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My new album has been a while in the making and now it's ready to fly the nest...help me give it a great sendoff into the world!
My new album has been a while in the making and now it's ready to fly the nest...help me give it a great sendoff into the world!
734 backers pledged $35,966 to help bring this project to life.

About

KRIS DELMHORST'S New Album BLOOD TEST project video thumbnail
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$35,966

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SECOND STRETCH GOAL $35,000 - HOLY SMOKES! Let's send this thing out in a blaze of glory!

THE STORY

My first "album" came out on cassette in 1996 (I believe it was the planet's last cassette-only release). Since then I've put out six regular old CDs, not to mention EPs and little weirdo projects and side band stuff…played thousands of shows all over the USA and Europe…written, I don't know, a couple hundred songs?…played as a sideman on more than 50 of my friends' records, and been lucky enough to spend most of my time among my favorite category of people in the world, i.e., musicians and all the other people who love music enough to follow it around.

KD with SUB ROSA (photo Tom Dube)
KD with SUB ROSA (photo Tom Dube)

Now I have lucky Number Seven ready to leave home and make its way in the cold hard world. This album is a little different for me because it comes after a longer break than usual; it's been six years since my last album of original songs came out (although my record of CARS covers happened in the meantime). Six years is the equivalent of about an eon and a half in music biz years, and it's gonna take a little extra push to get things rolling again.

THE ALBUM

The making of BLOOD TEST started with a call to my friend Anders Parker. As you may know, he's a great songwriter who's put out a number of records under his own name as well as with Varnaline, Gob Iron, and New Multitudes.  Although Anders and I have known each other for a while, we'd never really played music together before. But these songs seemed to want a lot of attention to space and dynamics, and I've always admired the way AP wields those elements in his own music. So, I called him up and asked if he would be into the idea of helping me find my way into a record which was still pretty amorphous in my mind, and he intrepidly said Sure.

KD & AP (photo Ted Barron)
KD & AP (photo Ted Barron)

Speaking of the songs.  In 2008, two months after I released my album Shotgun Singer, I had a baby and for the next year and a half I neither slept through a night nor wrote one single song (amazing how those two things seem to be related). Once REM sleep re-entered my life, songs started showing up again too. The first one that came after that drought was 92nd St and that's on the record, along with a few others I've played on stage a bunch…Homeless, My Ohio, Bees. But the last couple years have been busy, writing-wise, and some of these tunes are quite new. A good half of them have never really been heard by anyone.  Exciting? Scary? Yes.

Anyway when Anders had agreed to produce this thing with me I asked him to hire the band. This was a hard decision to make, since I already know so many great musicians I'm always looking for a chance to play with. But, it seemed like a good time for a brand new cast of characters, so I took the leap of faith and Anders rewarded it by bringing two really stellar players/humans into my world. Konrad Meissner plays drums with Brandi Carlile and the Silos, and he drove the bus with authority and delivered impassioned inspirational speeches when we needed them most. Mark Spencer plays a lot of things with a lot of people such as Laura Cantrell and Son Volt - on this record he played bass, organ, piano, pedal steel, electric guitar, 12-string, and vibes, and didn't even break a sweat, although he did require a fairly steady supply of espresso malt balls.

We cut the tracks at Brooklyn Recording with engineer Andy Taub, right next door to the NYC neighborhood I grew up in. I got coffee at my favorite deli from high school every morning before walking to the studio.  It felt exactly like home.

After making a couple records in a row with casts of thousands, I was curious what it would be like to keep the personnel to a minimum. So Messrs. Parker, Meissner, and Spencer and I covered all the instruments and vocal parts among the four of us. I did briefly consider changing my name to Delmhorster out of solidarity, but the red tape seemed a little daunting.

THE NUMBERS

I'm lucky to have a great label, Signature Sounds, run by people who trust me enough to give me a chunk of money and say Go make an album. Okay, it maybe doesn't 100% cover the making of the music, but for these purposes we'll call it close enough. BUT: getting the songs recorded, mixed, and mastered is just the first part of the process. There's always a point at the end of making a record, when you're almost done, and things are sounding and feeling great, and you listen back to it together and have a proud little moment, and then someone says "Man, I hope people hear this record." And then there's this long moment of silence while everyone has their own private reality check and remembers what the world outside the studio is like. You imagine the record heading out into the world like a little tiny hobo, with its thumb out and a bandana on a stick, standing on the shoulder of a sixteen-lane superhighway with semis roaring past at 90mph, and lots of big cars the drivers of which are on the phone and texting and eating a sandwich and smoking an e-cigarette and watching youtube and changing their shoes and handing their kid a sippy cup and flipping the radio station all at once…yeah. A cold shudder goes through the room and everybody needs to go have a drink or a malt ball or something.

If we raise this money, Kickstarter and Amazon will take their 5% each, and the rest will go towards finishing and promoting the album.  Does $25,000 seem like a lot of money to you? It does to me too.  If you added up what I paid for all six cars I've owned in my life, you'd still have a long ways to go before you hit that number. But I chose that goal because it will only-just cover doing a basic good job in these areas:

If by some miracle we exceed the goal, there is lots of room to do those things better, for longer, and in more parts of the world.  But we'll talk about that bridge if we come to it.

COMMUNITY

I'm extra lucky, because I have a lovely batch of listeners that have come with me along my winding musical journey - maybe you're one of them - and I'm proud and a little amazed to have been able to support myself as a musician for over 15 years.  I've built my career up the old-fashioned way: because someone came to a show, and bought a record, and then sent it to their cousin who's a DJ, or put a song on a mixtape, or dragged a friend or two to the next show.  It's the slow road, and I'd take it over the interstate every time.  But I think this is a really cool record, and I think there are more people out there who would enjoy having these songs in their life if they knew about them.  So I'm putting a little extra attention this time around into trying to widen my circles and connect the music with new folks.

