CD Baby CEO Tracy Maddux Knows What it Means to Do It Yourself
When Tracy Maddux—a passionate fan of live music—joined CD Baby, he decided he needed to see a show by each of the new employees he worked with. Nearly everyone at CD Baby plays music. It meant ...
CD Baby was one of the first online aggregators of independent music. From its beginnings in a Woodstock, New York, garage in 1997, CD Baby has grown to be the home of more than 300,000 artists, and is – by some measures - the world’s biggest independent distributor, providing an estimated 17 per cent of iTunes current catalog. Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and Macklemore both had their start on CD Baby and their catalog titles are still offered. Lauded artists like Ben Sidran and Mary Gauthier have been with CD Baby as they’ve built and maintained independent careers, while venerated artists like Latin music legend Eddie Palmieri and drummer Gregg Bissonette have abandoned the traditional label system to work with CD Baby and discover how well independence can work for them. But which CD Baby artists will be the next to reach household name status? The Iceberg Tip Sheet offers a quick round up of recent and upcoming releases distributed by CD Baby, showcasing breakthrough artists, as well as cult stars and up-and-comers.
10/21/2014 Saúl Hernández, Mortal
The solo release from the leader of the phenomenally successful Rock en Español band Jaguares (and before that a veteran of the legendary Caifanes) has already won plenty of fans. Lead track “Me Buscaré” was picked as iTunes Latin Single of the Week and named Starbucks Pick of the Week for Mexico. Half-studio, half-live, it’s an album that tells its stories by juxtaposing the everyday and the magical, a soundtrack to the walk we all take through life. It’s a place where David Bowie and Octavio Paz sit over a glass of wine and muse on the spirit.
11/4/2014 Byrne and Kelly, Live in Australia
Fresh off a #1 album in the Billboard World Music album charts for their debut Acoustically Irish, as well as awards from the Irish Music Association of America, the duo follow up their success with a set recorded live in Sydney, Australia, in July. There are plenty of Irish favorites, from “The Water Is Wide” to “On Ragland Road,” as well as several American songs and a nod to their venue in the closer “Land Down Under.” It builds on the success of their first outing, showing the pair to be just as strong in front of an audience as they are in the studio.
11/4/2014 Jeff Coffin and the Mu’tet, Side Up
Led by Coffin, sax player with the Dave Matthews band and one-time member of the Grammy-winning Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, the Mu’tet is on its sixth outing of mutated music. Not jazz, not world music, not anything to fit into a pigeonhole, the core quintet is joined by such world-class musicians as Zakir Hussain on tabla in its journey around the fringes of music. Restless and challenging, it’s a journey to satisfy as the musicians take flight with Coffin’s vision. It’s a place where cultures and ideas come together, unifying and often beautiful.
11/4/2014 Miguel Zenón, Identities Are Changeable
MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellow, nominated several times for Grammy Awards, saxophonist Miguel Zenón has been the bridge between the older and younger generations of jazz musician. On his ninth album he goes to his own roots, looking at the cultural identity of New York-based Puerto Ricans, basing each of the compositions on conversations, and given life by a 12-piece band made up of some of the Big Apple’s best jazz talent. It’s his most personal work to date, one that reaches deep within a proud, long-established culture that still finds itself caught between two worlds.
11/11/2014 Audiomachine, Remixed
It’s Audiomachine…well, after a fashion. The band gave 17 of their most identifiable pieces to their favorite remixers and gave them a free hand to reconstruct the music exactly as they wanted. Stripped to the basics and then reassembled, the results surprise and delight. But that’s the intention. Audiomachine wanted the remixers to be creative, to use the original music as a springboard into other areas, to take it to places they’d never imagined it going. And the results? Stunning, beautiful, even scary.
11/17/2014 Acid Baby Jesus, Selected Recordings
Formed in Athens, Greece, in 2009, Acid Baby Jesus purvey their highly twisted brand of psychedelic primitivism mixed with the folk history of their homeland. With every other track an original tune, and the solos lysergically stretched to breaking point. Selected Recordings is the fruit of two years’ work, typified by the single “Vegetable,” which emerges from the primal sonic swamp drenched in fuzz, while “Trouble Maker” is dazed in reverb. It’s a record to twist the mind, doing exactly what psychedelia was intended to do.