Homeland signs Three Bridges
Homeland Entertainment Group announced yesterday that they had signed Three Bridges to a recording contract. [EDIT, 2/22/13: Broken link removed.]
This signifies a couple of things. First, obviously, Three Bridges is no longer with Crossroads. I hadn’t heard that, but then, I suppose there just aren’t press releases when a group’s contract with a label expires and is not renewed.
Second, this is the first major artist Homeland has signed, and, according to the press release, the first signed to their “top label” (i.e., Homeland itself).
What I don’t know, and don’t have the inside sources to ask, is what type of label Homeland is. Southern Gospel’s major labels (Daywind, Crossroads, Canaan) follow the practices of major labels outside of Southern Gospel and foot the bill for recording projects, making money back later through royalties. Southern Gospel also has what I’ll call “artist development” labels (Eddie Crook Co., Lamp Music), where the artist foots the bill for the project, but the label still has marketing and distribution infrastructure to get the project in the hands of buyers.
Some labels (and, though I don’t know for a fact, I suspect Song Garden may be on this list) have two separate branches, a mainline label and an artist development section. If Homeland is like this, I can’t help but wonder if names like RiverSong and HeartWarming will now be the artist development sections.
Anyhow, if Homeland is structured like an artist development label, this could be construed as a step down for Three Bridges; if not, it’s just a step over. And given that they’re Homeland’s only top label artist annouced to date, it could even be a step up in that Homeland can focus its promotional energies on them, rather than just being one entry in an all-star cast of groups that include the Talley Trio, the Kingdom Heirs, Ivan Parker, and the Dove Brothers.
It will be interesting to see how this pans out. If Homeland follows this announcement with a couple of others in the coming months—perhaps several of the other groups who were looking for a label at NQC—this announcement could be the first step in a climb back to the top.