True Grit (Cody Jinks, Charles Wesley Godwin) Acquired by WME

There has been yet another huge shakeup in the world of independent country music, and Texas-based booking and management agencies. True Grit Talent Agency that previous oversaw the careers of Cody Jinks, Charles Wesley Godwin, Ward Davis, Whitey Morgan and the 78s, Bart Crow, and scores of others has just been acquired by massive talent agency WME.

Based in Austin, TX, True Grit was founded in the spring of 2018 with a healthy roster of independent country acts. As Cody Jinks exploded from a regional act based out of Fort Worth to a major festival headliner from coast to coast with multiple Gold and Platinum records, it helped True Grit grow into a management company with national implications.

True Grit very much became the epicenter of the “new Outlaw” movement in country music, along with overseeing Charles Wesley Godwin’s ascent from the Appalachian scene. Godwin recently signed with the mainstream record label Big Loud (Morgan Wallen, HARDY). The success of True Grit made it one of the most important booking and management agencies in independent country music.

According to reporting in Billboard, True Grit agents Mike Krug, Carrie Creasy, and Shelby Vanek are all now working under the WME umbrella, and have imported the lion’s share of their talent rosters with them. They remain based in Austin.

“We are very excited that what we do caught the eye of a company like WME,” Mike Krug said in a statement. “We are proud of all we have built here in Austin and know that joining WME will create exponentially more opportunities for our clients.”

True Grit was started in part by Arthur Penhallow Jr. who previously worked with Austin’s C3 Management, and before with Punch Enterprises managing guys like Bob Seger. Earlier in August, Saving Country Music learned that Arthur Penhallow was no longer working with Cody Jinks. Penhallow had been Cody’s personal manager for multiple years prior, and the two launched Cody’s Late August Records, which recently released the album Won’t Die This Way from Erin Viancourt.

It’s unclear who is currently managing Cody Jinks, but Late August Records is currently being overseen by Stephanie Hudacek of Soudly Music, known for working with artists such as Adam Hood, Channing Wilson, and Kaitlin Butts. WME is booking Cody Jinks for live performances under the new deal.

News of the True Grit acquisition comes after it was announced that Red 11 was acquired by WME in April. Red 11 had been one of the biggest booking agencies for Texas/Red Dirt acts, including the Turnpike Troubadours, to Mike and the Moonpies, Jason Boland and the Stragglers, Cody Canada and the Departed, Jack Ingram, Jason Eady, and more.

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