embraced by some of the biggest names in the music industry. Serving as company advisors are Mathew Knowles, founder of Music World Entertainment Corp. and Artist Management, executive producer for more than 100 award-winning, Platinum and Gold albums in multiple genres, and father of Grammy winners Beyoncé and Solange; and record producer, songwriter and movie producer Harvey Mason jr., Chair and Interim President/CEO of the Recording Academy, who has written and produced songs for successful artists including Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Chris Brown and Taemin.

Lalo Guzman Signs With SMACKSongs

Lalo Guzman with SMACKSongs team

Lalo Guzman has signed a worldwide publishing deal with SMACKSongs.

A native of the San Francisco Bay Area in California, Guzman moved to Nashville in 2013 and has been writing and producing for acts like Waterloo Revival and Spencer Crandall.

“We are beyond excited to bring Lalo’s passion, talent, and positive energy into the building at SMACK,” said Lee Krabel, SMACK’s Senior Creative Director. “We have long been fans of his since Sam Sarno introduced us to his music a couple years ago. We are looking forward to getting to work and can’t wait to see where his career goes!”

“I’m honored to be a part of such an awesome team here at SMACK,” said Guzman. “I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be here and be surrounded by such positive and encouraging people. I can’t wait to build with this team and am excited to see what we can accomplish.”

Category: Music News

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