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 ...
Not only is CD Baby the largest distributor of independent music on the planet with over 300,000 artists representing 17% of the iTunes catalog; it’s the distribution partner for many musicians who define new sounds, create thriving niche scenes, and are being adopted as cultural icons in the new music industry.
Artists like Macklemore, The Antlers, The National, and Bon Iver came up being distributed by CD Baby (their catalog titles remain there). Ingrid Michaelson and Gregory Alan Isakov have continued their partnerships with CD Baby throughout their decidedly independent and hugely successful careers. Artists like Greg Brown and Grant Lee Phillips once again demonstratedhow it’s possible to drop the old label system and run your own career as an indie. Which CD Baby artists will reach household name status next? Here’s a short round up of recent and upcoming releases distributed by CD Baby representing breakthrough artists, up-and-comers, and unexpected stars of cult-like followers.
09/03/13 Frank Foster, Southern Soul.
A 100% independent artist, Frank Foster is currently in the top ten on the iTunes Country Music chart. He tours constantly and he and his wife manage his entire career from albums and videos to booking his tours. In a nutshell, he plays Outlaw Country with a splash of Southern Rock and Country Gold.
09/17/13 Drew Danburry, The Coming Bastian Salazar.
After touring almost non-stop for several years and getting covered everywhere from Pitchfork to Daytrotter, this lo-fi quirky indie musician called it quits. In 2010, he stopped touring to raise a family and open a retro straight-razor barber shop in his home of Provo, Utah. Though Danburry’s Barber Shop is doing very well, Drew Danburry couldn’t stay away from music long, and has recorded a follow up to his last album. CD Baby expects another nice response to an album that features a track called “Prologue: The Truly Beautiful Thing about Humility and Open Mindedness is When We Actually Live it and Not Focus on How Humble Other People Are or Aren’t.”
09/17/13 Alex Winston, “101 Vultures” – Single.
Detroit native and current NYC resident Alex Winston released her debut album King Con early in 2012 and garnered critical acclaim for her uncanny ability to craft songs that remain with any listener. Having been compared to the likes of Joanna Newsom, Lykke Li, PJ Harvey, Ellie Goulding, and Kate Bush, Winston returns to the public forum with “101 Vultures” highlighting her unique ghostly vocals and lush melodies. With this track, she brings more focus of experience and instrospection. Alex will continue to play live and tour sproadically through the end of 2013 as she puts the finishing touches on her new album, which will be released in Spring 2014.
10/01/13 Lovelife, Stateless.
Splitting time between Brooklyn and London, Lovelife have been blowing up over the last year: being one of the first bands announced to play at CMJ this year, track premieres with NYLON and Idolator, a pair of #1 songs on Hype Machine, and a fall tour with The Neighbourhood, not to mention official remixes for The Killers, Neon Trees, Maroon 5 and Imagine Dragons. Their fast growth can be partly attributed to a top notch industry team, with Big Hassle handling PR and the Agency Group booking.
10/01/13 Neil Byrne and Ryan Kelly, Acoustically Irish.
Fueled by PBS television specials, two members of the wildly popular Irish singing ensemble Celtic Thunder launched an acoustic duo tour last year. It went so well they decided to put out an album. So fanatic is their following that the last time Ryan Kelly released a solo record, eight of their fans (called Thunderheads) showed up at CD Baby’s door—some of them having flown in from out of town—to get the CD immediately on the album release date.
10/15/13 Breathe Owl Breathe, Passage of Pegasus.
The new album will feature a bonus download of the Michigan band’s full-length magical sunset concert from this year’s Pickathon Festival in Portland, Oregon in HD video. Unfortunately, right after the festival the band’s van and most of their quirky instruments were stolen. When you see how the trio of guitarist, cellist, and drummer-keyboardist performs—hopping from instrument to instrument; from toy piano to classical guitar—the theft takes on greater tragedy. But fans have taken to scouring Craig’s List for the missing instruments and replacements. Jacob at Pitchperfect PR is representing.
(Private SoundCloud link for press only please)
10/22/13 Lincoln Durham, Exodus of the Deemed Unrighteous.
Armed with old bastardized mid-century guitars, hand-me-down fiddles and banjos, home-made contraptions with just enough tension on a string to be considered an instrument and any random percussive item he can get his hands or feet on, Lincoln Durham is an Obnoxious-Indie-Folk-Roots-Americana-Rock revivalist with a heavy amped edge, preaching the gospel of some new kind of depraved music.
11/05/13 Brother Dege, How to Kill a Horse.
If you saw Quentin Tarantino’s film “Jango Unchained,” you’ve heard Brother Dege’s “Too Old to Die Young.” Popmatters called his prior release (also on CD Baby) “a case study in how one guy with a steel guitar and minimal accompaniment can out-rock a roomful of electric bombast.” This is intense, swampy slide guitar from Cajun country. Bill at Team Clermont is on the PR case.