Help a homeschooling mother of four record her own original songs to make her debut EP with some of the best musicians in the world!
Hi there! My name is Michelle Lynn Thompson. Some know me from the Wayside, a band I’ve been performing in with my husband, John J. Thompson, for over 20 years.
Some know me as a homeschooling mother of four. I currently have a third grader, a junior, a senior and a high-school graduate. I’ve been chin-deep in phonics, ACT prep, graduation and college preparations all while working part time. It’s an exciting time but a HUGE task that I take very seriously.
Some of you know me as former women’s ministry leader of the Warehouse Church in Aurora, IL or the current co-leader of the East Nashville Thompson home group from the Village Chapel, or even that woman that leads worship with her husband, John, on occasion.
What most of you may not know is that I have been writing my own songs that tell stories from my life and the lives of people dear to me. Sure, they may have been written on the back of a receipt, a paper plate or a spelling list - or sung into my phone while speeding off to work - but they are songs from my heart. Though I've contributed to many Wayside songs over the years, and wrote one personal song years ago, I really only discovered my inner song writer after moving to Nashville five years ago. Funny thing is, I didn't move to Nashville to pursue music.
We were encouraged for years to move there for musical careers, but always felt that our place was in the community of friends and family we were living our lives with in the Chicago area. We were very involved in ministry in Illinois and didn’t feel a peace about leaving that for personal gain. But a little over five years ago we visited Nashville and saw a real need for the kind of community that we had been experiencing back home. We felt God’s leading and moved to Nashville with our kids for the purpose of opening our home to anyone in need of a place to feel accepted, supported and loved. The need was greater than we even realized and our home has overflowed for the past four and a half years with a beautiful community of friends we now see as family. Walking the journey to Christ along with other believers is what we are all about.
I'm not gonna lie. It was difficult to be surrounded by so many women who just dripped talent and I was envious that they chose to follow their dreams, but I believed that my purpose was to only focus on ministry and being a wife and mom. Just about the time I started the process of letting go of my own musical dreams these songs started pouring from my heart – the first one came in the middle of the night! Some have been inspired by my own story or a journey I’ve walked through with a friend. They range in style from Americana to traditional country with a couple of 40’s era surprises thrown in. I think of them as little kisses from God saying "you aren't done yet. You have valid things to say."
My Grandma, Gladys Hubbard, has inspired several of my songs. One of my favorites is a jazzy little tune inspired by her telling of when Grandpa first layed eyes on her. I can’t wait for you to hear them. Grandma passed away on June 7, 2012. She has inspired more than songs, she's shown me the kind of person I want to be remembered as. This EP will be dedicated to her.
Over the years many of you have asked when I was going to record a project of my own. I’ve wanted to, but recording is time consuming and expensive and the truth is that I’ve always put family and ministry first. But I'm ready to spread my wings a little. I’m very excited to be recording my very first EP of my own songs! (Click HERE to hear a mix of rough demos.)
We’re blessed to live in East Nashville, surrounded by some of the best songwriters, musicians and producers in the world. It’s an extremely creative environment and it seems to have really emboldened me. I’ve gathered the courage to approach some artists that I really admire and invite them to write with me. To my complete delight, they said yes! On this project you will find songs written completely by me as well as songs co-written with some of my favorites like Kate York, Julie Lee, Robin Ghosh, and Katy Bowser (of Coal Train Railroad).
All of this is very exciting but I can’t do it alone. This is where you come in. I’m thrilled that Kickstarter makes it possible for me to invite all of you to help me make this project. We can all do it together! If you haven’t ever supported a Kickstarter campaign here’s how it works: I have set a financial goal that will allow me to record these songs in a local studio with some great players to help bring them to life and a producer who really understands this kind of music. According to John, a project like this would have cost at least $10,000 years ago. Technology and amazingly generous and talented friends have lowered that cost to just $5,500.
You choose a support level, make a pledge of any amount and select a “reward.” There’s a lot of stuff up there to choose from, from a digital download of the EP before it is officially released to a concert in your own home! You can choose any amount of money that works for you – it all helps. Your credit card is only charged if we reach our goal. If we do, your card is charged and I hit the studio with our good friend and frequent Wayside collaborator Kenny Hutson (Over the Rhine, Vigilantes of Love) and a cast of amazing musicians and we start recording these songs!
But here’s the catch: If we come up short, you are not charged and I get nothing. We start from scratch.
