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13 – How Can I Meet Sara? // Shawn Pennington, Veteran Music Industry Executive

Barely escaping from ACM week 2016 in Las Vegas, the guides caught up with Shawn Pennington. Shawn has a career that spans all walks of vocations in the music business. Shawn’s intro in the world of music and even what pushed him in that direction was encouraged from the most unlikely of places. Much like how this podcast was formed (musicians complaining about their lives on the back of a cruise ship), Shawn made the decision to move to Nashville to pursue a career of playing country music. Shawn spent his early country music career playing for top female vocalist, Sara Evans. Like most players in a band, his position also led to management positions. After realizing for himself that playing music wasn’t where the money was at he jumped on the artist management side of things. While at Dale Morris & Associates, Shawn used his talents and knowledge as a musician, producer, production manager, and artist manager to successfully develop the careers and brands of Gretchen Wilson, Big & Rich, John Rich, Cowboy Troy, the MuzikMafia, Kellie Coffey, and Julio Iglesias Jr. Shawn soon joined the management team of Broken Bow Records Management as the Senior Vice President of Artist Development. Shawn then took the platinum selling band Parmalee and the Grammy-nominated duo Thompson Square to new heights. The music industry is all about taking risks, and in 2016 after vacating his position at Broken Bow Shawn jumped head first in his newest entrepreneurial venture, Pennington Entertainment. Brandon and Jason really go dumpster diving in this conversation of the gritty details of the music business. Shawn is a great resource of all things business and your guides took advantage of Shawn’s life story. Topics discussed? The change in the climate of marketing an artist, where should the money come from if not royalties, and saving songwriters and publishers in a streaming world. This episode is for the day dreamer that knows how to hustle, but maybe doesn’t know where to start. For the player wondering if there is something else they could do in the industry. For the titan of industry that is planning world domination. Shawn’s story is full of ups and downs, twists and turns, and great music industry stories from even today’s biggest country music names. Jason’s only question for Shawn was…HOW CAN I MEET SARA?


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Shawn’s company formed this year, Pennington Entertainment, manages the stellar lineup of Parmalee, Thompson Square, Meghan Linsey, & Casee Allen!

Pennington Artists
Shawn on defining success:

“Your success is what you want it to be. It’s not what you think it should be.”

And on the future of the industry from a label perspective:

“Labels in the future need to be management-centric. So the perspective will be…artist driven, not company driven.”
“You don’t quit. You can’t quit. You have to keep chasin’ it, and somedays you’re gonna win and somedays you’re not gonna win. Do what you have to do.”

-Shawn Pennington in Episode 13

Shawn and Pennington Entertainment recently partnered with production company 44designs!



Brandon Harrington // SMI Co-Host, A&R, Music Director, Video Editing
Jason Kurkimilis // SMI Co-Host, Lead Audio Production & Engineering
Christian Barker // Executive Producer

Special thanks goes out to our episode sponsor, Fat Bottom Brewing.
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