Running in the Dark
I'm thrilled to announce that my new record, Running in the Dark, will be released on June 14, 2019. Pre-order here!
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Tue, June 11 2019 9:33 AM UTC +00:00.
I'm thrilled to announce my new record, Running in the Dark, which will be released on June 14, 2019. Pre-order the album through this campaign and help give it momentum in the world. I put my heart and soul into this release, and I believe it is some of my best work so far. Please help me share it!
Minimum to cover only production and release expenses: $16,000
To cover initial touring expenses: $28,000
Stretch Goal - Vinyl Production: $31,500
Since I started playing the guitar at age 12, I have been basically unable to stop. I performed throughout my teens and twenties, eventually touring in the United States and in Europe, performing, and writing music. In addition to 3 solo studio albums: Blossom is You, Paul Doffing, and Songs from the (quaking) Heart, I’ve released music as a member of Citizen Sage and Men on Horseback and bicycled about 13,000 miles to concerts in 8 countries.
Once or twice I've wanted to give up the dream of making music - to choose a more "sensible" career. I've even tried, but I just can't get myself to do it. At my core I'm a musician. I know I couldn't be happy to let all of these ideas go to waste. I get inspired by everything. I write songs when I'm falling asleep, when I wake up, in the morning, while I'm chewing my lunch, while I'm walking, while I'm biking, when I'm happy, when I'm sad - almost every day. Sounds and ideas totally captivate me.
The songs are what this whole campaign is about, and you'll be hearing more and more of them as the campaign progresses. It's all planned. :)
My process it to reduce the friction between experience and expression. I’m writing more now than ever before in my life. The songs from the record stem directly from my experiences over the past 6 years or so. These songs percolated to the forefront and found a home in this instrumentation and in these sessions.
Running in the Dark track list:
1. The Fragile Modern Day (3:18)
2. Easy As You Come (3:02)*
3. Running in the Dark (2:48)*
4. Renegade Heart (4:28)
5. Shake You (3:14) *
6. Another Winter Day (4:20)*
7. If You Haven't Fought with the Devil (4:46)
8. Who are you running from? (3:45)
9. In Your Eyes (7:18)*
*Audible in campaign intro video above
It's difficult for me to find a succinct way to describe the songs on the album, as each one came from a different place or situation, but here are some brief thoughts:
"Easy as You Come" was inspired by a shamanic vision quest I happened to participate in while protesting Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock near Cannon Ball, North Dakota. The experience made a profound impression on me as to the state of our world. Particularly, I noticed the dissonance perceived by natives in the actions of modern humans. I built the song on the dissonant notes in the first section, and wove over it the story of birth, death, and love, in the context of the reality that we are here only by chance and, despite our seeming helplessness on the global scale, we can be somehow helpful to those around us.
"In Your Eyes" was written as a reflexion of how we perceive one another, often taking for granted both our own and the other's profound uniqueness. I've always felt the eyes are a window into a more cosmic dimension..but maybe that's just me. :)
"Running in the Dark" is about love, or close to love, lost in the haze of desire and uncertainty.
"Renegade Heart" came out of a relationship. It is a reflection on the ways that our unruly heart can both bring us deep and wonderful feelings, but also pain and sadness. “How wonderful, kind, how patient an art: to sit and sew patches on a renegade heart.”
I could say a lot more about these songs and the others, and I'm sure we'll have the chance to discuss them further as the release progresses.
It’s hard to overstate my excitement about playing some shows with this group. Every person who played on the record brought something really special, and I look forward to sharing the experience with you, in person, at venues in the US and Europe in 2019-2020. Here’s a little about the players:
Percussion maestro and longtime Ragbirds drummer Jon Brown (Ann Arbor, MI) lent his unique percussion sensibility and intuitive feel throughout the album, playing everything from cymbals and gongs, to "found" percussion (i.e. anything you can hit), and of course drum kit. I’m especially keen on the water-gong in “Easy as You Come” and the auxiliary percussion throughout “Shake You”.
Eveline Ypma (Amsterdam, NL) hopped on an airplane to Michigan with some microphones and a preamp. Her bass playing became so much part of the songs that it seemed to have always been there, as did her voice. She also offered a very informed perspective on arrangement and texture.
Ross Huff (MI)from the Macpodz was playing a jazz gig in Ann Arbor where we happened to go out for a drink. I met him at the bar, and the next day he came by the house to lay down the trumpet on “Running in the Dark.” Jim Johnson played pedal steel on Renegade Heart and "Another Winter Day".
Additionally, Anna Krkoska (Switzerland) performed violin on "If You Haven't Fought with the Devil" and Merryl Neille (South Africa) played flute on the album version of "In Your Eyes".
Campaigns like this are a huge part of how I am able to keep this whole process rolling. I am fortunate to have a dedicated team of people who believe strongly in this record working with me to help me bring this record into the world.
This release is 100% independent. I own the record, and I hire the publicists, radio PR people, artists, etc. I'm responsible for manufacturing, booking and promotion and that's what this Kickstarter is for.
I have several people to thank for their constant support of my journey as a musician, including my parents and siblings, my wonderful girlfriend Anna, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and so many wonderful friends and fans. Your support is the only reason I have made it this far.
As Anna said to me early in our relationship: "I will believe in you always, especially when you don't believe in yourself."
I'm grateful to everyone who has come to a concert, hosted a concert, or listened to the past records. I thank you for sticking with me as I have grown as an artist. It’s a turbulent experience to release music independently, but having a core group of keenly interested and supportive people has allowed me to stay at it. I truly appreciate you all, and your support means the world to me.
Risks and challenges
By far, the biggest challenge is to make sure the world hears the album. I’ve put my heart, soul, time and money into this record. What happens next is largely up to you: the more support this Kickstarter receives, the further it will go. We’ll use every penny to make our project a success.
To put this release in context, major-label releases are typically promoted with budgets in the hundreds of thousands, and even millions, of dollars. We’re going to do the very best we can to get ears on the record with what we manage to raise here – plus the income from my day job. :)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter