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.
02/25/2014 Charlotte Martin, Water Breaks Stone
Praised by Details magazine as “a born storyteller and affecting vocalist,” the ninth album from the California singer-songwriter is already creating a buzz, with lead single “Battle Cry” building the anticipation. Her song “The Dance” has been a regular feature on the opening of So You Think You Can Dance, and Martin has toured with Liz Phair, Jason Mraz, and Damien Rice. With publicity being handled by Visionary Concepts, she’s an artist who’s paid her dues, each release building on the last. Water Breaks Stone is the release to catapult her to the major artist category.
03/04/2014 Work Drugs, Insurgents
The two-piece smooth-fi dream pop band follows up its 2013 album Mavericks with Insurgents, music for dancing, living, yachting and, of course, sexting. With the first vinyl pressing of their Greatest Hits album already sold out; slots opening for the B-52s and Two Door Cinema Club; placements in ad campaigns for Urban Outfitters, Roxy and more; this is their year. They’ll be touring the album through the Northeast and Midwest in spring, followed by summer festivals and a fall trip through the Northwest. Press is being handled by Michael Nyhan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
03/04/2014 Cataldo, Gilded Oldies
Straight out of the Pacific Northwest and mixed by Grammy-nominated producer Tucker Martine (REM, Neko Case), the fourth album by Cataldo handles a paradox. The music is more accessible, but the lyrics are much darker, exploring the gulf that separates expectations from reality. With shows across Washington, Idaho (Treefort Music Festival), and Oregon, they’re taking the new music on the road. Gilded Oldies builds on what they’ve achieved with previous releases to deliver a two-fisted blow. Publicity is being handled by Joan Hiller at Riot Act Media.
04/08/2014 Shook Twins, What We Do
The Portland duo are longtime fixtures on the folk and roots scene, building their audience the old-fashioned way: gig by gig and album by album. With a strong AAA following and impressive management team (including the Avett Brothers’ booking agent), they’re moving up a gear with this release. They’re set to appear at a number of festivals in 2014 (catch them at Folk Alliance for an early preview). With echoes of Ani DiFranco and Elephant Revival, their previous two releases have documented their strong growth. With What We Do, they’re ready for the big time.
04/15/2014 Spottiswoode and His Enemies, English Dream
The quintessential Englishman in New York, Spottiswoode takes a trip home with his sixth album. After a pair of Independent Music Awards for 2012’s Wild Goosechase Expedition, English Dream has all the flavors of Anglicana, a collection that runs from the pastoral to the scary, heralded up by upbeat first single “No Time For Love.” Compared to Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, and Tom Waits, with Spottiswoode himself called a “genius” by The New Yorker magazine, the band has been a New York institution of 15 years. Publicity is being handled by Jeff Kilgour at Tijuana Gift Shop.