It's Not Over! Read our Latest Update: Hey Thanks everyone! We've reached our first goal, but it's not over yet! There's still time to pledge, and to claim some of the premiums before they're gone at 6pm CDT today. We have issued a challenge to raise an additional $1200 and 40 more supporters, before the end of the day today. These funds will help us promote the CD through your radio DJs and media. Please pledge now if you haven't already! And Thank you.
I am recording a new CD called What About the Water, a collection of songs from the Great Lakes region. What makes this project different than my other albums? First of all, the majority of these songs come from my own creativity, which is very exciting. Stories given to me by fans and taken from my own research and experiences make up these new compositions (What About the Water, Diana of the Dunelands, After the Storm, We Shall Always Remember, and Upon the Wind). There are three instrumental pieces as well (Under Night's Wing, Free and Easy, and Contemplation / Activation), and I will include a few traditional songs (We're Going to Pump Out Lake Erie, John Kanakanaka, and Wild Mountain Thyme). Rounding out this project will be covers of an immigrant song by Peter Jones (Killkelly, Ireland) and one by the great Stan Rogers (Tiny Fish for Japan). Usually, I keep this information about the content of a new album to myself(and a select few people working with me). Times change, though, and I want to keep you, my fans, up to date with all that is happening on this exciting endeavor.
Secondly, I am working with a new group of musicians. They are called Blue Horizon, and these guys give the songs different energy, both in the instruments they play and the way they play them. Mike Bradburn (bass and vocal), Joel Simpson (mandolin, banjo, dobro, piano and vocal) and Greg Smith (percussion) have worked together with me to blend a wonderful sound for the music. In addition, the Dock Wallopers (Steve Lindenmeyer, Bill Pufahl, and Richard Shields) will contribute their vocal dynamics to this record!
Finally, the main reason why this project is different from all of my other albums can be answered in one word, You! This is the first time where you, the contributors, will have a direct effect on the successful outcome of this CD. The myth that the "record company" pays for everything on these albums is just that, a myth. Recording and manufacturing this album will cost close to $15,000.00. In the past, I was able to cover these costs through sales of my other titles and help from family. As I said earlier, times have changed. Sales are soft and revenue from digital downloads have not lived up to expectations. I feel, though, that this work is very important. It gives everyone who listens to these songs a very personal sense of place, history with a human touch.
So join us! Check out our rewards packages, (we have many), and see which one best suits you. Some of these items offered in the rewards are not available just anywhere. Also, watch for updates as the campaign continues and we add a new reward package or post new video and audio clips to keep you informed on our progress By contributing to this kickstarter, you will become part of our team. Together, we will be able to make a great recording and spread the message of Great Lakes history in song!
Thank you so very much.
Be sure to check the Updates Link at the top of this page (just above the Video). Link to Update #1
Risks and challenges
If you don't know much about Kickstarter, here are a few quick facts:
1. It's totally secure. You look at the premiums we offer, and if you click to pledge for a certain award (as little as $5), then it takes you to Amazon.com Payments. You don't pay until July 29, the day the project ends. And the payment is handled by Amazon, so if you've ever bought a book online, it's the same company, Amazon, handling your payment and credit card.
2. The "kicker" part of Kickstarter is this: I need $7500 to help pay for production (it's going to cost over $15000). If I do not get enough people to pledge the full $7500, then I get nothing!
3. Kickstarter and Amazon (and ultimately ME!) are part of a team that insures that if you pledge and pay, you will receive the reward/premium that you purchased.
(If you still have a concern about Kickstarter, please email us using the "Contact Me" link: top, right-hand page.)
I've been making CDs for a long time, and I have a strong team behind me, people I know I can count on because they've come through for me before:
Mark Karney, my second set of ears at Norwest Communications; He has recorded every CD I've ever released (including the live on-location recordings on "Great Lakes Chronicle."
Jennifer Shilt at JSGD Graphic Design in Lombard. She's worked for me on many of my CDs, and you'll see her name in the credits for designing CD artwork by lots of other Illinois and Wisconsin folkies. She also did our book "Lake Rhymes." We won't send this artwork to the printer until we complete the kickstarter, so if you'd like to be included in the credits as a producer, we'll even make sure we spell your name right.
In fact, we are pretty far down the road to completion for this project. All the basic tracks are down, and we'll spend July in the studio adding vocals and a few other parts, and then mixing. We always back up our work in different physical locations, so even if there's a hard drive crash, we'll still be good to go.
We are pretty confident that we will meet our projected release date, September 1, 2014. But even if there are production delays (say, a printing error or something unexpected), we will be able to remedy that and complete the project. We'll have your email address to let you know what our revised completion date will be, but that should not be a problem. I'm motivated to get this project ready for September 1 performances.
We have all of our premium gifts in-stock and ready to ship along with your copy of the new CD. We have taken advance orders in the past, on some of my earlier CDs, and we've always made sure that your orders were filled immediately. And if you choose a larger premium, such as a house concert or band concert, we'll be getting your date on the calendar as soon as you're ready to line that up.
The main challenge for a new release is getting the word out. Typically, we send two to three hundred copies of a new album to radio stations for airplay and dozens of copies for review in magazines and the news media. We intend to intensify this a bit more than usual on my facebook page and new web site due to the new musicians working with me and singer-songwriter nature of this recording. Your participation will help us to meet that goal, too.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter