"Raise You Up!" was a working title for this record before the actual song was recorded. Or even written. In the past few years, I've been truly blessed. And, well, maybe a little lucky, too. I got married to the most beautiful and wonderful woman on the planet, and we had two children. In between the two babies, and the sleepless nights, came a new crop of songs.... I've always been a live performer, but not much of a studio person. The idea of making up songs thrills me, but the idea of committing to one version of a song freaks me out a little bit. Well, families require a commitment. And this record took shape as I embraced that reality. It started the way most of my songs do, with a little Taylor GS Mini and a sunny day, making up nonsense and throwing it against the wall, until something sticks. Then technology rears its beautiful/ugly head, and I record the little embryos on a cell phone. And songs, like children, need care and feeding to grow. And both have the power to "Raise You Up!"
I walked in to Rocking Horse Studios, in Pittsfield, NH, with the idea of making a guitar and fiddle record with big stereo images, vocal harmonies and not much else. After about a day that changed a little bit... and after a few more days, a little bit more. The record got bigger, and a lot bolder sounding. We still kept it pretty simple, but introduced drums, and upright bass. The record staggered a couple of times in the last month, but it's recorded. Now we're here, near the finish line, and that's where you all come in. If you're reading this, chances are you've supported my music in the past. And I'm grateful to you all. Heck, I'm grateful to you if you're still reading this far down the page. One thing I've tried to do with this record is keep it true to my beginnings as a live performer... we've let the voice and acoustic guitar shine through. I haven't changed the songs to make them fit the band... the players just added their personality to the wood, steel and vibrating vocal folds that started this thing a few months ago.
One of the older songs on the record is called "Dunklee Street." It's a real house, on a real street, in the south end of Concord, NH, where I pretty much grew up. And one of my oldest friends, who smacked many a whiffle ball with me outside that house, asked me one day, "Why haven't you written a song about Dunklee Street?" All I could think to say was something about it being too real... sometimes a songwriter needs a little space to make stuff up. But after my kids were born, and real took on a different meaning, something just made sense. "Raise You Up!" started back on Dunklee Street, and continues as I watch my six month old pull herself upright for the first time. We've recorded 14 songs, with titles like "Lily Bean," and "The Day Things Changed." There's "Something's Gotta Give" and "Everybody Wants (a Happy Ending)." They may not all make the final cut, but, with your help, they'll make it out of the recording studio and into your ears. We'll also add some audio of "Dunklee Street".... That will be added as the campaign continues. For now, here's the title track. It's a rough mix, and not the final version, but it's close. Enjoy "Raise You Up!
The goal of this project is $5000. That's what it will take to mix, master and make a few CDs... not many CDs, really. It sounds like a good chunk of change, and it is. If we make that goal, I'd like to shoot for something a little loftier. I think the record has that potential. If we push the goal a little higher, I'll add publicity/radio promotion to the list (that's expensive), and video production (Dunklee Street, you get the first one), and even a much needed website overhaul (my friends at Scribble Graphics are ready). So what can you do if you've already pledged? Tell your friends, share the campaign with every music-loving person you know. Share it on Facebook, or Twitter... better yet, mention this Kickstarter Campaign in an actual Conversation!
Risks and challenges
If you've watched the video, you heard me talk about the "white noise of life." Well, that's the real challenge, my friends. In an age of hyperconnectivity and overstimulation, trying to find room for another record is like trying to find room for another snowflake in winter. There's plenty of raw material (for now!), but it all becomes one blinding snowstorm pretty fast. At least up here in NH. I wondered if a video approaching four minutes was too long! In the end, I paired it down to an epic 3:40. It's taken me a lot of years to believe in my songwriting, to let the music raise me up. And I believe these songs can raise you up, too. Help me give 'em a start in the world. As with all Kickstarter goals, we've got to meet that $5000 plateau first, or we go home with nothing. Let's push it up and over, folks!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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