Funded! This project was successfully funded on August 23, 2013.

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Rachel Ries returns after five years of kinda quiet... "Ghost of a Gardener" is ready! Let's send this beauty out into the world.

!!!!   WE DIT IT   !!!!

Well done, army of the arts!

As of this morning it's official - we've made the goal. Remarkable! And how wretched would it have felt not to! So thanks, all of you, for this peaceful heart.

To all of you dear dawdlers out of there:  It's not too late and your help is still longed for! We've got 3 days to get you in on some of this:

- In thanks, a private download of one more song from the album
- Access to the two KickMixTapes I've made, exclusive for backers
- Advance release of the record, of course!
- One of the last 3 jars of Central Park foraged jam!
- A chance to get Annie's original and GORGEOUS watercolor storyboards of the video... (Go here to see it!)

If you have a look at the bottom of this page, you'll see that 20K doesn't even cover the budget. And that budget doesn't even cover reality! Yikes. It doesn't include making a couple more videos, running a Ghost publicity campaign beyond North America, the costs of showcasing my music for festival directors (and other people potentially wearing suits), or acquiring the necessary new gear & equipment to tour this album and do it sonic justice.

Deep breath.

So, I'm gonna carry on. Three more days! Will you carry on with me?

With love and a mountain of gratitude,
rachel kay ries

-----

you are great - 
Oh my goodness I’m so happy you’re here! Seriously. To some of you, I am a stranger. To some of you, I am a dearly beloved. To all of you, welcome.

i've made this record - 
I’ve found my way here because I need a hand. Ghost of a Gardener is my new album, my beauty, my redemption (I’m not kidding). With the help of dear friends and musical compatriots in Chicago, NYC, San Francisco, Austin and Colorado, she’s finally finished.  I couldn’t love her more but the well of funds has run dry and I’m hoping you’ll lend a hand to send her out into the world... To frolic with all the other little albums running about, trying to get attention and scraping their knees...

i want the world to know - 
You see, in these times it’s one thing to make art you believe in. It’s quite another thing to get anyone to take note. So that’s what we’re trying to do here. Yes, raise funds to cover the remaining manufacturing costs but, mostly, to hire the best publicist money can buy.  But not just any publicist!  We need a campaign with the heart & skill to cut through the chaos with my odd little songs of Mennonite farmers and New York City, boys from the prairie and men from LA, dark hearts and the good we can do with them.  A tall order but I believe we can do it!

(To learn more about money and where it's all gonna go, scroll on down, way down...)

i'm not gonna quit this time - 
I think you should know that once upon a time I quit. I walked away from music, from fans & friends, from a humble & hungry career. It was a desperate move and, daily, I try to not regret it. But time has a way of winding back and offering you another ride if you were too scared the first time.

From the truest depths of me I can say I’ve never felt this way before. Art is something that rarely comes easy but Ghost of a Gardener tumbled up out of me; eager and somehow fully formed. She knew what she needed to be. I reckon because we’d waited & waded through those awfully dark art-less years just to make it here. And I wouldn't trade my way out of this, even to have those years back.

So here we are.  I think Ghost of a Gardener has a chance in this world.  But one thing I know - I can't do it all on my lonesome.  Help if you're able.  Be it 3 bucks & a tweet or at one of the precious handmade levels.  Just know that it means the world to me.

With gratitude,
rachel

an introduction to Ghost of a Gardener:

Ghost of a Gardener: sewn & hand-embroidered by moi!
Ghost of a Gardener: sewn & hand-embroidered by moi!

Ghost of a Gardener (current working order):

1. Time (reborn, for my mom)
2. Words (the one from the video!)
3. Ghost (the one that sums it all up)
4. Holiest Day (existential Mennonite crisis, total frock rock)
5. With or Without You (ergh, still haven't renamed this one!) 

