The official Napoleon Washington website.
To keep the story short, I launched my third album dec. 10, 2009, as a downloadable pay-what-you-want item, after a long reflexion on what could be done considering the state of the industry. Less then a month later, a french label contacted me to physically release and distribute it in Europe. It'll be available in stores by the end of the month.

I just feel good about it and wanted to share. Don't mean to brag. Also, maybe the experience could be of interest to fellow GS... feel free to post if you got any question or comment. It was a long process.

Below is an excerpt from the press release. The album is still available from my website, which - of course - was the big thing to negotiate.


Dixiefrog to release "Mud & Grace"

French label Dixiefrog (Popa Chubby, Eric Bibb, J.J. Milteau, Pura Fé...) has acquired rights to the European physical release of Mud & Grace. Album is to be available as of april 22.

Mud & Grace, Washington's third album, was initially published december 10, 2009, on Washington's website. Conceived both as a personal experience and as the result of a reflexion on the present state of the music business, it was launched in the form of a of 13-song virtual CD, including a "living booklet" featuring over 45 minutes of motion graphics synchronized to the music. It is - and will remain - downloadable as a donationware album, and can be browsed, played and seen directly online.

The project has been very well received, the website being visited by more than 5400 single users between december 10 and 31 only and donations rapidly covering the cost of its production structure. Media exposure was also quite noticeable (see the attached 5-page article from french magazine Xroads).

Very enthusiastic about the album's musical content, Dixiefrog contacted Washington to press and distribute it in Europe. Washington first turned the proposition down, as he considered the "virtual" existence of the project to be its core concept. Upon the label's insistance, negotiations took place to define a partnership that would allow its physical release not to compete with its digital existence, without the latter being modified in any way. Dixiefrog manager Philippe Langlois then chose to have a luxurious edition of the CD made (32-page full-color booklet, 8-page digipak case), willing to give it an "added value" that would appeal to listeners who care for a well-crafted "touchable" object. Washington took charge of the graphic design for this new release.

"Mud & Grace" (Dixiefrog DFGCD 8686) will be available as of april 22, 2010, and is distributed by Harmonia Mundi (Europe) and Disques Office (Switzerland).