Signing Story: The Cush

Date Signed: Spring 2020

Label: Mad Bunny Records

Band Members: Gabby Douglas, bass, vocals; Burette Douglas, guitar, vocals

Type of Music: Rock

Management: Self-managed

Booking: N/A

Legal: Greg Brooks - Serling Rooks Law Firm

Publicity: Sarah Facciolo - Black Box, sarah@blackbox.la

Web: thecush.com

A&R: Ben Harper, Elizabeth Freund

Since meeting in 1993, Texas-based husband and wife team Gabby and Burette Douglas have been playing music together in various iterations. As the Cush, they have toured extensively in the U.S. and at festivals in Europe, gathering an international fan base. After five releases both independent and with small European labels, they signed last year with Ben Harper’s new Mad Bunny Records label.

With a completed album recorded at their home studio, the pair were once again prepared to self-release, but decided to pass the tracks around to some friends they had met over the years while touring. One of those long-time friends was Elizabeth Freund, seasoned music executive and now helping run Mad Bunny with Harper. “I know Elizabeth,” says Burette, “and she is a trustworthy, great person. And we’ve been fans of Ben Harper for many years.”

Harper was impressed by the songs, and soon the band was having Zoom meetings with Harper and Freund. “The first meeting was great,” Burette says, “and we could tell that they were both genuinely excited about the music.” Harper was particularly attracted to the song “Haters” and suggested that they try recording it with Gabby on vocals (it was originally recorded with Burette singing) and adding more instruments to the spare track. The band complied, and everyone liked the results. More Zoom meetings led to Harper’s offer to sign the band, which they were thrilled to accept.

Although accustomed to the DIY route, and not impressed by previous label offers, the Douglases knew this time was different. “We’ve had labels tell us, and other friends, ‘We’ll sign you, but we don’t have any money to put into it. But you’ll be on our roster and pick up fans.’”

Although Harper had never seen the band live, and in these Covid times no one was traveling to meet each other, he liked what he saw online. After the deal was completed, there was little to be done with the recording, aside from the revised “Haters,” which came out as a single in January. Also at Harper’s suggestion, the band recorded a raw mini-set/video in their home studio to be used as a promotional tool. Mad Bunny is providing funding for videos, publicity, a radio team and an option for additional releases.

“We couldn’t be in better hands,” Gabby and Burette agree. Although Mad Bunny is a new label, “Ben Harper has had such a long career, and he’s worked with so many different people. Everybody loves him!”