|Parent company||Warner Music Group|
|Distributor(s)||Alternative Distribution Alliance (U.S.)|
|Country of origin||U.S.|
Surfdog Records is an independent record label, music publishing company] merchandising company, and marketing company based in Encinitas, California. Its roster includes artists of the rock, punk, swing, rockabilly, reggae, lounge, and alternative genres. It has released over 150 albums, including recordings by Stray Cats, Brian Setzer, Eric Clapton, Butthole Surfers, Glen Campbell, Joss Stone, Dave Stewart, Agent 51, Gary Hoey, Pato Banton, Sprung Monkey, Slightly Stoopid, Echobrain, and Tea Leaf Green
The foundation of the company was established in 1985, when Surfdog Records' owner Dave Kaplan began Dave Kaplan Management Inc. Kaplan and his staff have managed the careers of artists including UB40, Brian Setzer, Dave Stewart, Glen Campbell (co-management), Stray Cats, Gary Hoey, Butthole Surfers and BulletBoys.
Surfdog Records officially began as a record label in 1993. Today, in addition to being an Independent record label, other divisions of the company are Dave Kaplan Management Inc., Surfdog Music Publishing and Licensing, Surfdog Merchandising, Surfdog Entertainment Marketing and Surfdog's Java Hut (known for its coffees and smoothies among locals and surfers, located by famous surfing hot spot, Swami's in Encinitas, California).
Rockabilly and big band jazz musician Brian Setzer (formerly of Stray Cats), also managed by Dave Kaplan Management Inc., has released multiple albums through Surfdog Records. Since 2000, Setzer has won three GRAMMY Awards, as well as receiving his seventh GRAMMY nomination (out of eleven nominations in total) in 2007 for his album "Wolfgang's Big Night Out".
Dave Stewart, best known for his work with British pop-rock duo Eurythmics, joined Surfdog's roster in 2007, and shortly thereafter released his album "The Dave Stewart Songbook Vol. 1". Followed by his 2011 release through Surfdog Records "The Blackbird Diaries".
British soul singer Joss Stone released her fifth studio album "LP1" through Surfdog Records in partnership with her own Stone'd Records in 2011. Stone co-wrote and co-produced the album with Dave Stewart.
In 2011, Surfdog Records signed Glen Campbell releasing his album "Ghost On The Canvas", an album intended to be Campbell's farewell to studio recording following being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Campbell in 2012 received a GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to music throughout his 50 years plus career.
In 2013, Surfdog announced the signing of a collaboration with rock and roll legend Eric Clapton for Clapton's new record "Old Sock," released in March 12, 2013.
On April 22, 2014, Drake Bell released his first studio album since 2006's It's Only Time with Universal Motown Records, Ready Steady Go!, after signing on with Surfdog in 2012. The record debuted at #182 on the Billboard 200, #50 on the Billboard Top Rock Albums, and #32 on the Billboard Top Independent Albums charts. It sold 2,000 copies in its first week of release. The record contains songs originally by Billy Joel, Queen, The Kinks, Stray Cats, and more. Brian Setzer, frontman of Stray Cats and also on the Surfdog roster, produced the album. "Bull", a song on Ready Steady Go!, was on the top 10 charts in Mexico for several weeks.
On May 19, 2014, Release of The Burning of Rome's Year of The Ox.
On July 29, 2014, Eric Clapton & Friends released The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale. The Breeze is full of covers of songs originally by JJ Cale and contains vocals by Mark Knopfler, Willie Nelson, John Mayer, Tom Petty, and Don White. The album received much attention, achieving a #2 debut on the Billboard Top 200 album charts.
On August 12, 2014, Brian Setzer released his newest record, Rockabilly Riot! All Original, through Surfdog. The record contains new music from Setzer and was widely accepted by music critics. 'Let's Shake' was the first single of the record.