Kickstarter also makes it easy for you to share this opportunity with your friends and family. Post a link to your Facebook wall, send an email to anyone you think may be interested and willing to help and then join me as I pray that we make our goal.
Community is my favorite part of life, so it makes me happy thinking of this as a community project. You and I will be doing this together. I will be sending out updates through Kickstarter as the project comes along so you can see what we’ve worked on each day and how we are coming along on our goal. Just sign up on the site and you’ll get the updates.
(You can hear clips of the demos we have been recording for this project by clicking HERE.)
I hope you are as excited about this as I am. I’m looking forward to this new journey in my life and I can’t wait to share it with you!
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
pledged of $5,500 goal
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Jul 5, 2012 - Aug 4, 2012 (30 days)
Pledge $1 or more
Any amount is appreciated! For any contribution under $10 you will recieve a big hug of appreciation from Michelle the next time she sees you! You'll also be added to an exclusive email list to recieve updates from Michelle throughout the recording process.Estimated delivery: Aug 2012
Pledge $10 or more
You will recieve a download of the entire new EP when it is publically released, in MP3, WAV or just about any other format known to man. (Estimated release date Oct 2012)Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $25 or more
You get a digital download of the entire project BEFORE it is publically released, along with a physical CD that will include the entire EP along with two Bonus Tracks not available elsewhere. You will also be mailed a limited edition photo print with a handwritten thank-you note from Michelle!Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $50 or more
Recieve everything mentioned above plus a digital download of The Wayside's last two studio albums; Spiritual Songs and Farm.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $51 or more
EXCLUSIVE Mini-Bulk Order: This package does not include any of the rewards listed above, but for people wanting to order multiple copies of the physical CD, here you go. 5 copies of the physical CD upon release - including postage anywhere in the US for a minimum contribution of $50 (Not included in any other packages below)Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $75 or more
Recieve everything in all of the smaller packages, plus a CD full of Michelle Lynn Thompson gems! Unreleased demos, live recordings, cover songs and maybe even a song or two recorded just for this disc. This collection will NOT be released in any other format and will not be available at shows. You want a collection of Michelle rarities, this is the only place you'll find it. (Also includes all of the other items from the previous levels, so you'd better have a big mailbox!)Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $100 or more
Everything listed above PLUS a specially created, signed and numbered booklet that features all of the lyrics and chords for the songs on the EP, as well as Michelle's stories behind each song and a special collection of photos. This project scrapbook is being hand-designed by Michelle and some friends for this project only!Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $101 or more
EXCLUSIVE Bulk - 10 copies of the physical CD upon release plus shipping anywhere in the US for a minimum contribution of $100 (does NOT inlcude any other rewards listed above and is NOT included in any packages below.)Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $250 or more
5 backers Limited (95 of 100 left)
Now you're really in the inner circle, and Michelle might never let you out! Backers at this level or more recieve everything listed in the previous packages, the downloads, CDs, collections, booklet, prints... everything... PLUS an invitation for two to a private backyard EP release party at the Thompsons' home in East Nashville that will include food and drink and a special concert with Michelle, John and various friends. You'll also have your name listed in the liner notes!!Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $500 or more
0 backers Limited (10 of 10 left)
At this level you recieve everything listed above, PLUS Michelle will perform a special acoustic concert IN YOUR HOME! (as long as your home is within 100 miles of Nashville. If it is farther you'll need to help with transportation.) We'll even bring a batch of Trinity's famous, secret recipe Chocolate Cookies and gourmet coffee hand roasted by John just for you! (Concert may happen any time in 2012 or 2013 based on availability.)Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $1,000 or more
0 backers Limited (10 of 10 left)
Same as the $500 level but the House Concert may be within 500 miles of Nashville - and you will recieve an "Executive Producer" credit on the EP!Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $2,500 or more
0 backers Limited (3 of 3 left)
Ever wanted to see Nashville the way Michelle sees Nashville? Backers at this level will recieve all of the music, the print, the booklet and the invitation to the release party, plus two nights accomodation in Music City and a weekend-long guided tour by Michelle. Visit her favorite spots, hear some great music, eat some awesome food and leave some extra room in your luggage for some special swag! You must get yourself to town, and there may be some additional costs depending on what you want to do, but once you're here you're with Michelle! (may be coordinated with the private release party if you like, but Michelle's time will be more limited.) Scheduling will be based on availability, of course.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012