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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 ...

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Tyler Volkmar
(812) 961-3723

SXSW 2014 Iceberg Iceberg Tip Sheet: The CD Baby Showcase at SXSW

CD Baby is – by some measures - the world’s biggest independent music distributor and the home of more than 300,000 artists, providing an estimated 17 per cent of iTunes current catalog. CD Baby has a long, established history of supporting emerging recording acts but their commitment extends to live music. That’s why they’re hosting the Second Annual CD Baby Showcase at SXSW, to be held March 13 in the Gibson Room at Maggie Mae’s, 323 E. 6th St.

Last year’s event was so successful that this year CD Baby is highlighting even more bands. 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. Now CD Baby is turning the SXSW spotlight on six artists who are breaking through, three from the company’s hometown of Portland and three from the Lone Star state.

CD Baby SXSW Showcase:

Divers, Showcase time: 03/13/14, 8:00

A Northwest favorite, Portland’s Divers already have honed their big punk rock’n’roll with sweaty, loud shows all across the region. Their first two-song EP quickly sold out its print run and now they’ve released their debut full-length, Hello Hello, a disc where Joe Strummer collaborates with Paul Westerberg for the soundtrack to David Lynch’s dark dreams.

Aan, 03/13/14, 9:00

Aan’s new album Amor Ad Nauseum took the Portland band three years to complete, and sees strong elements of soul mixed with songwriting that takes strange, enticing turns. The first single premiered on Stereogum, and the initial video made its debut on Noisey. Imagine a cross between the loudest Animal Collective songs and the quietest Big Black songs.

Wild Ones, 03/13/14, 10:00

Recovering from the medical calamities that plagued them in 2012, Portland DIY collective Wild Ones labored hard to record their debut, Keep It Safe in their rehearsal space. With members whose backgrounds range from punk to classical, their unique sound draws on pop music, R&B, and German techno, filtered through a uniquely Northwestern prism.

Air Reviews, 03/13/143, 11:00

Dallas five-piece Air Review formed five years ago. Their pop sound is filled with dreamy melodies and delicious melodies that mix vintage and indie pop. Their 2013 sophomore release, Low Wishes, refined the sound of their earlier release and two of their songs were featured in Apple’s 30th anniversary video for the Macintosh computer.

Lincoln Durham, 03/13/14, 12:00

With a host of amped-up string instruments, Itasca, Texas native Lincoln Durham preaches the wild side of roots music in his one-man band shows. A Texas State Youth Fiddle Championship winner, the music on his debut, Exodus of the Deemed Unrighteous is the illegitimate child of Charlie Poole and Son House filtered through the troubled sensibilities of Tom Waits.

Seryn, 03/13/14, 01:00

Out of Denton, Texas, Seryn has crafted a unique sound using guitars, banjo, harmonium, percussion, and violin. But it’s the six voices of the members that grab the attention, working together while the songs mutate from straightforward acoustic folk through pop into rich towers of sound. Their debut, This is Where We Are, captures the hopes, ideals, and nightmares of the American Southwest.

Other CD Baby Artists Featured at SXSW:

The Black Lillies

Americana that caught both Billboard Heatseeker and Country charts with Runaway Freeway Blues.

Corey Smith

Playing true rural country music from Georgia, the singer/guitarist is touring behind his ninth album, Ain’t Going Out Tonight.

Holly Conlan

With songs on a host of TV and movie soundtracks, L.A. native Conlan is celebrating the release of The Sirens.

Folk Family Revival

Three Texan brothers and a friend who’ve played together for years, on the road with their debut album, Unfolding.

Gold Beach

Austin natives who’ve just recorded their first Kickstarter album, Ryou Canon, in Driftwood, Texas.


L.A. band with The Nitro EP under their belt and bring their West Coast madness to Texas.

Liz Longley

Nashville resident and Berklee graduate Longley shows why she’s the Hot Loose Wire in her live shows.

Shelby Earl

With a heartbreakingly beautiful voice, Seattle’s Shelby Earl lets loose her Swift Arrows on SXSW.

mr. Gnome

With eight years of space psychedelia behind them, Cleveland’s mr. Gnome brings Madness in Miniature and more.

Wilderness of Manitoba

The band brings their Island of Echoes from Toronto, crossing Band of Horses with early ’70s Neil Young.

Magic Mouth

Punk, funk, and soul from the Portland four-piece, riding the tide of their Devil May Care EP.

The Silent Comedy

San Diego American/folk-rock, where revival meetings collide with bar culture, captured on the Friends Divide EP.

More CD Baby artists worth your attention at SXSW:

The Dry River Yacht Club, East Forest, Eminence, Juan Perro, Kris Orlowski, MilkDrive, Quiet Company, The Tontons, Ashes of Babylon, Akina Adderley & the Vintage Playboys.