Shel inks a deal with Republic Nashville

Scott Borchetta. Name ring a bell? Not really? How about this: Remember the record exec who came to Taylor Swift's defense a few weeks ago when the whole world was up in arms over her supposed catastrophically pitch-friendly performance at the Grammys? That guy? Yeah, that's Scott Borchetta. He's the CEO of Big Machine Records, home to Swift and onetime Denverites, Kate & Kacey Coppola.

Here's why it's worth knowing who Scott Borchetta is: Last week in Nashville, Borchetta and Jimmy Harnen of Republic Nashville -- the new imprint launched last summer by Borchetta and Monte Lipman of Universal Republic -- introduced Shel as the label's newest artist. Shel, as you might remember was featured in Tip Sheet last summer.

We were quite bonkers for the Holbrook sisters from Fort Collins, as you might have noticed. And while we're stoked for the sisters now, obviously, we're also cautiously optimistic, hoping that their bewitchingly homespun folksy sound doesn't get swallowed up by the Nashville Machine and come out sounding trite and homogenized, like a great number of the other exports from that town.

Fingers crossed. Regardless, in the meantime, it's nice to see the gals getting their due. Not that a record deal is the be-all-end-all these days, of course, but having someone like Borchetta in your corner, who has a proven track record on the sales side of things, and who, as we've seen, isn't afraid of sticking his neck out for his artists -- regardless of how flimsy and ill-advised his defense of Taylor happened to be -- has got to count for something.

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