I have been trying to focus my blog posts on the collaborations of artists with other companies or organizations that aren’t necessarily conventional music platforms. This week, I came across another such partnership but in a genre of music that I am personally a HUGE fan of. A new phenomenon and trend is upon us: Country singers hitching onto the wagons of popular restaurant chains in order to blaze trails into the wild west and eventually to the ears of millions who dine within these fine establishments. Recently, country musicians, both known and up and coming, have bee teaming up with restaurants such as Texas Roadhouse in order to better both brands. The singers get recognition through commercials, songs, and promotions within the restaurants while the establishments get recognition through the publicity of the musicians on their tours, through their websites, and simply just with the brand of who they are as an artist. Both are benefiting through exposure during this everlasting recession in the U.S. Even country legends such as Josh Turner and Darius Rucker are supported by Cracker Barrel and LongHorn Steakhouse, respectively. Josh Turner, whose name in the country world makes girls swoon and guys wish that they could sing like him to make the girls swoon, sold ” ‘hundreds of thousands’ of CDs the first time he released an exclusive recording for the [Cracker Barrel] chain in 2007, says his manager, Ted Greene, owner of Modern Management in Nashville.” So, why such an obscure partnership?? According to Josh Turner’s manager, Ted Greene, having “these brick and mortar stores in 600 markets with your record at the front counter is huge”. The more exposure, the more recognition. The more recognition, the more ticket, CD, merchandise, Steak and Potatoes, “Kickers” margarita, chicken fried steak, etc. sales. Makes sense, right?? In these constantly changing times, it is important to find the loops and holes in the lasso that provide opportunity. And I would say that is exactly what the country stars and their restaurant counterparts have discovered and are taking advantage of.