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Be a part of the independent release of my first ever solo studio album - out this fall, exclusively for Kickstarter backers.
351 backers pledged $23,158 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$23,158

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Hey guys! Thanks so much for taking the time to check out my Kickstarter page.  I decided to start this campaign in an attempt to rally both my friends and fans, in the hopes that you’ll all be inspired to get behind my latest musical endeavor and be a part of what I feel will be my strongest album to date. I’m heading down a somewhat unfamiliar path, and I’m both humbled and excited to share this journey with you…here it goes... 

For those of you that don’t know me, I’ve been a full-time musician for almost a decade. Back in 2005, like a proper dreamer (or what some might call “a proper dummy”), I left college with only a few credits left, gave up on a potential pediatric dental career (crazy, right?), all so I could prioritize music in the way that I always felt like I should. I focused all my energy on writing songs, touring, and playing original music anytime and anywhere I could. Since that time, I’ve been fortunate enough to play venues that have truly covered the spectrum — from the loneliest little dive bars across the South to some of the largest arenas, festivals and TV shows around the world. It’s been an interesting ride to say the least. 

I’ve been a part of several different bands and and projects throughout the years, each a reflection of a distinct and memorable phase of my life. My first band, Hightide Blues formed in 2005 in Auburn, AL, followed by a good run in Nashville in 2010 with my band the Grand Magnolias. I toured briefly in 2011 with a national TV show, and most recently, I wrapped up my latest project, and indie folk band alongside Nikki Reed. If it’s not evident by this short history, I love collaborating with other musicians and especially dig that rare and unparalleled feeling you get when you can create something special with people you love. 

Despite the fact that I’ve been on this path for over 10 years now, I took a sharp left turn recently, and in turn, I feel a bit like I’m starting all over again. This past year has been a time of great transition for me involving some pretty heavy life changes. As a result, I’ve taken some much-needed time to grow and really get back to my roots. I realized how important it was for me to step back and remember why I started playing music in the first place. Through it all, I’ve learned a lot about myself and have never felt more ready to share my music (and my soul) with whoever will listen. That said, this record is by far the most raw and emotional catalog of songs I’ve ever written. Countless hours of blood, sweat and tears have been poured into these lyrics and these melodies. As I’ve spent the better part of this last year quietly and vigorously writing, I’ve compiled the largest collection of songs I’ve ever had, all worthy contenders for an album — and every single one of them mirrors the mental, physical and spiritual roads that I’ve been traveling down. It’s honest, it’s personal, and I’m incredibly proud of it. It doesn’t hurt that I was able to collaborate with some of my best friends on a good portion of these tunes. All in all, I’m certain that this is the biggest leap I’ve ever taken musically, and I’m beyond excited to share these stories with you. 

They say it takes 10 years to make an overnight success. I have no idea if that’s true; what I do know is that it took me 10 years to recognize that I have what it takes to step into this world on my own. Ridin’ solo. Part of me is terrified, the other part finds this leap exhilarating, and all of me is appropriately humbled. I know I’m going to have to start small and win people over, one by one, and I’m willing to do whatever it takes. The first step is to get this music into your ears because I sincerely believe this music speaks for itself. It’s time to finally let these songs live and breathe outside of my personal orbit where they’ve been making the rounds for a year now. So look for me in your local venues, or spot me cruising down the highway in my old white tour van — that’s exactly where I intend to be if you’ll generously throw some support my way today. 

Before I sign off, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your ongoing support and your steadfast belief in me and my music. And for those of you who aren’t sure why you’re on this page, but you’ve read this far and you want to throw your weight behind me, I couldn’t be more grateful. As an independent artist, there are no truer words: I wouldn’t be able to do this without you. I need your help more than ever...right now...in this moment. So let’s make something amazing together! I can’t wait to share this music with you. Thank you. So much. Thank you. 

Much love. 

Paul McDonald

Risks and challenges

Once the album is completely finished, the biggest challenge is making sure the music is heard by as many people as possible. In the past, I’ve generally secured the help of publicists and radio promoters who can effectively spread the word and ensure the album gains a good amount of traction. I’ve also reached out to people through music videos and by taking the music on the road, touring and promoting directly to existing supporters and potential new ones.
All of these elements come with a fairly hefty price tag, but all are integral to reaching an extensive and enthusiastic audience.