6. Mercy (how many lives can this one live?)
7. Willow (a grandma song)
8. You Can Go (man, this one is fun to play) 
9. I See It Coming (let's start the album with synth terror, yes?)10. Standing Still (duet with Gregory Alan Isakov)

11. Adrian (potential bonus track or future treat...)

the bright souls who've unearthed this record with me:

David Vandervelde: co-producer, assistant engineer, player of things
Matt Dewine: head engineer at Pieholden Suite Sounds
Ariel Bolles: upright bass & vox of gold
Evan Bivins: drums & stick bucket
Emmett Kelly: electric guitar, oh my goodness
Kristin Slipp: vox of silver
Gregory Alan Isakov: vox of velvet
Cole Kamen-Green: horn arrangements, trumpet
Alec Spiegelman: flute, clarinet, bass clarinet
Alisa Rose: string arrangements, violin
Dina Maccabee: viola
Jess Ivry: cello
The Austin Folk Choir:
Raina Rose, Devon Sproule, Carrie Elkin, Danny Schmidt
Todd Sickafoose: additional engineering (strings)
Christopher Andrew McDonald: even more engineering (my vocals)
Paul Curreri: holy cow even MORE engineering (Austin Folk Choir)

Evan Bivins & Ariel Bolles: drum & bass. The kindly steady keepers of my soft beating heart.
Evan Bivins & Ariel Bolles: drum & bass. The kindly steady keepers of my soft beating heart.
David Vandervelde: beauty of beauties, co-producer and synth-master
David Vandervelde: beauty of beauties, co-producer and synth-master
Matt Dewine: master of the house at Pieholden Suite Sounds, proud owner of many fine shades
Matt Dewine: master of the house at Pieholden Suite Sounds, proud owner of many fine shades
Emmett Kelly: HOT LICKS
Emmett Kelly: HOT LICKS
Kristin Slipp: ...this woman. Just look at her. Seriously. Singular.
Kristin Slipp: ...this woman. Just look at her. Seriously. Singular.
Gregory Alan Isakov: we agree on the merits of Toyota & so much more
Gregory Alan Isakov: we agree on the merits of Toyota & so much more
Cole Kamen-Green: horn arranger, bearer of the Wilderland stamp
Cole Kamen-Green: horn arranger, bearer of the Wilderland stamp
Alisa Rose, Dina Maccabee, Jess Ivry: making the record fancy!
Alisa Rose, Dina Maccabee, Jess Ivry: making the record fancy!
Alec Spiegelman: it appears this man can do anything.
Alec Spiegelman: it appears this man can do anything.
Devon, Paul, Carrie, Danny, et al. Not in view: Raina Rose! These guys are the definition of heart & community.
Devon, Paul, Carrie, Danny, et al. Not in view: Raina Rose! These guys are the definition of heart & community.
Todd Sickafoose: papa, sound magician
Todd Sickafoose: papa, sound magician
Christopher McDonald: Long Island vocal rescue champion
Christopher McDonald: Long Island vocal rescue champion
Annie Quick: Leader of the Gun Family, film & whimsy maker
Annie Quick: Leader of the Gun Family, film & whimsy maker
Sheena Keane: project manager, the woman who taught me the love of a good Clonakilty black pudding
Sheena Keane: project manager, the woman who taught me the love of a good Clonakilty black pudding
Rachel Ries: sharp shot, force to be reckoned with, producer-lady, me.
Rachel Ries: sharp shot, force to be reckoned with, producer-lady, me.

The Budget:
16,500 - Publicity & Marketing / Posters / T-shirts / Illustration & Design / Album Artwork & Layout
6,500 - Mastering / CD Manufacturing / Pressing Vinyl
2,000 - Kickstarter & Amazon fees
200 - Fabric / Yarn / Jam Supplies!

I'm not much for math but even I can see that $20,000 won't cover this budget.  I'm going on faith here.  It's gonna work out.  There's always the glorious chance we'll hit our goal and keep climbing!  If we make enough, Rachel Ries Tea Towels for the win!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Any project is a magnet for setback. We're quite certain that Ghost of a Gardener can be ready for the world - and hopefully your hot little hands - in November. But in truth, potential delays may occur at any turn. As well, if we gain partners to help put the record out into the world, this could affect the release date. Just know that the music is done and we'll come find you soon as we possibly can! I'm gonna do right by you.

And while I'm rather crafty, depending on demand, there's certainly a chance a hat or hand-embroider may hit a snag & delay here or there... But each stitch will be my own, just for you!

FAQ

  • Yes, y'know, that's a great idea. Due to space constraints, it'd be tough to get EVERYONE's name in the liner notes but how about this:

    If you pledge at the handmade level or above, you'll get thanked in the liner notes. That's the $85 Central Park Foraged Berry Jam on up and up and up...

