Longtime promoter Brian Penix is leaving NS2 to pursue artist management full-time at Vector Management in Nashville. Joining Penix are several long-time clients including Tommy Emmanuel, Andy McKee and Jerry Douglas, as well as a new client, singer-songwriter Amanda Shires.
“Amanda is writing a new record right now and she goes into the studio in January to start recording,” Penix said of the vocalist and violinist who is married to Jason Isbell and has toured extensively with the Nashville Sound singer and his band The 400 Unit, but also has her own solo career with five studio albums including 2016’s My Piece of Land.
“I’ve been promoting Jason’s shows for years and I have a great relationship with him which turned into a great relationship with Amanda and it became a natural fit,” Penix said.
Besides his promoter responsibilities at indie shop NS2, Penix founded ABI Management with Frank Productions’ Aaron Frank, managing bands SIMO and Greta Van Fleet, who are staying with ABI. Penix said he decided to leave ABI to join Ken Levitan’s firm Vector because “I wanted to go to a larger company that has more infrastructure, more staff and surround myself with other managers.” Vector Management is part of Live Nation with clients that include The B-52s, The Fray, Peter Frampton, and Emmylou Harris.
“I hated leaving Ns2 and ABI because I love those guys,” he adds, “but this was the right move for myself and my artists in order to learn and grow. Everyone at Ns2 and ABI have been completely supportive of this transition.”
Penix is a Nashville native and graduate from Middle Tennessee State University, beginning his career in 2002 at AC Entertainment where he helped launch the first Bonnaroo. In 2006, he joined Outback Concerts where he booked and produced national tours for artists such as Alison Krauss and Union Station, Larry The Cable Guy, and Jason Aldean. He left Outback in 2010 to help fellow Outback Concerts-alum Darin Lashinsky, along with business partners Larry and Fred Frank of Frank Productions, launch Ns2. In 2012, Penix was honored with the Generation Next award by Venues Today. He currently lives in Franklin, Tennessee with his wife Renee and their son Maxwell.
“I’m looking forward to focusing on artist strategy and helping my clients grow their careers,” he tells Amplify, adding that he just helped Emmanuel develop a duets album titled Accomplice One set for release Jan. 19 via CGP Sounds/Thirty Tigers.
Joining Emmanuel on the album are Isbell, Shires, Mark Knopfler, Ricky Skaggs and Rodney Crowell.
“It’s a phenomenal record,” Penix, who will stay busy in 2018 with two tours by Shires, tells Amplify.
“Andy McKee is working on a new record and will hit the road pretty hard in the fall,” he said.
The Jerry Douglas Band is also planning extensive touring around his album What If which was nominated for a Grammy this year for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album. Penix personally signed all his artists to ABI and now Vector.
“I’ve known Jerry for 15 years, I’ve known Tommy for 15 years,” Penix said. “These are all long relationships and I’m thrilled to be working with them full time.”