This will be my fifth not-JUST-for-kids CD. (For my full bio and reviews click "See full bio" underneath my website address up there on the right!) Since you're considering becoming involved, I'll explain how I've been producing my family records up till now and how I plan on going about making this one...
All of my children's CDs have been recorded in Lawrence, Kansas at Ninth Ward Pickin' Parlor by the incredibly talented Mike West (of Truckstop Honeymoon), who produces, engineers, arranges, mixes, and masters the albums. He also plays multiple instruments on almost every song.
Like most things in my life, my first four children's CDs were created with varying degrees of planning.
Okay, the first one, Five Cent Piece (2006), had no plan whatsoever. I guess that still counts as a varying degree. I was the music man at Beansprouts preschool in Park Slope, Brooklyn at the time. Little did I know that this off-the-cuff family venture into songs for kids and families would become the cornerstone of my musical work for the next decade. Here's "The Mosquito Song" from Five Cent Piece:
My second family CD, Loquat Rooftop (2008), had at least a basic outline or timeframe and a PR plan. My song "No Nothing" from this record became my first Sirius-XM Radio hit! Ya wanna hear it? Here ya go:
The third one of its kind, The Kids Are All Id (2010), wasn't really budgeted in detail but I at least knew in advance how much I had to work with. With help from Park Slope Parents and a few generous New Yorkers, the record was completed. I'm glad to report that the kind folks over at Kids Place Live (Sirius-XM channel 78) continued putting my songs into their rotation. Here's "Little Bee" which I gather they're still spinning now:
My fourth not-JUST-for-kids CD, Mr. Diddie Wah Diddie (2012), was released by Universal Music/My Kazoo Music. They helped with just about every facet of the CD's release! Here's a link to, among other songs, my adaptation of the great Jimmie Rodgers version of "In the Jailhouse Now" from my Ragtime and Country Blues concept record Mr. Diddie Wah Diddie. My version is called "In a Timeout Now."
For my prospective fifth family CD, I have come up with a very detailed plan and budget! Basically, the $20,000 (that you will hopefully be helping me raise!) will pay for the following:
*Travel to Kansas
*Mike West's and Ninth Ward Pickin' Parlor's services of engineering, producing, arranging, performing, archiving, mixing, and mastering
*Guest musicians (my usual group...with Mike on mandolin, banjo, and more, Colin Mahoney on drums, Katie Euliss on stand-up bass, Bradford Hoopes on keyboards, Tom Johnson on trombone, and my young Kansan choristers at its core. Oh, my wife Julie will be singing a few harmonies and my son Ry might even play the harmonica and sing as well!)...
Vegacita & Katie
Mike & Bradford
Okay, back to more of what else the twenty-grand will cover...
*Manufacturing of 1,000 copies of the CD
*Posters, postcards, & T-shirts
*Licensing costs, if any arise (I'm considering doing a Beach Boys song or one from Irving Berlin's masterwork Annie Get Your Gun)
*PR campaign (my usual top-notch kindie promoter Beth Blenz-Clucas at Sugar Mountain PR)
*Advertising in appropriate media
Here's how it's worked in the past and how I expect it to work this time 'round as well:
I arrive in Kansas on a Sunday.
I rehearse with Mike, his wife Katie, and Colin that night.
If Tom stops by we might take a break to sing a Lydia Mendoza song or two!
Then we spend all day Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in the studio recording the basic tracks. Mike likes to get a great live take with at least the three of us performing together (me, Katie, and Colin).
On Thursday and Friday we do the overdubs (keyboards, horns, harmonies, kids).
I fly back here to Los Angeles on Friday night with the rough reference mixes. I play them for my wife and my son and my anarchivist (my archivist, Scotch Burnside, can't see very well so my back catalogue and demos are in a sort of anarchic situation in his closet) and I take counsel from them.
Mike hones the tracks and does the actual mixing and mastering over the next several weeks. When he's done we go back and forth on the phone and via email a few times tweaking and patching and fixing.
Jennifer Templet (who did the artwork for Mr. Diddie Wah Diddie) will be the art director and graphic designer. I sure hope she'll be typing your name into the thank you list!
When Jenny and Mike have their final versions of things we'll send 'em over to Discmakers to be manufactured.
When they're ready I'll send you your copies and the PR and advertising campaigns will begin. Beth will send the CDs out to the usual suspects who will hopefully continue to publish their very kind reviews.
Then I'll tour, performing my live versions of the new songs (as well as the usual Sirius-XM radio hits) to children and their families everywhere.
So, there you have it. I hope you like the plan and will consider supporting it. Thank you! Randy Kaplan
Risks and challenges
I've made four not-JUST-for-kids CDs and eight not-REALLY-for-kids CDs over the past seventeen years so I've got all the kinks ironed out. The $20,000 will guarantee a completed project on par with my other CDs along with a 3-month PR campaign that will get my record into the hands of music critics from newspapers, magazines, and blogs as well as radio DJs around the world. Every person or company I intend to work with on this project, by the way, I have worked with before—they are all consummate professionals and exemplary in their reliability.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (34 days)