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Artists: own your masters and streaming can work for you. That’s the message we heard in our recent conversations with Traci Thomas and Jack Stratton. Thomas, a music business veteran, works at Thirty Tigers, where she manages the likes of Jason Isbell and St. Paul and the Broken Bones. Stratton, a relative newcomer to the industry, is the mastermind behind the virtuosic and subversive Los Angeles-based funk/soul outfit, Vulfpeck.
Thomas has quietly established herself as one of the best managers in the business. She played a huge role in Isbell’s 2013 resurgence with Southeastern, a commercial success that topped a variety of critical year-end charts and received praise from the likes of John Prine and Bruce Springsteen. Not to mention Isbell’s 2015 release, Something More Than Free, which hit number 1 on the Billboard Rock, Country and Folk charts, and was nominated for two GRAMMYs this year. As for St. Paul. Within two years of partnering with Thomas, the band released a hot-selling album, Half the City, performed on CBS Sunday Morning, and toured with the Rolling Stones.