If you've supported my career in the past by buying a record or coming to a show, I'm grateful.  Shit, I'm grateful if you read this far down the page! I'm thrilled if you feel moved to get on board and support this album.  And if you want to do more to help things along, the very best way to do it is to spread the word to all your righteous music-loving friends.  You can share the campaign via Facebook, Twitter, and/or on any of the other various social media that I have so far managed to remain oblivious to. You could even mention it to someone verbally, like in a conversation...if that's not too old-school.

Thanks everybody.  I am beyond excited to get this music out there into the world!

Risks and challenges

The challenge of releasing any form of artistic endeavor into this crazy world, well...it's probably obvious. Pretty much every musician I know has a story about the friend or family member who says, "You know, you should think about going on Letterman...that might be a real boost to your career." In reality, the amount of effort, sweat, and tears it takes to get an album review in the East Bumbleville weekly paper - let alone getting a band on Letterman! - is truly difficult to imagine until you've seen it in action. For a record to get any kind of notice you need at least two of the following:

A. Good Music
B. A Lot of Talented, Motivated, Creative, and Usually-Underpaid People Working Insanely Hard
C. Blind Luck

I've done what I can about the first part, and the last one is kind of out of our hands. This Kickstarter campaign is about B, and the better we do here, the more Talented and Motivated People we can have Working Insanely Hard on the record's behalf for longer...maybe they don't even have to be underpaid for once!

There is always...ALWAYS...the chance that we all go to all of this effort to no discernible effect. This is part of why musicians have as many Issues as we do. But let's try it! I believe in this album and I think people would love it if they met it. With your help we can get out there and make some introductions.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    DIGITAL ONLY
    Digital download of the record in mp3 or hi-resolution formats, before it's available to the general public.

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    ADVANCE SIGNED CD
    The record on CD, signed and shipped to you well before it's available to the general public. This and all other reward levels includes digital download for immediate gratification.

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    DIGITAL ONLY plus DIGITAL DEMOS
    Digital download of both the record and the solo demos of the songs, in mp3 or hi-resolution formats.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    VINYL
    The record on lovely vinyl, signed and shipped to you before it's available to the general public. Also includes digital download of full record. Please note that the vinyl release IS NOT slated to be available by the CD release date of 5/13. You'll get an instant download of the album now, and you'll have your physical copy before vinyl is available anywhere else. Please also note that vinyl is not included in other/higher rewards packages unless specifically listed!

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    CD plus BACK TITLE
    Signed CD of Blood Test, plus a digital copy of any previous KD title.

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    CD PLUS DEMOS
    Advance signed copy of CD, plus a CD of KD's solo demos of the songs on BLOOD TEST. Demos CD will ONLY be available on Kickstarter.

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    THE OMNIVORE
    The new album on CD and VINYL (when it's released) plus digital download. If you also want it dubbed onto a crappy cassette tape, that can probably be arranged. Different times call for different formats. I understand.

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    GUEST LIST
    Signed CD of Blood Test shipped to you, plus guest list for two to any future KD performance of your choice. Come enjoy the show and say hi afterwards. Please note that tickets to shows ARE NOT included in other/higher rewards packages.

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    CD plus VINYL plus DEMOS CD (newly added)
    Signed CD & demos CD right away, vinyl when we have it.

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    THE MAVEN
    For those who want to share the love, 4 signed CDs to hand around to friends, plus the demos CD just for you.

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    TWO BOOKS I LOVE
    I'll send the signed CD, solo demos CD, and 2 of my favorite reads -you can specify fiction or poetry, or one of each- with a note about what they mean to me.

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    VINYL plus TWO BOOKS I LOVE I'll send the signed vinyl (when we get it), solo demos CD, and 2 of my favorite reads -you can specify fiction or poetry, or one of each- with a note about what they mean to me.

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    COMPULSIVE COMPLETIST - DIGITAL
    Downloads of my entire solo recording catalog.
    Plus digital downloads of CD and solo demos.

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    CD plus VINYL plus DEMOS CD plus TWO BOOKS I LOVE You asked for this combo and you got it. Specify fiction, poetry, or one of each and I will pick you winners w a note about why I love them.

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    MAVEN plus VINYL 4 signed CDs to share, one solo DEMOS CD, and a signed VINYL copy when we get them in.

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    COMPULSIVE COMPLETIST - PHYSICAL
    I've made it, you'll own it. Physical copies of my entire solo recording catalog (downloads too, if you want them). Plus CD and demos CD.

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    HANDWRITTEN LYRICS
    I'll write out the lyrics to any song of mine you choose with my own paws. I have never won a single penmanship award, and I can not promise I will not doodle in the margins.
    Plus CD and demos CD.

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    KD LISTENING CLUB
    Every month for a year I'll send you one CD (not by me) from my desert-island listening list, with a note about what each one means to me. Plus CD and demos CD.

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    COVER DEMO
    I will make a demo-quality home-recorded version of ANY SONG OF YOUR CHOICE.
    Always had a hankering to hear my version of Bohemian Rhapsody? Wind Beneath My Wings? Crazy Train? Here's your chance...I'm at your mercy. Careful what you wish for.

    Plus CD and demos CD.

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    GUEST LIST TIL 2024
    Attend unlimited KD shows with a guest for the next ten years! Plus CD and demos CD. This may not apply to selected shows outside our control, such as support slots, festivals, etc.

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    HOUSE CONCERT
    I will arrive on your doorstep (in the continental USA) at a mutually arranged time and play a show for your chosen ones. You're free to charge them any admission you choose to help offset costs. Any associated airfare may need to be added on to cost if we can't work it into an existing tour. Plus CD and demos CD.

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Funding period

- (30 days)