Big Deal Music Group
Over 35 years as a manager, music publisher and A&R person at seminal ‘80s Minneapolis independent Twin/Tone, and later, monolithic major Capitol Records, Dave Ayers has discovered and developed some of the most unique and important artists to emerge during that time. The Jayhawks, Ween, Soul Asylum, Babes in Toyland, Uncle Tupelo/Wilco/Son Volt, Helmet, Sparklehorse, Vic Chesnutt, The Jesus Lizard, Britpop super star/brat Robbie Williams are all members of the 20th Century portfolio, along with 18-months working alongside the incomparable Yoko Ono on her “Rising” LP, “The Lennon Box,” and a revival of the the historic Times Square “War is Over” effort.
Following a lengthy music business sabbatical, marked by a turn writing “comedy” for ill-fated leftist radio network “Air America” (for the “Unfiltered,” morning show hosted by Rachel Maddow, Lizz Winstead and Chuck D), Ayers was enlisted by longtime friend/colleague and future Big Deal Music partner, Kenny MacPherson to join him at legendary independent Chrysalis Music Publishing. Before the company was sold in 2011, Ayers had signed and helped develop Bon Iver, the Black Keys, TV on the Radio, St. Vincent, The Black Angels, Dr. Dog, Nathaniel Rateliff, and Andrew Bird, among others.
MacPherson, Ayers and fellow Chrysalis exec James Ceretta launched Big Deal in the fall of 2012. In addition to some key ex-Chrysalis talent (Annie Clark/St Vincent notched Big Deal’s first Grammy in 2015) Ayers’ Big Deal stable to date features the likes of Sleater-Kinney, Kamasi Washington, Sharon Van Etten, Sylvan Esso, Nick Lowe, Charles Bradley, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and the Flight of the Conchords. In just five years, Big Deal has managed to attract a remarkable collection of iconic talent while also enjoying extraordinary chart success with global hits written for Shawn Mendes, One Direction, Travis Scott, Old Dominion, and Thomas Rhett. In serving both these masters, the company seeks to honor a tradition of honesty, hard work, patience, and very old-fashioned artist and writer development.