Two-and-a-half years ago, a successful Kickstarter campaign enabled the first big milestone of my music career: my first album, Something Real. That album helped me win the Maine Songwriters Association songwriting contest in 2015, and opened doors for the venues that have brought me this far (www.jennyvanwestmusic.com).
Now I'm coming back to Kickstarter looking for backers to make the next big step. I'm headed to Los Angeles in early April 2017 to record my second full-length record with internationally-acclaimed producer-singer-songwriter Shane Alexander (www.shanealexandermusic.com).
Shane has worked intensively with me to hone ten new songs. He's also selected some of the finest musicians and engineers L.A. has to offer for the recording, mixing, and mastering. Then we'll print copies, solicit reviews, and get me out on the road a bit to help bring this new creation to listeners like you!
If you join before March 31, or during the first week of April, you will receive some updates directly from the studio AS IT ALL HAPPENS, but there will plenty of excitement throughout the year, so please join us.
Thank you for any contribution you may have made in the past, and so much for your sponsorship today!
I met Shane in Maine a few years back when I had the opportunity to open for him at a house concert at the home of Ed DesJardins, my musical collaborator extraordinaire. Ed produced my first record and EP at his Lakeside Studios in Readfield, ME. I've had the opportunity thanks to Ed to open for Shane a couple more times.
When I found out Shane was building a studio at his house, I knew one day I wanted to go to L.A. and make a record there, but I had such a great thing going here in Maine, which has a disproportionate concentration of great musicians and studios. I have been blessed by the work Ed DesJardins had done on my first record and EP, and hoped to work together on the next one.
Fast-forward to November 2016. Ed & I were returning from our second East Coast tour and I mentioned being ready to get going on album #2. It was right after the election and I needed a big creative project in front of me to stay focused on the positive before returning back to "life as usual." With all the respect in the world, Ed let me know he wasn't available to do it.
So...pretty much the minute I got home, I took the leap and wrote to Shane to ask if he would be willing to produce my next record, and he said YES.
The cost of going to LA is fairly tame; I'm sleeping in the studio; I don't need to rent a car, and my husband Jeff found me a cheap plane ticket.
The goal is to create the best possible showcase for my voice and songwriting, with the goal of positively affecting many people's lives, as well as the very necessary garnering reviews, connections, and opportunities to play better venues in more places—all of which a great record can do. To spend a week immersed in the music at the studio, far away from daily responsibilities, to make a truly great record, is the opportunity of a lifetime that I do not take lightly.
Shane has a long and successful track record as a performer, producer, and promoter, both in the music industry and and as an independent musician. He is internationally respected and his self-produced sixth album, 2016 release Bliss, sold me completely on the idea of making a record with him.
One new cost with this album will be professional mixing by Brian Yaskulka (take a look!). There's also a slightly higher cost for musicians (and there will be some great ones...keeping that little secret for my Kickstarter backers!), and a small budget for getting the record into people's hands.
Shane has recruited the best to be a part of this. He has negotiated fair prices with everyone, and nobody is getting rich off this effort, but professionals need to be paid fairly for their time. Even great music professionals have light bills and kids who like to eat every day. It is a labor of great love and it's an honor and a privilege to work with a hand-selected team of such hardworking and immensely gifted people.
Our goal is to make a record so good you will listen repeatedly and it will only get better. There has already been painstaking pre-production as we gear up for a week in the studio. Please join us and take the ride with us. Thank you always for your support!
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenges are: Can she write? Can she sing? Is she teachable enough to get the help she needs editing and producing? Can she garner the support of great people to make it all happen? The answers to those questions are YES! All I need is YOU and I'm so grateful for your support!
My first and most important role in life is being a mom to my teenage sons. There is always the possibility their needs will temporarily eclipse the needs of this next record. If that happens, it may delay the record release, but it will not prevent it.
Recording a full-length album, across the country, in April, with amazing musicians I've never met, all in one shot, is nothing short of the adventure of a lifetime. It's also the season in my home state of Maine when many people are sick! I have been staying home a lot, taking lots of preventatives, avoiding large groups of people, sleeping as much as possible, and am in short doing everything possible to stay well and show up ready to make a phenomenal record. So far, so good. It's always possible something will go wrong, but I and my family are doing everything within our power to make sure I'm healthy and ready. If for some reason I'm not able to record in April, the session would be rescheduled for later in the year and the album would be released in 2018.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (28 days)