    For all of you other incredibly generous people - you'll get heartfelt kudos on my website. And a cozy little spot IN my heart.

    Last updated:
  • Yes indeed it does. It's a part of every level from $30 on up. Sound good? Yes.

    Last updated:
  • Sadly, no. That darling little 7" split with the inimitable Anaïs MItchell is under the jurisdiction of Righteous Babe Records so I can't exactly include it in these pledge levels. Sorry!

    Last updated:
  • This album is a mix of the brand new AND ones that have been waiting patiently (or not so patiently) for the last five years while I avoided making this damn record. Some of the songs I wrote and/or recorded on my 2012 retreat so if you have the Laurel Lake EP, some will be familiar. However, the Laurel Lake songs are humble home recordings and I played all the instruments myself. On Ghost of a Gardener, the songs are rebuilt from the ground up - fleshed out, orchestrated, with the band and re-imagined. Have a look at the track listing above to learn more about just what's on this new record.

    Last updated:
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    // THREE IS A MAGIC NUMBER // Not ready to commit? That's cool, I get it. But here's a taste for you - three songs off the album (and I'll even pick the best ones). Now go tell your friends! Tweet it! Share it! Crop circle it! And come back for more...

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    // LET'S ADD THE REST OF ME, SHALL WE? // Now we're talking the signed CD + Whole Digital Shebang + the rest of my catalogue. Downloads of For You Only, Without a Bird, and the Laurel Lake EP. The whole story! You asked for it...

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    // LET'S SNUGGLE UP... // This is about as close as we're gonna get. A classy Ghost of a Gardener t-shirt (Erica Williams artwork!) + signed CD + the Whole Digital Shebang

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    // CENTRAL PARK FORAGED BERRY JAM!! // What?! You heard me! And I have the bramble scars to prove it. My homemade jam, made from wild (non-poisonous!) berries I've gathered in The Park of all parks. Spread the love. I'm also gonna send you a postcard from tour coz you're nice + Vinyl OR CD signed + the Whole Download Shebang

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    // FOR THE POETS OUT THERE // I have nice handwriting. Let me show you. A song of your choosing - put to pen, ink & fine paper + postcard from tour + CD OR Vinyl signed + the Whole Digital Shebang

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    // EVERY STITCH A STITCH OF GRATITUDE // This is special. I'll sew a fabric sleeve for the vinyl. Each one embroidered with the title and dedicated to you. Add to it a personal phone call of thanks + postcard from tour + my full digital catalogue + the Whole Download Shebang. Yum. <=== Lookee there for a picture!

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    // WINTER IS COMING // (yes, that was a reference) I love to knit! May I knit for you on tour? A winter hat (we'll talk style / size / color) + phone call of thanks + postcard from tour + CD or vinyl signed + my full digital catalogue + the Whole Download Shebang

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    // NEW! STORYBOARD OF ADORABLE // The one-of-a-kind watercolor storyboard of the video. Painted by Annie Quick, filmmaker extraordinaire (2 sheets, 20 frames) + postcard from tour + T-shirt + CD or vinyl signed + my full digital catalogue + the Whole Download Shebang

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    // I'M TAKING YOU OUT & SINGING YOU A SONG // It might be a late-night Chinese joint but, still, a date's a date! You and a friend have dinner with the band. Score two VIP tickets to the show and you get to choose a cover song for us to perform that night. Maybe you'll even help with the setlist... In the meantime: A recording of your cover song + 2 signed CD + 2 t-shirts + my full digital catalogue + the Whole Download Shebang

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    // THIS IS THE SCARY ONE // I'm going to write you a song. OK? We'll have a chat about your desired subject matter and may the Muse find me! You & a friend get VIP tickets to a show + we'll perform your song + have a beverage + you take home whatever merch you don't already have. In the meantime: a recording of YOUR SONG + signed CD or vinyl + my full digital catalogue + the Whole Download Shebang

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    // WORDS FALL SHORT // You incredibly kind & supportive person, you. What can I possibly do for you?? Let's start with this: a house show, a hat, a barrel of jam, and tickets to the next 10 shows. And, of course, the signed CD, vinyl, digital catalogue and the Whole Download Shebang.

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