On October 6, 2014, The Burning of Rome were one of the biggest winners at the 2014 San Diego Music Awards. Along with Jason Mraz they led the nomination pool. They won Best Live Performer, Best Alternative Album for 'Year of The Ox', and Song of the Year for 'God of Small Things'.
On October 21, 2014, Brian Setzer's 1959 Gretsch 6120 was inducted into the world-renowned Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.. Setzer's guitar will join a large and diverse collection of musical instruments at the museum that include John Coltrane's saxophone, Dizzy Gillespie's trumpet, and Eddie Van Halen's guitar.
On April 28th, 2015, Surfdog/DKM sign on The Schizophonics. The Schizophonics sound has been described as "fuzzy, psychedelic rock mixed with nasty funk, played with energy, passion, and freakiness" and are best known for their all-out, full-throttle, high energy live performances.
On August 11, 2015, Sublime announced deal with Dave Kaplan Management/ Surfdog Records, managing the branding, merchandising, licensing, music catalog and new ventures.
On Oct. 5th, 2015, The Schizophonics cleaned up at the 2015 San Diego Music Awards, winning "Best Live Performer" and "Best Hard Rock".
On Oct.16th, 2015, Brian Setzer was joined with an 18-piece orchestra for the release of his newest Christmas record, Rockin' Rudolph.
On May 20th, 2016, Eric Clapton released his twenty-third studio solo album, I Still Do on Surfdog Records/Bushbranch Records. Clapton reunited with record producer Glyn Johns and had the album's artwork painted by Sir Peter Blake who also previously worked with Clapton.
On November 4th, 2016 Brian Setzer released a new concert Blu-ray/CD, Rockabilly Riot: Osaka Rocka! - Live in Japan
On February 24th, 2017, to honor Dan Hicks on the first anniversary of his passing, Surfdog Records released Greatest Licks - I Feel Like Singin', a compilation album paying tribute and celebrating Dan's life and legacy.
In June of 2017, Sublime partnered with AleSmith Brewing Company to launch a nationwide, Sublime Mexican Lager with a limited run of 40oz. bottles to celebrate the bands 25th anniversary of 40oz. to Freedom.
Surfdog music has been featured in many motion pictures including Puss In Boots, Elf, Mission: Impossible, Monsters vs. Aliens, Dude, Where's My Car? Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Stuart Little, and The Real World. Plus major national commercials, including Ford Lincoln-Mercury, Ashton Kutcher's Nikon and Hallmark.
Surfdog Records has released three MOM (Music For Mother Ocean) albums, and those three albums contributed to the largest donation in Surfrider Foundation's history up till then. The three MOM albums feature some of the biggest artists in music today, including; Paul McCartney, Pearl Jam, The Ramones, Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blink-182, Snoop Dogg and members of Rage Against The Machine, The Beach Boys and No Doubt.
Dave Kaplan and Scott Seine serves as board members for Banding Together, a non-profit organization that provides music therapy, scholarships, mentorships, and instruments for young people with autism and other special needs. Surfdog works with Banding Together on a unique initiative which offers autistic youths an opportunity to perform on-stage with special guest musicians. In addition to being an awesome experience for everyone involved, the program provides a meaningful platform for these talented children and teens to build their social confidence. Notable artists that have participated in this program include Ziggy Marley, Jason Mraz, Shaun White, Michael Franti, Elvin Bishop, Dan Hicks, The English Beat, and jazz musician Steph Johnson.
Dave Kaplan also serves on the Board of Directors for the Wishtoyo Foundation, founded by fellow Surfdog-mate Mati Waiya. The foundation educates both Native and non-Native people about history, values and spirituality of the Chumash people.
Surfdog artists Dave Stewart and Joss Stone joined together to record an anthem for Stand Up To Cancer. Surfdog oversaw the music for the charity, for which Stewart was the musical director for the recent telethon which resulted in over $50 million in donations. Surfdog also released an exclusive version of a song by Stone produced by Stewart for Amnesty International, with all profits being donated.