When he’s not touring the world and performing on late-night TV shows as a member of both M. Ward and She & Him (with Zooey Deschanel) — when he’s not producing music for artists like Blitzen Trapper, Bright Eyes, Beth Orton, Jolie Holland, and the Minus 5 — Mike Coykendall can often be found behind the console of Blue Room Studio, carving out sonic space for his own much-praised, ragged-voiced psychedelic folk-pop songs.
In this age of hyperactive social networking, it’s easy to forget not every musical success story has to begin with gimmicky spectacles or some clever usage of online media. Coykendall, who’s been singing in rock bands since high school (and singing along to Country Western radio since the ripe age of 4), has spent decades building his career as a working musician the old-fashioned way, winning fans and friends one gig or recording session at a time.
Throughout his musical wanderings in the back-alleys of rock, psych, pop, country, and folk, Coykendall has become a pillar in three different scenes — first in his home state of Kansas, then in San Francisco, and finally in Portland, Oregon, where CD Baby has had the privilege to help Mike get his music to the world.
“CD Baby has always been straight up with me,” Mike says. “They have always paid promptly and it’s really nice to have them facilitate my music’s distribution to all the various digital download sites. Plus, they send you interesting suggestions every week as to how to market your music (which unfortunately is part of this job).”
The moral of Mike’s story is as scrappy and true as his warm and worn-in voice: follow your passion and put your whole heart into it; say yes to every good chance that comes your way; be comfortable with yourself and kind to others; and make great music!
Check out Mike’s new album, Chasing Away the Dots, out now on Fluff & Gravy Records—one of hundreds of independent labels distributed by CD Baby.
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