Backbeat: Show Dog Universal Music Shows Off Its New Crop of Talent During ACMs

From left: Show Dog GM George Nunes; Show Dog artist Krystal Keith; Show Dog artist Josh Thompson; Show Dog artist Joel Crouse; Show Dog VP of promotion and radio marketing Tom Baldarica

Show Dog Universal Music, the independent label founded by Toby Keith in 2005 and which merged with Universal Records South in 2007, hosted its 3rd annual brunch at the ACMs today in Las Vegas. Held at Craftsteak at the MGM Grand, the event drew around 90 radio station reps, as well as press and music publishers, to eat, drink and hear acoustic performances by new Show Dog artists Joel Crouse, Krystal Keith (label founder Toby Keith’s daughter), and Josh Thompson, who joined the label after a stint on Sony.

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From left: Show Dog-Universal president Mark Wright; WAMZ Louisville program director Coyote Calhoun; Toby Keith manager T.K. Kimbrell of TKO Artist Management

“The reality is during CRS (Country Radio Seminar), when you’re a label with one promotion staff and basically one roster, it gets real difficult to matter during CRS, so we’ve always just lightly touched on CRS and saved our push for the ACMs," Show Dog president Mark Wright told Billboard. "You get to see our new artists.This is more an introductory kind of deal. We let people see them in an acoustic mode.”

From left: Show Dog artists Josh Thompson and Joel Crouse; Show Dog VP of promotion and radio marketing Tom Baldarica

Thompson says it’s an easy way to get in front of programmers. “The benefit is they’re all in one room,” he says. “It would take a really long time to visit every person where they’re from. You can fly to one place or you can fly to 90. And there’s free food and liquor.”

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Most importantly, Wright says the Black Jack tables have been good to him. “So far, I’m in the Quicken Loan business. I win and all my friends borrow from me and then they hide and I can’t find them,” he says. “So I have to go get more money today so I can re-loan it to my friends when I win.”

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