CD Baby is the largest distributor of independent music on the planet. It’s the home of more than 300,000 artists. The CD Baby catalog makes up an estimated 17 per cent of iTunes track offerings. CD Baby is a distribution partner for many musicians who have become icons in the new music industry. Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and Macklemore both had their start on CD Baby and their catalog titles are still offered. Other artists, like Ingrid Michaelson and Gregory Alan Isakov have maintained independent and highly successful careers even as they’ve continued their partnerships with CD Baby. Greg Brown and Grant Lee Phillips are among musicianswho’ve dropped the old label system and run their own indie careers with the help of CD Baby. 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.
06/10/14 Mary Gauthier, Trouble & Love
Acclaimed singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier has built her recording career with CD Baby and this new album is her first studio release in more than 4 years. The disc including her recording of “How You Learn to Live Alone,” a co-write with Gretchen Peters for the hit ABC show Nashville (performed on the show by Jonathan Jackson of CD Baby artists Enation). Gauthier tours regularly, and the enduring quality and depth of her work has helped to build a strong, loyal fanbase, not only in America, but internationally.
06/17/14 Neal Morgan, Neal Morgan
The third solo album from Morgan, the drummer for Bill Callahan, Joanna Newsom, and Robin Pecknold, is intimate music for drum and voice that manages to catch the fine balance between challenging and irresistibly catchy. This time around, the lyrics to all the songs are spoken, rather than sung, giving everything a closeness and immediacy, like hearing stories whispered by a friend in a late-night conversation. Not only rewarding, it’s also instantly memorable, and under the outward fragility, filled with strength.
07/01/14 Various Artists, 2776: A Millennium of American Asskickery
From the twisted minds of Rob Kutner (Conan, The Daily Show), Stephen Levinson (Comedy Central) and Joel Levinson (The Tonight Show) — and the talents of a dizzying range of stars (Yo La Tengo, Triumph the Insult Comic Doc, Ed Helms, Aimee Mann, Will Forte, Ira Glass, Paul F. Tompkins, The Rebirth Brass Band, Andrew W.K. and many more) — comes 2776: A Millennium of America Asskickery, a skewed comedy-musical trip through America’s past, present and future.
07/22/14 Nicholas Payton, Numbers
Recorded live in the studio over three days, Numbers marks a big departure for acclaimed jazz trumpeter Payton. Working with Virginia quartet Butcher Brown, he sticks mostly to Fender Rhodes on this outing, with only a few flourishes of the horn, to make what he calls “the hippest, funkiest Play-A-Long album that's ever been documented.” With hints of Prince, the Meters, Ohio Players, and Herbie Hancock, Payton creates a joint where the groove never quits.
08/08/14 Willis Earl Beal, Experiments in Time
Maverick Chicago soul sensation Beal made news by walking away from his record label deal to release his own work, and Experiments in Time is his first album through CD Baby. With minimalist melodies, and the raw emotion that helped make him a star, he’s stripped away the record business makeover gloss to return to the sound that first captured attention. A year and more in the making, and a mix of very old and very new songs, it revels in Beal’s trademark idiosyncrasies, all captured on the intimacy of analog tape.