Some of you might know me from my days in the eclectic world folk trio Groanbox, some from my solo work and with my brother, others from my collaboration with Ethiopians (Damakase and MistO-MistO), others with my work doing arrangements for guitar (video and tablatures), others for having co-founded the Sawmill Sessions Collective in Paris, and still others for my involvement in a handful of other projects over the years.
I’m now hard at work on my second album with my French band. We recorded at Tonehouse Studios with Jean-Etienne Loose and Geoffroy Dauptain producing. These guys have some nice old gear, including a Studer analog tape recorder, so we decided to go a little more old school on this record and do live takes that we then built on. The core musicians are Ben Body on bass, David Chalumeau on harmonica, Thomas Garoche on bass, Patrick Gigon on drums, Daniel Mizrahi on lead guitar, Renaud Ollivier on drums/percussion, Yann Seznec on keys/synth. Backing vocals on some tracks were tastefully provided by Kenny Allen in Addis Ababa, and by members of the Gospel Travelers in Annapolis, Maryland.
After self-financing everything up until now, I’m now coming to terms with the fact that I need backing to get this project done. If I can develop some momentum within my various networks through this type of fundraising campaign, I think it will really give me a leg up in terms of getting gigs and getting my music "out there" to the people who want to listen to it.
Down the line the band just wants to be performing this music as much as possible in a wide array of venues, whether we're talking about classic music venues, festivals, clubs, theaters, etc, or in a more community outreach context (hospitals, schools, prisons). We think that your support would help us achieve this goal!
So here's the breakdown of what your support provide for:
-the artwork/branding of the album (€1000)
-a PR campaign to get press and radio spots to promote the album (€2000-€3000)
-Vinyl and CD pressing (€2500)
This would be the start. If I manage to get more than I’ve asked for, I’ll use it to pay my musicians, the producers of the album (they've graciously been doing this for peanuts up until now!), the directors of my videos, and in addition help finance the album release concert at the Studio de l'Ermitage on June 7, 2017.
I do not consider this at all to be a free handout, but rather a "pre-sale" of a nearly finished product. Your support is hugely appreciated, thanks so much folks!
Risks and challenges
The risks are numerous in this business. There are more and more albums being released and less and less professionals (labels, distributors, agents, producers, etc) ready to help out and take gambles on independent projects. Particularly ones such as this that blur lines with a headstrong desire to be creative and original.
As a result, my cocktail of contemporary folk, old blues, rock, and African music could just remain in the shadows, appealing to people who like this type of experimentation, but not to the public at large. So be it! This is a risk I've always been fine with, even if it means not getting the wider "recognition" most artists are looking for.
That said, this is a challenge that could also end up paying dividends. As the world gets smaller and smaller, it is entirely normal to me that we would take influences from all over the place and toss them into our own gumbos to see what new flavors emerge. Maybe more and more folks will seek out these types of hybrid sounds as we are ever increasingly exposed to beautiful music from around the world.
- (30 days)