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We're raising funds to cover the recording and post-production costs of my new album. The working title for this project is "Brave."
We're raising funds to cover the recording and post-production costs of my new album. The working title for this project is "Brave."
96 backers pledged $7,230 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$7,230

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We're raising funds to cover recording, post-production, and replication costs for the follow-up to Jonathan J. Bower's 2014 album, "Hope, Alaska." Currently, the working title for this project is "Brave." 

As with the "Hope, Alaska" campaign, we've kept this fundraising goal as modest as possible, budgeting strictly for the musicians and technicians who will help fully flesh out the new material. Any funds over and above his goal, it's worth noting, could potentially allow for a limited vinyl run of the new album.

In order to set the stage for achieving his fundraising goal, Jonathan again consulted with artists and musicians who have previously and successfully completed their own crowdsourcing campaigns. The incentives offered to those who back this new platform were intentionally established following his conversations with them.

Granted, many of these incentives will perhaps appeal to a more old-fashioned brand or demographic of music listener than the hipper, digitized, clutter-free fan of the 21st century. However, if you grew up geeking out over gatefold vinyl album-art, or mesmerized by Anton Corbijn's or Michael Wilson's album photography, or puzzling over an actual, paper-based lyric sheet, then some of these rewards were tailor-made with you in mind.

Some of the incentives we're offering this time around include a series of full-color postcards by album photographer, Brian Adams (known for his book, *I Am Alaskan* and his more recent *I Am Inuit* project and exhibit). 

We are also offering digital download copies of the new album ahead of the release date in late fall or early winter 2017 (for the clutter-free hopeful in all of us). Jonathan is also overcoming his fear of showing anyone his handwriting and sending out lyric sheets and filling small notebooks with some of the flotsam and jetsam that went into finding these songs. 

Lastly, Jonathan is offering major contributors opportunities to be named "co-producer" on this project, and to have a personalized acoustic video of one of his songs by request - filmed in a scenic location in Alaska. He is also offering house concerts, the ideal means for properly conveying the stories informing his songs. 

Videos and house concerts, we must note, will occur on dates that will be discussed and coordinated between the backer and Jonathan following the album's release shows in Alaska in late 2017. But as anyone who contributed to the "Hope, Alaska" Kickstarter will tell you, however you elect to back this project, Jonathan will gladly and full-heartedly return the favor, sending out your rewards as promptly and enthusiastically as he possibly can.  

Risks and challenges

Every creative undertaking has risk built into it. As any writer, musician, painter, or craftsperson in any art form will tell you, the only guarantee in any endeavor in the arts is that a work begins and ends in mystery. Every step along the path of one's individual artistic process proves a leap of faith in the work eventually becoming what it is striving all along to become.

For this reason, we made sure not to put this campaign in motion until the songs were in the absolute best shape for beginning production on them. A year ago, when people were regularly asking if I was still writing songs, I was tempted to cave to an invisible, self-applied pressure - born mostly of frustration and impatience - and to rush into the studio and throw down the hardly finished, bare-minimal sketches of songs I then had, and to pass those off as the next record. Today, I'm of course glad that I did not do that and instead continued to wait and work on the material that felt a worthwhile investment over a longer haul than my restlessness preferred.

I share that to say that the songs we've prepared and selected for this recording are about as properly situated and ready for action as they could possibly be.

On one hand, I'm intending to be in weekly contact with backers throughout the campaign. I'll be offering updates, backer-only behind-the- scenes glimpses of songs in real time, solo performances from home, and more. I also intend to continue communicating with supporters through the duration of the recording project. Needing to inform backers of any detours or unexpected challenges along the way will be addressed in the same conversational, candid manner with which I'll keep individuals abreast of the campaign's progress and the recording's development.

Still, granted, there is always the slim chance that after the Kickstarter is funded we could experience what KS calls "collaborator mishaps." Perhaps, for example, an artist, engineer, or designer involved with these pledge packages hits a snag while completing their work on the album. Barring such a circumstance, however, I'm confident we'll have this work underway and in a good working rhythm in no time. We've already begun setting the groundwork for the album and the reward packages tied to this campaign. We've secured James Glaves to mix the project when we've finished recording, and Grammy-nominee Jeff Lipton on board to master the finished product. As with the "Hope, Alaska" effort, we are fairly assured that we're moving ahead of schedule and are attending to things in a timely, reliable manner.

If we experience any delays, I will personally reach out to all who backed the project, and will attend to the delay as quickly as possible. Right now, I have all the artists and designers dutifully on board and committed to the record. I don't foresee many problems in this regard but am prepared to work with any that arise by making contact with backers and keeping in regular communication with collaborators.

There's also always a slight chance that backers of the House Concert incentive option might want me to play at a specific time or date that could conflict with another obligation. I'm willing to work with every backer at this level to insure a quality performance within a reasonable amount of time in relation to their pledge - working together to secure dates that work for our mutual schedules.

This recording and production effort has experienced no major production delays yet, and has lived up to every expectation until now.

This work is my only recording project now, and it is receiving our full focus and attention. We are in the process of putting together the incentive packages and turning photos into postcards and album art. A successful Kickstarter campaign will insure we can properly launch and welcome this project into the world. I poured as much of my own time and money into this project as I could afford to do until now, and so I have set the goal of this Kickstarter campaign as modestly as I can possibly manage. I did this out of respect for the budgets and general life expenses of the demographic of the bulk of my supporters, and also because it seems a proper, respectable dollar-figure given the amount of effort (and the labor of love) required to successfully produce a quality full-length album.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Dopio

    Every little bit counts: Pitch us the cost of your dopio & we'll send you a sticker featuring a photo of the album's cover image by Alaska photographer Brian Adams.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Wake-Up Juice

    My mom raised me to write thank you notes after every birthday and holiday. Backers at this level will give me something to do when I'm up early those crisp fall mornings in AK and sipping that first cup of wake-up juice: You'll receive a handwritten thank you note on a full-color postcard featuring Brian Adams's beautiful album art for this project.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Early Risers

    Backers at this level receive a high-quality digital copy of the new album ahead of the official release date. Be the first to hear the new record!

