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I'm taking my original music - songs I've shared for years with folks all over - into the studio to make my first professional album
I'm taking my original music - songs I've shared for years with folks all over - into the studio to make my first professional album
147 backers pledged $16,083 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$16,083

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Hello and Welcome!

Photo by David Lee Black
Photo by David Lee Black

Thank you so much for supporting my Kickstarter! I'm very excited about this project - my first studio record - and about keeping up with all of you who are so generous in lending your ears, your time, and your gifts to my work. I've launched this campaign to ask for your financial backing so that I can make the album I've always wanted to make.  Please watch the video, explore the page, and make a contribution.  Below, you'll learn more details and find out about the rewards you'll receive for various levels of support.  You can be sure, no matter what, that you'll get my sincere gratitude and, in the end, a work of love and art that you helped produce. Thank you once again for joining me this far.  Take a look around and enjoy!


A bit more about me.

I've been doing this troubadour work for several years now and it has been a very rewarding life.  I've been able to play for people all over this country and abroad, in times of great joy and deep need.  And I've made friends - folks who have offered me their hospitality, fellowship, and good counsel. And all of it for a song.

Without that beautiful human contact, the work that I've already put into this project would have been impossible.  I'm talking about the years of study, writing, practice and performance that have brought me to this point.

I have a lot of music and verses to share.

 I've done a few recordings, here and there, on my own. There's a demo out there that I made with help of some friends years ago. But there's no record of the bulk of material I've composed. Anyway I haven't done it quite right yet.  But that's gonna change now. And I'll tell you how.

Here's the plan.

I'm gonna gather all the music I've composed over the years - the ballads and ditties and hymns and talkin' blues - and work over the old oeuvre this summer.  I'll cut the lot down to, say, three dozen pieces that I'm really confident and passionate about (bless the rest).  Then I'll focus on them one at a time - going over the arrangements, the lyrics, making whatever changes I'm moved to, and applying the techniques and tricks I've picked up since their composition.  After that it's rehearse, rehearse, rehearse, until it's recording time in August.

So when I go into the studio, well-versed and fully prepared, I'll be able to devote all of my creative energy toward capturing the right sound, the feel and message that folks who've heard me play have grown accustomed to.  By the time I walk out of there, I'll have plenty of great tracks to choose from for a full length LP. 

Then comes the technical stuff: post-production, mixing, and mastering.

Meanwhile I'll be working with my superb collaborating artists to develop the right aesthetic for the project, something unique and striking, to be used for album art and promotional materials.

With the music and design ready, it's off to the plants and the presses and the podcasts to be manufactured and marketed.  I plan to have a finished product available by the holiday season, at which point I'll take a deep breath before taking it on tour.

Photo by David Lee Black
Photo by David Lee Black


My Collaborators (so far).

 

The Budget

Resources will be split up to meet the three stages of the project:

  • Production, including recording, mixing, mastering, etc.
  • Design & Manufacture, e.g. artist compensation, pressing the vinyl, etc.
  • Promotion & Distribution, e.g. advertising, marketing fees, etc.
  • I've also accounted for Logistical costs

If you're considering making a large contribution and you'd like a more detailed budget breakdown, please contact me.


The Rewards

Most of these, I think, are self explanatory. But a couple need some clarification.

The Chapbook

A small book of verse.  This will be my workhorse merchandise.  It will include lyrics & written music, art & photos, all the usual liner notes, and other great content, as well as a digital download or - if there's interest - a stylized usb memory stick containing the tracks.

You may have noticed the near absence of the phrase "CD" on this page. That's because, if at all possible, I don't want to deal with them. They're obsolete and let's just say they've never been among my favorite physical objects anyway. (I once saw a mountain of broken jewel cases on the loading dock of a Salvation Army store and I swore at that moment, never again...)

I'm making chapbooks instead.

Climate Justice and Movement Music Workshop with Tim DeChristopher and me

Tim Dechristopher
Tim Dechristopher

 

Tim is a prominent leader in the Climate Justice movement and a founder of the Climate Disobedience Center, which supports those who've chosen to take direct action against the threat of climate change.

Tim and I met years ago when I performed at a conference on mountaintop removal called Appalachia Rising.  We've since become close friends and collaborators.  Most recently, I've worked as Tim's music director, accompanying him on his engagements - at schools, rallies, churches and community centers - to teach and lead songs.

If you want your event to focus on an issue so critical to all of us, then this is for you. We want to know what people are doing in their own communities to fight for a livable future. That's perhaps the most fulfilling part of my work.

Learn more about Tim and the work we do together at timdechristopher.org

About the organization at climatedisobedience.org

And go to bidder70film.com for the documentary about Tim's civil disobedience and trial


Thank you, thank you, thank you so much!

I'm just ecstatic for what's next.

Risks and challenges

Two things come to mind.

First: Time.

I've decided on a pretty tight timeline for this project, which depends on a smooth recording process (and lets face it, some serious volumes of midnight oil, likely). I'm counting on the fact that the writing is done and i know these songs really well. I'll know them even better by the time I get into the studio. That said, delays and the unexpected do of course happen sometimes.
I plan to keep engaged with all of my backers, providing regular updates of the project as it develops. Everyone who supports the project will be notified of schedule changes as soon as they occur.

Second: The Promotion Phase.

I'm gonna be honest with you - I dread this part a little. Self promotion has proven challenging for me, its requisite skills and disposition elusive. But I'm getting better at it and at seeking help in the form of advice and counsel. Don't be surprised if I follow up with some of you, looking for just that.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Deepest Gratitude

    Receive a postcard from me, featuring the album art, with personal thanks.

    Includes:
    • Postcard with album art
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    8 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    The New Record

    Get a digital copy of the new record

    Includes:
    • Digital download of the new album
    • Postcard with album art
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    49 backers
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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Signed Poster

    Receive a signed poster with album art

    Includes:
    • Album poster, signed
    • Digital download of the new album
    • Postcard with album art
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    9 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    The Chapbook (w/ Bonus Tracks)

    Receive a signed copy of the chapbook I'll be distributing in lieu of CDs. Contains lyrics & writing, art & photos, credits, and more. You also get bonus tracks!

    Includes:
    • The Chapbook, signed
    • Digital download of the new album
    • Postcard with album art
    • Bonus tracks! (digitial download)
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    29 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    The Vinyl

    Receive a signed vinyl edition of the new album

    Includes:
    • The Vinyl LP, signed
    • Digital download of the new album
    • Postcard with album art
    • Bonus tracks! (digitial download)
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    5 backers
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Production Credit

    Get your name in the album credits

    Includes:
    • Your name printed in the album credits
    • Digital download of the new album
    • Postcard with album art
    • Bonus tracks! (digitial download)
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    13 backers
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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Producer's Parcel

    Get credited for your help and a lot of good merch

    Includes:
    • Your name printed in the album credits
    • The Vinyl LP, signed
    • The Chapbook, signed
    • Album poster, signed
    • Digital download of the new album
    • Postcard with album art
    • Bonus tracks! (digitial download)
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    4 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $325 or more About $325

    Handwritten music

    Get handwritten music and lyrics of any song I've composed (Limited!)

    Includes:
    • Handwritten music and lyrics
    • The Vinyl LP, signed
    • The Chapbook, signed
    • Digital download of the new album
    • Album poster, signed
    • Postcard with album art
    • Your name printed in the album credits
    • Bonus tracks! (digitial download)
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    Limited 1 backer
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Art.

    Get a print from one of my collaborating artists--Dave Litman and David Lee Black! (See links on the page, contact me for more details)

    Includes:
    • Print from Dave Litman or David Lee Black
    • Your name printed in the album credits
    • Handwritten music and lyrics
    • The Vinyl LP, signed
    • The Chapbook, signed
    • Digital download of the new album
    • Album poster, signed
    • Postcard with album art
    • Bonus tracks! (digitial download)
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    One-on-one meet-up

    Join me for a one-on-one video conference! We can talk about songwriting, movement music, or anything you want! Limited! Will contact for scheduling.

    Includes:
    • One-on-one video conference
    • Handwritten music and lyrics
    • Your name printed in the album credits
    • The Vinyl LP, signed
    • The Chapbook, signed
    • Digital download of the new album
    • Album poster, signed
    • Postcard with album art
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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    Behind-the-Scenes Video

    Get high quality footage of the studio recording sessions, cut and polished, complete with full songs, outtakes, and even MORE bonus tracks!

    Includes:
    • Video of Studio Sessions
    • Handwritten music and lyrics
    • Your name printed in the album credits
    • The Vinyl LP, signed
    • The Chapbook, signed
    • Digital download of the new album
    • Album poster, signed
    • Postcard with album art
    • Bonus tracks! (digitial download)
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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Executive Producer Package

    Get an 'Executive Producer' credit on the album

    Includes:
    • Executive Producer credit on album
    • Video of Studio Sessions
    • Handwritten music and lyrics
    • One-on-one video conference
    • Print from Dave Litman or David Lee Black
    • The Vinyl LP, signed
    • The Chapbook, signed
    • Album poster, signed
    • Digital download of the new album
    • Postcard with album art
    • Bonus tracks! (digitial download)
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    Local House Concert

    (within 150 miles) I'll come play for your friends, family and neighbors in your living, room, patio, back yard or the location of your choice! My favorite way to share music, stories and jokes. Always an intimate and memorable good time! (Will be in contact for scheduling)

    Includes:
    • House Concert (Local)
    • Executive Producer credit on album
    • One-on-one video conference
    • Handwritten music and lyrics
    • The Vinyl LP, signed
    • The Chapbook, signed
    • Digital download of the new album
    • Album poster, signed
    • Postcard with album art
    • Bonus tracks! (digitial download)
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    0 backers
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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    Original Song Commission

    You give me the idea, lay out the theme and topic and sentiment, specific lines or features you'd like to include and I'll do my thing with it. We can correspond with drafts and different versions until you're happy with it. Then you'll get a copy of the finished tune. Sound good?

    Includes:
    • Original song commission
    • Executive Producer credit on album
    • One-on-one video conference
    • The Vinyl LP, signed
    • The Chapbook, signed
    • Digital download of the new album
    • Album poster, signed
    • Handwritten music and lyrics
    • Postcard with album art
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
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    Pledge $2,750 or more About $2,750

    House Concert - National

    I'll come play a house concert for you anywhere in the lower 48 states as well as parts of Mexico and Canada, and I'll knock down the price if its accessible by train.

    Includes:
    • House Concert (National)
    • Executive Producer credit on album
    • One-on-one video conference
    • Handwritten music and lyrics
    • The Vinyl LP, signed
    • The Chapbook, signed
    • Digital download of the new album
    • Album poster, signed
    • Postcard with album art
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    0 backers
    $
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  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    The Kaboodle

    Just about everything. I'll come to you and fill your life with music for a two day workshop on songwriting, storytelling, poetry and all I've learned along the way. Plus two concerts. Book it at your home or favorite local venue, church, or community center. I can accommodate all ages and skill levels. Always a deeply fulfilling experience. For me too, no doubt.

    (good for lower 48 States and parts of Mexico and Canada)

    Includes:
    • Two-day music workshop and concert event
    • Executive Producer credit on album
    • Original song commission
    • Video of Studio Sessions
    • One-on-one video conference
    • Handwritten music and lyrics
    • Print from Dave Litman or David Lee Black
    • The Vinyl LP, signed
    • The Chapbook, signed
    • Digital download of the new album
    • Bonus tracks! (digitial download)
    • Album poster, signed
    • Postcard with album art
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    0 backers
    $
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  17. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Climate Justice WS w/ Tim DeChristopher

    Climate Justice activist and my friend and collaborator Tim DeChristopher will join me in holding a workshop on climate justice, civil disobedience, and the music of social movements in the era of climate change. We want to know what folks are doing in their own communities, exchange organizing strategies, and expand the network of people making sacrifices in the face of this existential threat.

    Includes a concert. And plenty of mirth

    Book it at your home, or a favorite local venue, church, or community center.

    Learn more in the "About This Project" Section

    (Good for USA, parts of Canada and Mexico)

    Includes:
    • Climate Justice Workshop
    • Executive Producer credit on album
    • Video of Studio Sessions
    • One-on-one video conference
    • Handwritten music and lyrics
    • The Vinyl LP, signed
    • The Chapbook, signed
    • Digital download of the new album
    • Print from Dave Litman or David Lee Black
    • Bonus tracks! (digitial download)
    • Album poster, signed
    • Postcard with album art
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    0 backers
    $
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Funding period

- (45 days)