The Undertow Collective began in 1996 as a group of friends sharing ideas, resources and a love of music. We work closely with a select roster of artists we love, respect and call our friends. Our goal is to create a friendly and productive environment for these people to make music while keeping their integrity and artistic vision intact.
It’s always exciting and flattering to hear from people who like what we do. But we’re always very busy with our current roster and don’t have plans to expand our roster. Our focus is doing a great job for a few artists instead of doing a half-ass job for many. There’s only so many hours in a day… we all have families and like to see them sometimes! Having said that, a link to your website, Soundcloud or Bandcamp page where we can hear a few songs is always appreciated. Please do not send CDs by mail or MP3s by e-mail. We’ll get in touch if we fall in love with your music and think we can assist you in some way.
And let’s think about this for a minute… do you really need management like us? We’re not the kind of managers who find records deals and make people famous. We work with established artists to help organize, manage, protect and grow their ongoing artistic and business endeavors.
You probably have a friend who’d make a great manager. Find someone you trust and who’s willing to work hard. Someone you like hanging out with, someone who understands what you’re trying to do, someone who will always tell you the truth. That’s probably the best situation for any artist. It’s a simple business model… work hard, be nice and have realistic expectations. Be prepared for success, but don’t expect it. Everyone will be happy if you do it that way.
We generally have space for one intern per semester and summer break. These are unpaid internships with a minimum of 10 hours per week for at least 6 weeks. Schedule is flexible. You must be enrolled in school and getting credit for your internship. Email if interested.
We like meeting new people and talking about what we do here. You’re welcome to stop by with an appointment if you happen to be passing through Champaign IL. Address available on request. Email
Who We Are
Bob Andrews: Artist Manager
Bob got his start in the music business in 1991 working in the drum shop at historic Hewgley’s Music in downtown Nashville. In 1993 he took a job as tour manager for Uncle Tupelo and worked with them until their final show in 1994. He continued as tour manager for Wilco during the recording and touring of their debut album in 1995. Around that time he struck out on his own to work with the Bottle Rockets, Centro-matic, Nadine and Dolly Varden. Bob joined up with friends at Undertow in 1996 as a means to help bands record and release music without the restrictions associated with traditional record labels. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and over the next few years expanded his management roster to include Pedro the Lion, Jay Bennett, Mark Eitzel, American Music Club, and Grammy award winner Jesse Harris. Bob moved to Champaign, IL in 2005 with his wife and son where they enjoy the lack of traffic and slightly less snow for the last decade.
Jayne Ballantyne: Artist Manager
Jayne is a native of southern Illinois where she busied herself in a number of theatrical productions at community college. Since moving to central Illinois, Jayne has completed her college career at Millikin University and emerged triumphantly with a bachelor’s in Music Business. Starting as an intern at Undertow, she has helped out with a number of projects and learned the importance of good tacos. In her spare time Jayne enjoys cooking, Netflix-ing, and avoiding the current baby fever.
Rochelle Shipman: Social Media Manager
Rochelle grew up on the east coast, but hopped on tour with John Vanderslice the day after she graduated from Emerson College and never looked back. After spending time writing and working shows in San Francisco and Seattle, she recently moved to Los Angeles where she is currently seeing as much live music (and eating as many burritos) as possible and working at a record store. Her social media skills have sparked interactions with everyone from Big Boi to Tom Petty and even won her a trip to SXSW. She still can’t believe she lives in a world where social media skills are a viable thing.
Chris Grabau: Project Manager
Chris grew up southeast of the Devil’s Promenade in Joplin, Missouri. A musician that has played in numerous bands over the years, his current band is Magnolia Summer. In addition to his own musical endeavors, Chris has helped others make records since he was a teenager by creating album artwork, producing recordings, and serving as a guest musician. In 2001, Chris began working with Undertow to help coordinate album releases for several bands.
Caleb Palma: Artist Manager
Caleb was a Recording Industry Management major at Middle Tennessee State University when he joined Undertow in 2008 as the tender age of nineteeen (Caleb is wise beyond his years). He takes care of the daily business for Via Audio and Laarks and is the regular tour manager for David Bazan. When he’s not touring he enjoys spending time with his special lady friend, eating burritos, buying records, and thankful that he lives in Seattle instead of that other place.
Mark Ray: Spiritual Guidance
Mark Ray came up with the Undertow concept back in 1996. He is responsible for the amazing package designs, posters, and over-all vibe of Undertow. He’s an award winning director and designer who has done short films and videos for Son Volt, Dolly Varden, Centro-matic, his own band Waterloo, and many international commercials. Mark lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and two kids where he runs the well-respected branding agency, North.