The first step, however, and the easiest way to get a leg up in this business is to make a quality recording that will hold up on the radio. If that base is covered, the next challenge is to show people that my music is exciting and different — something with integrity and heart and a sound that deserves notice. From start to finish — from the writing stages all the way through the release and subsequent aftermath — this is an extremely vulnerable process. There’s always the risk that the incredible efforts I make as an artist to share my music with the world won’t be received well. But that’s a risk I’m always willing to take so long as I get to do what I love.

Setbacks and closed doors have never been a stranger to me. The day I committed to this career, I knew it would be a tough, windy road — it’s been exactly that and more. The music business is a crazy and competitive world and it can be a real struggle at times, to say the least. But over the years, I’ve learned that there’s little I can control outside of writing the best songs I’m capable of writing and never sacrificing my belief and my passion in the art that I’m creating. That said, I’ll never stop challenging myself or pushing myself to be the best, most honest and hard-working artist I can be. I firmly believe that my dedication to this high standard will bring only good things.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    - Digital Download "Single" of the title track “Bright Lights”, from my first solo studio album

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    - Advance Digital Download of my first solo studio album

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    86 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    - Advance Digital Download of my first solo studio album
    - Kickstarter Deluxe edition of my first solo studio album on CD
    - Limited Edition button pack with original art

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    105 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    - Advance Digital Download of my first solo studio album
    - Digital Download of a special BONUS EP of previously un-released tracks (not on album)
    - SIGNED Kickstarter Deluxe edition of my first solo studio album on CD
    - Limited Edition button pack with original art

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    52 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    - Advance Digital Download of my first solo studio album
    - Digital Download of a special BONUS EP of previously un-released tracks (not on album)
    - SIGNED Kickstarter Deluxe edition of my first solo studio album on CD
    - Limited Edition button pack with original art
    - Limited Edition T-Shirt (designed by me and only available through Kickstarter)

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    33 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    ***The Ultimate Paul Fan Pack***
    - Advance Digital Download of my first solo studio album
    - Digital Download of a special BONUS EP of previously un-released tracks (not on album)
    - SIGNED Kickstarter Deluxe edition of my first solo studio album on CD
    - Limited Edition pin pack with original art
    - Kickstarter exclusive T-Shirt (designed by me and only available through Kickstarter)
    - Kickstarter exclusive SIGNED poster (designed by me and only available through Kickstarter)
    - A special and personalized message recorded for you, from me and posted on my social media page for you to share

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    14 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    - Advance Digital Download of my first solo studio album
    - Digital Download of a special BONUS EP of previously un-released tracks (not on album)
    - SIGNED Kickstarter Deluxe edition of my first solo studio album on CD
    - Limited Edition pin pack with original art
    - Kickstarter exclusive T-Shirt (designed by me and only available through Kickstarter)
    - Kickstarter exclusive SIGNED poster (designed by me and only available through Kickstarter)
    - Your name and a "Thank You" from me in the liner notes
    - 2 tickets and a meet and greet with me at an upcoming show near you!*

    *You are responsible for any and all travel and accommodations to/from the show

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Song Dedication: dedicate a song to someone and then Paul will perform the song from his catalogue and EMAIL you the video / Plus album "thanks you", 4 tickets and a meet and greet, and everything from $250 reward tier

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  9. Select this reward

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

    - Advance Digital Download of my first solo studio album
    - Digital Download of a special BONUS EP of previously un-released tracks (not on album)
    - SIGNED Kickstarter Deluxe edition of my first solo studio album on CD
    - Limited Edition pin pack with original art
    - Kickstarter exclusive T-Shirt (designed by me and only available through Kickstarter)
    - Kickstarter exclusive SIGNED poster (designed by me and only available through Kickstarter)
    - Your name and a "Thank You" from me in the liner notes
    - Living room acoustic concert for you and 20 friends*

    *House concert is limited to the Nashville area unless transportation to other areas can be provided by host and is redeemable any time between January 2015 and December 2015. Please contact me for more info or any questions!)

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Funding period

- (60 days)