Texas-born singer/songwriter Sunny Sweeney, who recently moved from Austin to Nashville, once dreamed of being an improvisational comedian. But the latest development in the burgeoning career of this honky-tonk traditionalist is no joke. She's one of the first acts signed to a newly-formed label called Republic Nashville.

And while the name is new, the players aren't. The label is actually a collaborative effort between Big Machine Records and Universal Republic Records, a partnership which began in 2007, and helped Taylor Swift become the best-selling artist in all genres of music just one year later. Another imprint of the Big Machine label, Valory Music Co., is home to Reba McEntire, Jewel and Jimmy Wayne.

Also signed to the new label is country duo Fast Ryde, with other artists expected to be announced soon.

Sunny isn't exactly new to the Big Machine family. In 2007, the label reissued 'Heartbreaker's Hall of Fame,' the critically-acclaimed album she released independently in 2006.