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    12 backers
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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Saturday Coffee

    Fill the French press, skip the morning news, and ease into the day exploring a copy of the new album on CD. You'll also receive a personalized thank you note on a full-color postcard featuring album artwork by AK photographer Brian Adams.

    Includes:
    • Includes pre-release digital copy of the album.
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    The Morning Stroll

    Contributors receive a CD copy of the album with a single-run, special-edition insert thanking all the Kickstarter supporters contributing to this project and a sticker featuring the cover photo by photographer, Brian Adams. These cd's will also be signed by Jonathan, the new album's musicians, and Brian Adams.

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    • Includes pre-release digital copy of the album.
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    24 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Off-Trail

    How about everything above and three postcards featuring Brian Adams's wonderful photos for this record? You'll also receive a handwritten lyric sheet for a song on the new album, with a short note from JJB about how Brian's work (and others') informed the new material.

    Includes:
    • Includes pre-release digital copy of the album.
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    The light the light the light...

    We've named this package for a chorus from a song on the new record. Backers at this level receive all the above and the complete postcard pack, featuring the 10 photos comprising the record's full-color artwork by AK photographer/author Brian Adams. If you've ever struggled to find images that depict your experience of Alaska - inside and outside your skin, beyond the tourist's view - it won't take you long to understand how Brian's work influenced the songwriting process last year...

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    • Includes pre-release digital copy of the album.
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    The Scenic Drive

    Make it a trilogy: You'll receive all the above along with CD copies of 2012's *but so beautiful* EP & 2014's *Hope, Alaska* albums. We'll also throw in one of the remaining American Apparel, 100% cotton, black *Hope, Alaska* t-shirts, featuring photographer Michael Wilson's cover image for that album. (Ltd S-M-L-XL sizes available)

    Includes:
    • Includes pre-release digital copy of the album.
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    6 backers
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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    The Road Trip

    Enjoy all the above, AND go for a drive with your own homespun, JJB "mixtape"! If you pitch for this offer, JJB will contact you after the campaign and ask if you prefer your mix "old school" - on a CD - or as a playlist for your streaming service of choice (sorry - no cassettes). Along with the track-listing, you'll also receive a short write-up explaining how specific songs or artists influenced or informed the writing process for the new album. While some of your playlist's songs appeared in his weekly "Coping Skills" music column in last year's "Anchorage Press" newspaper, others simply pair well with choice songs on the new album. Taken together, your mix and the new album will prove road-friendly compilations for wherever your journeys take you in the days ahead.

    Includes:
    • Includes pre-release digital copy of the album.
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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Weekend Adventure

    Bump your road trip up a notch and settle in for a ride. In addition to the mixtape, backers here receive a notebook loaded with notes, quotes and excerpts, photos, song ideas and verses "that got away" (or that became other songs), and short reflections (from a variety of sources) loaning to the songwriting process for this record. Jonathan's handwriting received low marks in grade school, so you're welcome to contact him if you need translating or deciphering.

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    • Includes pre-release digital copy of the album.
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Cabin in the Woods

    While many of JJB's favorite local bands & family members thrive in the bar & club scenes, his own songs feel most at home in the house concert setting. Backers at this level receive all the above rewards, then arrange for an intimate solo show w/ JJB. Good for one year from the date of album release. Call your friends and neighbors, whip up a potluck, tell the sitter to stay home - no, invite the sitter, too - and settle in for a night of original music, stories, and favorite cover songs...(Read re: further house concert terms in Risks and Challenges section below.)

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    • Includes pre-release digital copy of the album.
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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Let's Get Lost

    Contributors at this level, in addition to the above awards, can select a theme or special someone to whom they want to gift or dedicate a song & commission a song for your loved one: Pets, partners, children, parents, yourSELF, a long lost friend, etc. You will collaborate on a song together and pay tribute to someone you want to commemorate in song. It's imperative, however, that you meet with Jonathan in person in Alaska (over coffee or something) - or, if you live in the Lower 48, let's meet up during one of his annual visits to his East coast haunts of origin - or there's always Skype absolutely anywhere in the wi-fi'd-cyber-universe. Good for one year from the time of the album release. (Let's do it! We'll just need discuss the song's theme and gather the right details.)

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    • Includes pre-release digital copy of the album.
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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    Real Gone

    In addition to all the above, Real Gone contributors can request a personalized acoustic video version of any one of JJB's songs from his AK recordings (2012-2017), filmed from one of the AK locations that inspired or loaned to the songwriting process for that song. Video recordings will of course be contingent on weather and seasonal conditions here (if only out of respect for our guitars) so are guaranteed within 9 months of the new album's projected November '17 release.

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    • Includes pre-release digital copy of the album.
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Summit Fever

    Peak performance! Can't imagine a better way to extend thanks to contributors at this level and beyond than to name you a co-producer on the new album. We'd love to imagine music comes to life and hits the market on nothing but the strength of solid songs, good musicians, skill, and talent...but it only takes making a single album to understand time is also a financial investment in the many steps of the recording process. In the way all these crowdsourcing funds will compensate the work of the musicians and technicians involved in this recording, we want to pay tribute to those "going the extra distance" on this one. This is one way we can think to do that.

    Includes:
    • Includes pre-release digital copy of the album.
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Funding period

- (30 days)