Round Hill Music

Round Hill Music buys local song catalog, adds staff

Round Hill Music is expanding its footprint in Nashville with the recent acquisition of the Root 49 music catalog, which includes hit songs written for artists such as Jason Aldean and Tim McGraw.

The company also has added staffers to help accommodate its growing repertoire and hopefully the addition of more songwriters. In conjunction with the purchase of the Root 49 catalog, about 635 songs, Round Hill also signed Nashville songwriter Danny Myrick earlier this year as part of a joint venture with Riding Songs.

Round Hill Music is a private equity firm that focuses on buying iconic song catalogs, though the company also has been signing songwriters. Upon its arrival in Nashville in January, Round Hill announced the signing of Mississippi YouTube sensation Lindsey Lee.

Round Hill also purchased the Big Tractor catalog, which includes hit songs by Blake Shelton and Hunter Hayes. Headquartered in New York, Round Hill closed on $201.6 million in capital earlier this year. The company boasts catalog transactions, including a batch of iconic Beatles songs such as “I Saw Her Standing There,” eclipsing $750 million in value.

“There are a lot of potential unexploited songs,” Round Hill Vice President and General Manager Mark Brown said.

Brown ought to know. He previously worked at Root 49 and brought the deal to Round Hill, which has offices in music capitals New York and Los Angeles in addition to Nashville.

Root 49 was founded by Nashville publisher Carolyn Miller, Myrick and songwriter Bridgette Tatum in 2008, and added Grammy-nominated songwriter Odie Blackmon in 2011. The purchase of Root 49 gives Round Hill ownership over songs like the No. 1 Aldean hit “She’s Country,” which Myrick and Tatum co-wrote. Blackmon has had cuts by Gary Allan, George Strait and Lee Ann Womack.

“I’m happy to be back in touch with those songs,” Brown said. “There are songs I’m familiar with that I think we can do something with, things I believed in.”

Round Hill Music, founded in 2010 by Wall Street veteran Josh Gruss, who studied at Berklee College of Music, started an investment fund as part of its strategy to buy up established song catalogs.

When Round Hill bought Big Tractor, it also added songwriters Wade Kirby and Rachel Proctor. Brown said the company isn’t done adding songwriters or purchasing Nashville-based catalogs either.

“We’re in the process of adding a few key writers,” he said.

To accommodate its growing repertoire, Round Hill announced the hiring of Amanda Prenevost as manager of administration and Josh Saxe as associate director of A&R.