Like many bands today, Dallas-area outfit, the Jack Kerowax, decided to strike out independently, without the help of an established label. And why not? With distribution being far more accessible than in the past and social media stripping away the barriers between bands and fans, it doesn’t always make sense to cut in another entity. So Kerowax frontman Johnny Beauford launched St. Cait Records in 2012.
“I started the label with my partner David Turner,” Beauford explains. “For 2012 and 2013, we worked on establishing our presence locally and began releasing some stuff—mainly my own projects. I call what we have a ‘microlabel.’ We’re trying to build a small community; to build some sense of loyalty in a world where there is no loyalty.”
“Too often people work full-time jobs and try to pull off music on the side. That never works.”
Kerowax was released on Nov. 25. “We’d planned to do trips once a month after the record was released,” Beauford says. “And we’re going to do some regional touring February through May. The digital distribution outlet we use is Catapult. The iTunes sales [figures] are delayed by three months so we’ll hear how our digital sales were on February first, even though we released the record at the end of November. I’m very interested to see how it has done.”
Beauford’s ultimate hope for St. Cait is that it will become a sustainable home for other rising Dallas-area bands. “I’d like to find ways for artists to get paid so they can concentrate solely on music,” he says. “Too often people work full-time jobs and try to pull off music on the side. That never works. You have to be all in or all out.”
Kerowax has been well received in Europe, where it has earned some airplay. This followed the hiring of Swedish indie A&R, promotion and marketing company Hemifrån. “Pretty much every track from the record has been getting radio play,” Beauford observes. Consequently, European dates are being considered. Labelmates include Bravo, Max! and Deadmoon Choir. –Rob Putnam