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Sheridan musician hopes to tap into Wyoming's music industry with new record label

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Posted at 5:29 PM, Mar 25, 2024

SHERIDAN, Wyo. - Sheridan isn't the first city that pops into mind when discussing the music industry, but that's a concept that's changing in Wyoming.

Sheridan native Shawn Day founded Big Horn Records last July, one of the first record labels to operate in town.

The record label hopes to tap into Wyoming's burgeoning music scene to share the music of the Cowboy State with the rest of the world.

"I really love being in Sheridan, and it's kind of cool just being part of something that is connected to community," Day said.

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Shawn Day and his daughter

Their first signed artist is Tris Munsick and the Innocents, a five-member country band with its own Wyoming roots.

“The American West is kind of a special place, and if you’re able to kind of provide a real glimpse into what that lifestyle is, people in other parts of the country in the world are interested in that,” Munsick said in a recent interview.

When you listen to Munsick's music, it's a sound you won't find in country music meccas like Texas or Tennessee. Munsick is a Sheridan native who grew up ranching and playing music in his family's band.

“It really started as a family thing for us, and we’d get on stage with my dad and play, and that blossomed into having a family band growing up,” Munsick said.

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Tris Munsick

Now, the Montana State University grad and his band are past the days of playing at birthday parties and bars.

“We’re real excited about releasing this record. We’ll be trickling it out throughout the year. We just dropped our newest single, 'Quicksand',” added Munsick.

But they're making more than just music. They're making an impression, playing with renowned artists like Lyle Lovett and Big and Rich. They've even been nominated for the Rocky Mountain Music Awards three times, accomplishments that took nearly a decade of effort and patience to achieve.

“People don’t really know where to start on that stuff and to be able to have a place you can go to be like, let’s set up some calls, we’ll help coach you guys, here’s your first three things you need to get going if you want to be in this business. Man, I wish we would have had that,” Munsick said.

That's where Big Horn Records comes in.

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“I just always felt like there was a lack of development for artists in Wyoming,” said Day.

Big Horn Records is a record label for Wyoming artists by Wyoming artists. Day has an extensive musical background himself.

"I actually was a piano performance major in college, so still doing classical music then, but really fell in love with songwriting and recording. Skipped the pond and flew out to London in 2005 to start my music career out there," Day said.

He originally came up with the idea of creating a music label in Sheridan back in 2016.

"Our mission is Wyoming grown, so anything that’s made here, we want to help support and start demoing people’s songs,” Day said.

Big Horn Records isn't like other record labels in the industry.

"We really took our time in looking at the deals and trying not to do long-term contracts that would trap people," said Day.

Munsick says that's a unique approach compared to other record labels he's encountered.

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Tris Munsick

“They’re really here to support the artists. That’s their MO, that’s their mission. I think just coming at it from that standpoint is different than 90 percent of the music business in the first place,” Munsick said.

Big Horn Records is able to mold their services for artists, including promotion, creating connections with producers, sound recording and distribution, at any stage of their career.

“Customizing them to the artist right, which is the important thing. Here’s the services we offer, which apply to you and I think that is unique,” said Munsick.

They're helping put artists like Munsick on the map, giving him more time to do what he truly loves, writing songs and making music.

“Any of those other jobs that just kind of come with the territory that somebody can take off of our hands, and let us focus on what we do, that’s the point, right?” Munsick said.