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 ...
From its humble beginnings 17 years ago in a garage in Woodstock, New York, CD Baby has grown into one of the world’s largest distributors of independent music, handling over 350,000 artists. Highly acclaimed hip-hop artists like Black Milk and Sadat X, world class jazz players like Miguel Zenón, outsider indie geniuses like Willis Earl Beal, and hilarious comedians like Ari Shaffir and Garfunkel and Oates have all found a home with CD Baby, and working with the company, they’ve enjoyed even greater success.
But it’s not only artists who’ve joined the fold. Labels like Velvet Blue Music and Slovenly Records have come on board, finding ease, satisfaction, and greater profitability in working with CD Baby. And in an increasingly digitally-oriented age, CD Baby has bucked the trend, being the only company in the business where sales of physical CDs have kept increasing for the last several years while maintaining best in-field digital services.
Here is the pick of the upcoming releases on CD Baby, the new music that’s destined to excite and resonate.
02/03/15 Paul Mercurio, It’s Not Me, It’s The World
Rhode Island-born Paul Mercurio has a remarkable resume, with Emmy and Peabody awards for his work on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, as well as having his own comedy series, regular stand-up appearances, and a Comedy Channel special. He graduated to comedy after gaining a law degree and working as an investment banker, and currently hosts The Paul Mercurio Show, an iTunes podcast. With all that under his belt, it’s perhaps a surprise that it’s taken so long for his recording debut to appear. Expect plenty of the humor that’s made him a household name.
02/17/15 Seryn, Shadow Stars
It’s been highly-anticipated, but the sophomore album from Seryn is finally almost here. The six-piece from Denton, Texas is known for their stunning harmonies and songs that start out folky then grow into walls of sounds. Those are still major ingredients in their sound, but this time around they’ve expanded their palette, amping up the folk-rock and pushing toward psychedelia. With an eclectic mix of instruments, their take on music is different, but always absolutely arresting, with inspired songwriting and performances.
02/17/15 Divers, Hello Hello
Somewhere in the misty area between punk and indie, Portland, Oregon’s Divers work up a dynamic musical sweat on Hello Hello, an album documenting the exploits of a pair of banks robbers as they make their way across the United States. Already lauded in their hometown for their frenetic, energetic gigs, the four-piece has been widely tipped as a major breakthrough act. Their debut album delivers on their live promise, bristling with fire and bursting out of the speakers in a blaze of passion. They’re supporting the release with a tour to spread the message.
03/03/15 Summer Cannibals, Show Us Your Mind
Named for a Patti Smith song, the Portland, Oregon-based quartet burst onto the world in 2013, and quickly racked up a string of plaudits, including an opening slot for Chvrches. Filled with knife-edge riffs and fuzz pedals, their sophomore release tosses out hooks that catch like Velcro in the mind. Recorded to tape, it’s music to overwhelm and release the mind, pop music at air-raid volume and intensity, a rainstorm of joy.
03/17/15 The Blind Shake, Fly Right
Minneapolis trio The Blind Shake has been releasing records since 2003, and this nine-cut EP via Slovenly Records finds them digging deeper into their bag of punk-rock twang. There’s garage music on “Tar Paper,” enough spaghetti Western psychedelic surf for a dozen Serge Leone movies, and some plain old horror on the title cut. Already famed for their looming onstage presence and catalog of songs, Fly Right seems them adding to and burnishing their legend. There’s nobody else quite like them.