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Vonda Shepard is back with another album, and is ready to record!
Vonda Shepard is back with another album, and is ready to record!
298 backers pledged $36,244 to help bring this project to life.

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You know Vonda Shepard as a star of screen (TV’s Ally McBeal) and stage (the recent New York revival of Randy Newman’s Faust). Now the singer/songwriter is set to conquer yet another milieu: your living room. Welcome to Vonda Shepard's 14th Album Kickstarter!

The Project:

Vonda Shepard is back with her eleventh studio album (and fourteenth overall), tentatively dubbed Rookie. It’s a title that bears no little irony, since this year marks 25 years since the release of her self-titled Warner Bros. debut. Being of independent ways and means now, Shepard doesn’t necessarily have to raise a fortune to make a record that’ll sound like a million bucks, thanks to the ongoing participation of producer/maestro Mitchell Froom (of collaborative Elvis Costello, Crowded House, and Bonnie Raitt fame), who’s been behind the boards for all of her albums since By 7:30 in 1999.

The songs have been written and are rarin’ to go. The soon-to-be-recorded album promises a mixture of moods and tempos, with perhaps slightly more emphasis on the upbeat than some past efforts. “Half of the songs I’ve written are these super-funky, dancey tunes,” Shepard says. “I felt a need to go crazy, a little bit, on this album. I’m making sure I’ve got a few songs that really focus on that element—the soulful groove, not as a cliché, but in my own way. And there are even a couple of really catchy, fun, pure pop songs in the lineup, and I’m excited about them, because they’re going to be great to play live.” But the woman who wrote and sang “Baby, Don’t You Break My Heart Slow” is never about to leave every eye in the house dry. “I’ve heard that Paul Simon fills four legal pads with lyrics for one song alone,” she says. “I may not fill four, but when I’m writing an extremely honest, painful ballad, of which there are a few on this album, I do fill up about two!”

The likely title track from the coming album, “Rookie,” is a song about… not being a rookie. “It’s actually the opposite of what the title suggests,” Shepard says. “It’s about a person who’s been around the block… around all the blocks! The chorus says ‘I’m not a rookie,’ and it really conveys this feeling that I’m a ‘bad-ass’ who’s going to throw it down.” 

Rewards!

Vonda's team has thought long and hard about coming up with rewards her fans will love. At lower levels, incentives include signed photos, songbooks, and copies of her back catalogue. Shepard will also be offering some of the gold and platinum albums she picked up from around the world for her Ally McBeal soundtracks. (“I never put them up, but somebody might like to have them,” she says, “and I’d rather give them away and raise the money needed to make a record.”) At the highest levels of support, she’ll record a one-of-a-kind birthday or anniversary serenade for you and yours, or come up with a studio recording of the cover song of your choice, or bring a trio along to perform a house concert!

Stretch Goals

At $35,000, Vonda's new album is able to be recorded with her band, and subsequently mixed, mastered, and manufactured. However, should she surpass the initial goal, here are some great project bonuses to consider!

$40,000: Added instrumental color: horns, pedal steel, extra guitars, keyboards, guest musicians, etc.

$45,000: A live string section on the album!

$48,000: A beautifully detailed, full-color album booklet with lyrics and album art will be added to the CD manufacturing process. 

$55,000: Music video shoot and production for one of the new singles.

$70,000: Multiple bonus tracks will be included on CD, plus all of the above.

Promotional photo credit: Susan Weiniger

Risks and challenges

Because Vonda's team has full access to their own recording studio, they, along with everyone involved in the project, are confident that the project's timeline will stay on schedule. Although life sometimes brings along unexpected setbacks, we've added enough time at the end of the project to accommodate any surprises along the way.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Thanks for supporting the cause! We appreciate every cent.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Digital download for two of Vonda's favorite tracks off of the new album!

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    Pledge $12 or more About $12

    Digital download of Vonda's new album.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Digital download of the new album, plus the digital, hi-res CD booklet.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    A hard copy of the new album.

