Funded! This project was successfully funded on September 12, 2012.

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A new project that combines Scottish, West African, and Funk music. Help us record demos, set up a press kit, and play launch shows!

UPDATE: Goal Reached! Let's Reach Higher!

Hello friends and supporters! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! With your help we have met and exceeded our goal, only four days into the project. We are so grateful for your enthusiasm and support. We've been giddy watching the numbers rise, and we feel like you all have been carrying on the enthusiasm and excitement that we put into this project. 

However, we still need your help! 

$2,000 was the bare minimum we could have survived with. As we were talking about this project, we dreamed that we might be able to set up launch concerts in several different places around the country. Boston and New York are pretty easy for us to do, because we have well-known bands that we can double up with, but we'd love to get down to New Orleans to play a launch there working with the great musicians who did the original recordings, and maybe even get out to San Francisco. If we can raise $5,000, we'll be able to put together a launch tour that would take us to these places and really put this band on the map. You've been so generous already, let's see if we can keep the momentum going and make this thing even bigger! We love you!

A photo of the New Orleans horn section. Right to left: Ian Smith (Trumpet), Drew Calhoun (Tenor Sax), and Wes Anderson (Trombone). 

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Hi Everyone! 


Welcome to the Kickstarter campaign to launch our new band Soulsha! This is singer, piper and frontman Elias Alexander writing on behalf of myself and piano and mandolin player Neil Pearlman, who is off teaching at Maine Fiddle Camp. I speak for both of us when I say we couldn't be more excited about this project!

We're setting out to bring you the raw energy of Scottish dance music on bagpipes and fiddle, in the context of a huge funk groove based on West-African rhythms. We're hoping this sound is going to blow your minds.

A month ago, while I was down in New Orleans, the opportunity to begin recording arose. I jumped at the chance to work with some absolutely incredible local musicians, and in one afternoon at Fudge Studios we had recorded horn and drum tracks for three songs. It felt like the start of something big.

However, we still have a lot of work to do. I spent a good deal of my own money on those recordings, and we can't go much further without your help. If you pledge and help us fund this project, we will use the money to:

1. Pay for professional studio time to finish recording, mixing, and mastering those three tracks so we can send them out to venues and organizers. This is the most important thing because we can't start booking shows until we've got good demo recordings.

2. Pay for a domain, hosting and design for a website and online press kit.

3. Organize a series of launch concerts. In our ideal reality we would like to do these in Boston, New Orleans, New York, and San Francisco.

Our goal of $2000 is the bare minimum we will need to make these things happen. We have a lot of great musicians involved and we're confident that this project is going to be a force of nature once we get it going. You can help us by pledging whatever you can afford. We've also got some great rewards you should check out along the right of the page (not, as I said in the video, the left, whatever, at least I pointed in the right direction).

For years I have sought a way to share the tremendous joy and excitement I feel in Scottish dance music with a wider audience, and to explore the striking similarities in the rhythms of Scottish and West African (and diasporic) music. Neil, a master of the keyboard, he has spent the last few years crossing Scottish music with jazz and Latin grooves in his band, recently retitled Alba's Edge (you can hear their music at www.neilpearlman.com). We we believe that our skills and visions complement each other perfectly for this project.

Soulsha is a new direction for both of us. It's a bigger sound than anything we've done before. The time has come to make it happen!

Soulsha is a respelling of the Scots-Gaelic word soillse, a ray of light, or as it was described to me in Scotland, “the light that happens sometimes, there's no English equivalent.” We can't wait to bring you this amazing new sound!

FAQ

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52
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$3,155
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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    3 backers

    A Soulsha Afro-Celtic Funk sticker for your instrument case or bumper. All the cool kids have them!

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $10 or more
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    14 backers

    Reward #1 plus: Advance access to demo tracks. We'll email you each demo track as soon as it is finished, one after another. Get dancing sooner.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $25 or more
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    15 backers

    Rewards #1, #2 plus: A limited edition physical copy of the demo in CD form with Soulsha artwork. Share it with your friends!

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  • Pledge $40 or more
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    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    Rewards #1, #2,#3 plus: A 45min piano or mandolin lesson with Neil Pearlman in person or on Skype.

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  • Pledge $50 or more
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    5 backers

    Rewards #1, #2, #3, plus: Two VIP tickets to one of our launch concerts (hopefully in Boston, New Orleans, New York or San Francisco). We'll make sure you get into the front row, and we'd love to spend some time with you after the show.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $75 or more
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    1 backer

    Rewards #1,#2,#3,#5 plus: We'll call you up on the phone and sing you a song in Gaelic or English to thank you for your support. Tapadh Leibh!

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  • Pledge $100 or more
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    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    Rewards #1, #2, #3, #5 plus: A fully kilted piping serenade from Elias Alexander for your party, wedding, or special event. Surprise a loved one! Prank a friend! This is a great value. Subject to location, email with questions.

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  • Pledge $150 or more
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    2 backers Limited (2 left of 4)

    Rewards #1, #2, #3, #5 plus: We'll write a tune bearing your name or a name of your choosing, arrange it and perform it at our shows, and we may even record it when we someday go in for a full length album.

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  • Pledge $175 or more
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    2 backers All gone!

    Rewards #1, #2, #3, #5 plus: Elias Alexander will pull out all the stops, with a piping, singing, dancing, unicycling, juggling, and or rapping serenade while wearing your choice of attire (I know what you're thinking--no full nude). I'll work with you to create the perfect performance for your occasion. Don't miss this unique opportunity! Subject to location, email with questions.

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  • Pledge $300 or more
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    0 backers

    Rewards #1, #2, #3, #5 plus: Neil Pearlman and Elias Alexander will come to your living room, party, or gathering and perform a duo concert of traditional Scottish music with Afro-Caribbean, funk, and jazz influences on piano, cajon, mandolin, border pipes, guitar and vocals. Get ready for a rocking night! Available within 100 miles of Boston, or further afield if you can pay for travel.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $650 or more
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    0 backers

    The Full Monty! This is it. Rewards #1, #2, #3, #5 plus: For this massively bargain price get the full 7-8 piece Afro-Celtic Funk band to perform at your party, dance, or celebration. No quarter will be asked, and none given. Available within 100 miles of Boston or further afield with additional travel expenses.

    Estimated delivery:
Funding period

- (30 days)