It's been five years since you helped Travelling Mercies produce the award-nominated* album MOTEL.That was a fantastic experience that culminated in a piece that we were very proud of. So why did it take so long to make another album? Devastating heartbreak? Crushing depression? The darkness of addiction? Financial calamity? The unchecked appetites of my evil alter-ego, Vlad Von Gluten? Absolutely. Those, and many more stories best left to song.
The first thing I wanted to do after I'd dug myself out of my own grave was to play again. I missed the bond among bandmates, the thrill of live performance. And I had a lot of songs to share. I was anxious to commit them to record, but I felt like the recording process was limiting when attempting to recreate the energy and fun of a live Mercies performance. So when we went back into the studio with Curt Grubb, we decided to track the band live - everybody playing together, no click track, just a couple of takes and get out.
The result was an organic and live-feeling framework we were able to build on with additional instrumentation and the tools of recording magic at Jeremy Garrett's Hidden Track Studios. Then Molly Welsh came aboard, bringing with her the otherworldly vocal talents of the ladies of Omaha favorites All Young Girls are Machine Guns and a small army of background vocalists (including Junior Mercies Townes and Lucy Holan). I couldn't be happier with the way it turned out.
Recording Cheap Labor has been the most personally rewarding musical experience of my life. Not only because I think it sounds great, but because it was made with so many of the people I love. Motel was a dark look at the borders we impose on our world and lives, made at a dark time in my own life. Cheap Labor, while dealing in many of the same themes fans have come to know from Travelling Mercies, is, by contrast, a celebration. It's a tribute to friendship, collaboration, and the power of music to heal and connect. And now we want to share that with you.
*2013 Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards: Best Album and Best Country/Americana
Your Role as Collaborator
This is NOT a request for a handout. This is a pre-order of our amazing new album, Cheap Labor. You're investing in our artistic vision, and you're getting something for it. The more you give, the more you get. Invest at any level and you will own the album. And from there it only gets better. Take a gander at the Pledge Rewards section (over there on the right). We've streamlined the rewards to focus on the music, this time offered up on a warm plate of VINYL. That's right - nearly 45 minutes of brand new tasty jams that you can spin at home (or remix at the club, should the spirit move you). No record player? No worries. Every contribution level includes a digital download, and you can frame the iconic cover art designed in collaboration with Bast Bramhall.
If you want to contribute more than the indicated levels, by all means, do so. Our $7500 goal is simply to help defray the costs I've already personally invested. Pressing a vinyl record alone costs nearly $3000 dollars; the recording, mixing, and mastering processes leading up to that cost twice that number. Anything beyond that helps ensure that those debts are paid, and Travelling Mercies can continue to bring you our music.
Risks and challenges
BUT HERE'S THE CATCH
...if we don't reach our $7500 goal by the deadline, we get NOTHING. Not a dime. And the album, already written, recorded, and shipped off to be made into a record, is delayed indefinitely, or maybe never sees the light of day at all.
So if you're planning to buy the album, want to support a hard-working artist and his band, or are my mother and don't want to see your son rot away in debtor's prison - this is the time to get on board. Your support means everything!
Jeremy and the MerciesLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (18 days)