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    16 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    An autographed hard copy of the new album.

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    Pledge $38 or more About $38

    Digital copy of the new album, plus a tote bag with exclusive album art.

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    7 backers
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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    A hard copy of the new album, plus an exclusive tote bag and two older Vonda albums from her catalog.

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    18 backers
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    An autographed hard copy of the new album, plus a tote bag and three Vonda albums from her catalog.

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    13 backers
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    Pledge $115 or more About $115

    A hard copy of the new album, a tote bag, signed photo, and a Vonda songbook.

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    5 backers
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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    An autographed hard copy of the new album, a tote bag, a signed photo, and five albums from Vonda's catalog: Chinatown, By 7:30, Live, A Retrospective with DVD, From The Sun, From The Sun, Live in San Javier.

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $160 or more About $160

    A hard copy of the new album, a tote bag, all three songbooks, and a signed photo.

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    7 backers
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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    Have your name printed under the "Special Thanks" section of Vonda's new album! That, along with a copy of the new CD and one of Vonda's songbooks.

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    11 backers
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Hard copy, tote bag, two limited behind-the-scenes signed photos, 5 CDs from catalog.

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    2 backers
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Limited Edition! First 30 people to request this will receive the reward. Vonda will sing Happy Birthday or Happy Anniversary to a specific person, playing piano, in her recording studio - very high quality - with a special spoken greeting to that person, and deliver it via internet or actual CD through the mail. Also includes a hard copy of CD, signed photo, and 5 CDs from catalog.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Backstage time with Vonda! 2 backstage passes to a show: 15 minute meet and greet with signing, photos, etc. Time TBD. Also includes two signed hard copies of new album and two tote bags.

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  17. Select this reward

    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    Limited Edition! First 15 people to request this will receive the reward. Vonda will sing Happy Birthday or Happy Anniversary to a specific person ON VIDEO, playing piano, in her recording studio - very high quality - with a special spoken greeting to that person, and deliver it via internet or actual DVD through the mail. Also includes a signed hard copy of CD, signed photo, and 5 CDs from catalog.

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    Award: Songs From Ally McBeal: Denmark - Gold.

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    Award: Heart and Soul: New Songs From Ally McBeal: Sweden - Gold. 13" x 22"

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Award: Songs From Ally McBeal: Canada - Platinum. 20" x 10"

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Award: Songs From Ally McBeal: United Kingdom - Platinum. 16" x 16.5"

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    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Award: Songs From Ally McBeal: Ireland - Double Platinum. 16" x 14"

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Award: Songs From Ally McBeal: Finland - Platinum. 16" x 10"

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Tickets/backstage pass megapack! Tickets and backstage passes for two people for four of Vonda's upcoming concerts.

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  25. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,400 or more About $1,400

    Award: Songs From Ally McBeal: Norway - Double Platinum. 15" x 20"

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    Pledge $1,400 or more About $1,400

    Award: Songs From Ally McBeal: Sweden - Platinum. 16" x 24"

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

    Award: Songs From Ally McBeal: Multi-platinum albums worldwide. 23" x 29"

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    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    Vonda will record a piano vocal, high quality studio version of a song of your choice - if Vonda feels the she is not able to do the specific song, she can let you know, and another song can be chosen. We want to make sure Vonda will sound good singing it! Plus a hard copy of new CD, a signed photo, and 5 CDs from catalog.

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    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    $3,000 Vonda's Warner Bros. Jacket with W.B. bunny and logo on the back and Vonda's name on front. This is a collector's item from when she was first signed to Reprise in 1987. Also includes a hard copy of new CD (delivered upon release), 5 CDs from catalog, 3 songbooks, and a signed photo.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    House Concert in the U.S. - Solo piano and Vonda with one tech + 2 coach flights and hotels for 2 people for 2 nights. Location to be pre-approved, and discussion between Vonda's manager and client must occur before confirmed. Also includes a hard copy of new CD, 5 CDs from catalog, 3 songbooks, and a signed photo.

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Funding period

- (30 days)