Country Rosters Remain Stable Despite Sales Downturn

Male Artists Still Constitute Lion's Share of Signings

Even though advancing technology and a souring economy continue to sap album sales, the rosters of the major country music labels have remained remarkably stable over the past year. There have been no wholesale purges of artists and no precipitous drops in the number of new signings.

Currently, there are 167 acts attached to the country labels that reported their rosters to CMT.com. Of the acts reported, 38 were duos or groups, 82 were male performers and 47 female.

Among those who have left the labels they were still signed to a year ago are Chris Cagle and Cyndi Thomson (Capitol Nashville), Danielle Peck (Big Machine), Lila McCann and Sherrie Austin (Broken Bow), Jeff Carson, Cowboy Crush and Cledus T. Judd (Curb).

Also gone from their previous perches are Marcel and Phil Stacey (Lyric Street), Blaine Larsen (BNA), Halfway to Hazard (Mercury), Mary Gauthier (Lost Highway), Jennifer Hanson and Shooter Jennings (Universal Records South) and Lori McKenna and Cowboy Troy (Warner Bros. Nashville).

Here are the latest listings from the largest country labels:

Big Machine Records/The Valory Music Co.
Big Machine: Taylor Swift, Trisha Yearwood, Jack Ingram, Kate & Kacey, Sunny Sweeney, Adam Gregory.
The Valory Music Co: Jewel, Jimmy Wayne, Justin Moore, Reba McEntire, Emerson Drive.

Black River Music Group
Jeff Bates, Sarah Darling, Emma Jacob.

Broken Bow
Jason Aldean, Dean Brody, Randy Owen, Megan Mullins, Krista Marie, Ash Bowers, Crossin Dixon.

Capitol Nashville
Trace Adkins, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Walker Hayes, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Kenny Rogers, Darius Rucker, Keith Urban, Emily West and comedians Rodney Carrington, Roy D. Mercer and Tim Wilson.

Curb
Rodney Atkins, the Bellamy Brothers, Bomshel, Lee Brice, Star De Azlan, Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers, Ashley Gearing, Hank III, Steve Holy, Hal Ketchum, Ronnie McDowell, Tim McGraw, Jo Dee Messina, Heidi Newfield, LeAnn Rimes, Rio Grand, Sawyer Brown, Ray Stevens, B.J. Thomas, Clay Walker, Hank Williams Jr., Wynonna.

Lyric Street/Carolwood Records
Lyric Street: Rascal Flatts, Bucky Covington, Sarah Buxton, Josh Gracin, SHeDAISY, Billy Ray Cyrus (with Walt Disney Records).
Carolwood Records: Trent Tomlinson, Jessica Andrews, Love and Theft, the Parks.

Show Dog Nashville
Toby Keith, Trailer Choir, Carter’s Chord, Mica Roberts, Flynnville Train.

Sony Music Nashville
Arista Nashville: Brooks & Dunn, Jason Michael Carroll, Alan Jackson, Jypsi, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood (19 Recordings/Arista Nashville).
BNA: Kenny Chesney, Pat Green, Craig Morgan, Kellie Pickler (19 Recordings/BNA Records), the Lost Trailers.
Columbia Nashville: Keith Anderson, Caitlin & Will, Miranda Lambert, Montgomery Gentry, Jessica Simpson (Epic/Columbia Nashville), Gretchen Wilson.
RCA Nashville: Sara Evans, Martina McBride, Jake Owen, Crystal Shawanda, Chuck Wicks, Chris Young.

Sugar Hill: The Greencards, Sarah Borges, Sarah Jarosz, the Infamous Stringdusters, Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson, the Red Stick Ramblers, Bryan Sutton, Maura O’Connell, the Seldom Scene, the Duhks, Donna the Buffalo, Sam Bush, Joey & Rory.

Universal Music Nashville
MCA Nashville: George Strait, Vince Gill, Jamey Johnson, Josh Turner, Gary Allan, Ashton Shepherd, Randy Rogers Band.
Mercury Nashville: Sugarland, Billy Currington, Lee Ann Womack, Julie Roberts, David Nail, Holly Williams, Julianne Hough, Shania Twain.
Lost Highway: Lucinda Williams, Shelby Lynne, Black Joe Lewis, Ryan Bingham, Lyle Lovett, Hayes Carll, Morrissey, Johnny Flynn, Donavon Frankenreiter.

Universal Records South
Randy Houser, Phil Vassar, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Eli Young Band, Jonathan Singleton & the Grove, Baylie Brown, Joe Nichols, Angela Wolff, the Clark Brothers, Andy Gibson.

Warner Bros. Nashville
Big Kenny, Big & Rich, Michelle Branch, Whitney Duncan, Faith Hill, Jessica Harp, the JaneDear Girls, Jason Jones, James Otto, John Rich, Blake Shelton, Randy Travis and comedians Frank Caliendo, John Caparulo, Henry Cho, Scott Dunn, Bill Engvall, Christian Finnegan, Jeff Foxworthy, Gladys Hardy, Lisa Lampanelli, Larry the Cable Guy, Kathleen Madigan, Patton Oswalt and Jon Reep.

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to CMT.com.