Signing Story: Baby Bee


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Brothers Joe and David Stark dig the sounds of their native Louisiana. But when the duo wanted to record an EP, they sought out Nashville producer-writer Dave Cobb, whose credits include Rival Sons, Shooter Jennings and the Secret Sisters. Recorded in two weeks, Baby Bee released the recording independently and began booking their own shows.

Then the brothers got a call from Cobb, who thought Baby Bee would be perfect to cover an old Cajun song, “Sugar Bee,” by Cleveland Crochet. Returning to Nashville, they recorded the tune that Cobb then took to his manager, Andrew Brightman. Brightman’s ties with Republic Re- cords inspired a showcase in New York City at S.I.R. rehearsal studios.

“Within 30 minutes, we knew they were going to give us an offer.”

“I think it lasted for about 10 minutes,” muses Joe, the duo’s guitarist, who made their three-song set as intense as possible. “Within 30 minutes, we knew they were going to give us an offer. And that offer took about a year.”

“It felt like a year,” corrects drummer David. “It was more like six months.”

Other labels expressed interest, but Republic showed the most. Since signing, Baby Bee have recorded with Brendan O’Brien, released an EP and placed a song on The Walking Dead soundtrack, opportunities they never would have been given otherwise. They even scored a meeting with iTunes, who made their EP an exclusive download that coincided with their song, “High Heel Leather Boots,” as a Single of the Week.

Republic also gifted the duo an advance, enough to live on for six or seven months, and surprisingly left the production and promotion budget open-ended. “It feels like, if they’re going to spend that money,” observes Joe, “they’re expecting good things to come out of it.”

Baby Bee’s full-length debut will be available in early 2014.

– Andy Kaufmann