One year after Charmas successfully used Kickstarter to fund "Songs of the Sea," this band is back in the studio, recording a landmark collection of high-energy, tradition-based Celtic fusion music.
CLICK HERE FOR DEMO OF SONGS IN-PROGRESS
Twenty Central California musicians, wielding an astonishing variety of folk-, rock-and percussion-instruments, are giving the album exceptional variety, and creativity. Top quality analogue-to-digital recording is expensive, but this time around producer Elise MacGregor Ferrell is paying for that luxury, in order to give you an intensely intimate listening experience.
Back in 2013, when Elise co-founded Charmas with banjo/pennywhistle player Matt Johnson, they and several of their session friends simply thought it would be fun to "play out" as a band for St. Patrick's Day 2013. Since then the band's music has radically evolved, and Elise is now the only remaining original member of Charmas. Yet its original musicians are still "around town," and when it occurred to Elise to preserve the band's best early music, so many talented artists pitched in to record Stark Raving Celtic that Elise simply "had to" gamble on financing the project. You can see for yourself where she got her inspiration, by reading this list of all the performers involved with in making the album and some single releases getting recorded simultaneously...
- Aaron Clegg - Charmas lead vocalist/flute/saxophone 2014-17
- Mick O'Broain - Charmas lead vocalist/bass 2015-16
- Jim Powell - Charmas lead guitarist 2014-16
- Phil Johnston - Charmas lead vocalist/guitarist 2016-17
- Stephen Vahle - Charmas hand/kit drummer 2016-17
- Devin Lara - Charmas kit drummer 2015-16
- Russ Bennett - Charmas bodhran drummer 2013-15
- Matt Johnson - Charmas banjo/pennywhistler 2013-15
- Dan Frechette - Canadian-born folk guitarist and prolific songwriter who tours with fiddler Laurel Thomson http://www.danfrechette.com/Home.html
- Lee Corbie-Wells - folk music starlet who performs as a duo, with Kent Kessinger, in Moonshine Jelly http://www.moonshinejelly.org/about.php
- Richard Dwyer - special guest performer at Charmas' Valentine's Rebellions 2015-16, who also leads his own band The Luckless Pedestrians https://www.facebook.com/LucklessPedestriansMusic/
- Mike Long - longtime session pal, and occasional Charmas guitarist, who is well known for assembling and publishing the huge King Street Tune Book http://www.braccio.me/session/KingStreetTunebook.pdf
- Galt Barber and Janet Herman - session pals who, together with Mike Long, comprise Santa Cruz's longstanding Ceili band Dance Around Molly http://www.folkplanet.com/dam/
- Garrett Harpainter - Grade 1 Snare Drummer, Prince Charles Pipe Band
- Daniel Steinberg - keys/flute player who formerly led his own touring Contra Dance band, Hillbillies From Mars http://hillbilliesfrommars.com/
- Jamie Wylde - longtime session pal, who plays a mean set of spoons
- Jeffrey Ferrell - Hawaiian-trained performer of ceremonial Kahuna chants
Here is a list of all the songs/tunes going onto Stark Raving Celtic (in no particular order):
- The Highland Games Song (a testosterone-building anthem for Scottish Heavy Athletes, with Great Highland Bagpipes, and Grade 1 Snare Drumming by Garrett Harpainter)
- Jonny Hardie's Tumble (composed for fiddler Jonny Hardie of The Old Blind Dogs, lead vocal Aaron Clegg)
- Cabar Feidh/Willie's Gone Awa' (rip-roaring Celtic rock, lead vocal Aaron Clegg)
- The Dreaming Tree (an uptempo ballad recounting the true story of a Scottish-heritage Alaskan orphan who became homeless in Santa Cruz, California, lead vocal Lee Corbie Wells)
- Pancakes at Midnight (a slow En Dro introducing a souped-up set of fast Irish reels)
- The Auld Triangle (prisoner's lament, lead vocal Richard Dwyer)
- The Road to Hana (tune-master Mike Long's original Irish reel, opening with a Hawaiian ceremonial chant)
- Spancil Hill (bluesy rendition of a traditional Irish-American song, lead vocal Mick O'Broain)
- The Meeting of Old Friends (a set of favorite Irish session tunes that build they go)
- She Moved Through the Fair (a moody traditional song about unrequited love, lead vocal Phil Johnston)
- Memories in the Wind (modern Celtic fusion, collectively created by Charmas' full band)
- Brains Skull Attack (the story of Jim Powell's colorful visit to a Welsh Brains Pub, lead vocal Mick O'Broain)
As mentioned above, Elise has poured her heart and soul into this tremendous endeavor, and is gambling on crowdfunding to recoup at least a good percentage of the $12K she borrowed to cover the recording costs. If the campaign succeeds (it's all or nothing on Kickstarter), then Stark Raving Celtic will become available during mid-January (just in time to frolic away any post-holiday blues). If $15K is earned by this campaign then EVERYONE who pledged $10 or more will receive a free download of Charmas' next album Silicon Tide! In other words, by sharing this campaign link with your friends, you can help all of its major contributors get even more free music! (More information about all-original album Silicon Tide coming after Christmas.,,)
You can find out more about Charmas' history and music by visiting www.charmasband.com, but please keep in mind that the band performs all kinds of music, and Stark Raving Celtic sounds quite different from most of what you will hear on the website.
Risks and challenges
Stark Raving Celtic is already 95% completed, in terms of making the recordings, and we're expecting to finish all the mixing and mastering during the first couple weeks of January. Therefore, if all goes well, the album should become available for download by mid-January, and for CD-shipping by February 1st.
As mentioned above, this crowdfunding campaign is aiming to fund the album's publication/initial shipping expenses, and to recoup its substantial recording expenses, so that bandleader/producer Elise can continue building Charmas into a self-sustaining business, which will no longer need crowdfunding in order to produce future CDs.
Your help is sorely needed, but in terms of the CD coming out, only an earth catastrophe, major equipment failure, or health crisis will delay its completion from happening on schedule. And once released, the album will become available through CDBaby, for double the cost that Charmas is offering during this campaign.
- (30 days)