Greetings to all my potential funders!
I'm Mr. Whirly of The WhirlyGigs, and I make hand clappin', toe-tappin "bright-bluesy" kids's music - that you're gonna love!
I've been playing music and writing songs all my life. When I was younger I dreamed it would be my 'career', but you know what they say about "best laid plans". Then, when my daughter Lila (aka 'The Boo') was about one year old, I had the privilege of being a stay-at-home dad - and the 3 years that followed have totally changed the course of my life...maybe not "changed" it so much, as - helped it to bloom.
Every day, I'd pack up the stroller with blankets and bottles and burp cloths to bring to the park, but I would also bring a guitar or ukelele, a shaker or a tambourine! I'd sing children's ditties and noodle around making music - encouraging the Boo to bounce along and play with the instruments. Before long, the songwriter in my brain kicked in, and I realized an opportunity to bring 2 things I love into one focus.
When I started looking into independent kids music, or "Kindie" as it's called - I was amazed by what's out there. Reggae, Ska, Blues, Funk - all geared towards kids - but keeping an ear out for parents who want to Rock. Then one weekend the family went to a big music festival that had an amazing "Kids Tent" with a full roster of Kindie Bands I'd just discovered - and the lightbulb went on.
I find lyrics in everyday tasks, and the ever present love that is parenting. I mean, how do you get a kid to eat his vegetables? --- make it a conga! (Portobello Mushroom) How many times can you tell me you want more dessert? - Let's write a song about it! (The Dessert Song)...Have you figured out gravity and animal noises yet? - Let's give it a whirl. (Tickle Machine)
When I had a handful of songs I thought were ready to record - I went into the studio and produced a four song EP called Tickle Machine.
The response was overwhelming! The blend of comedy and poignancy, adult hooks and kid groovy rhythms delighted audiences and got me gigs at Museums, farmer's markets, music festivals, and more.
My desire was always to create music that you would want to play for your kids. Not to distract them, but to engage them! The waylistening to music together deepens the way we connect in the moment, and creates long lasting memories.
Greetings From Cloud 9 is The WhirlyGigs' first full-length album. It was produced by Grammy Award winner Dean Jones at the infamous No Parking Studios. These 12 songs are a slap-happy romp through the joys of being BOTH a kid, AND a parent. They are full of stories, memories, food groups, lessons, and love.
THIS IS WHERE YOU COME IN! Making a studio album is hard work and a lot of expenses. The good news is the album is "In the can"! (which means it's finished).
BUT I NEED YOUR HELP TO PAY FOR
• CD PRODUCTION - which includes all the amazing artwork from award winning children's book Illustrator Barbara DiLorenzo. And pressing 1000 CD's in a 6 panel eco-wallet made from post consumer recycled stock - and non-toxic, vegetable based inks.
• PUBLICITY & MARKETING - Like my dad always said: "Know what you're good at, and get help with the other stuff!"... and so I've had the great fortune to work with the amazing folks at Nugget Island and Little Cloud Management - to help "get the word out" - but it's just the tip of the iceberg.
• TRAVEL COSTS - "But I have Whirly Gigs to keep - and miles to go before I sleep ..... and miles to go before I sleep..." Ok. So I'm paraphrasing. But in addition to PR and Social Media - without an active touring schedule (and an amazing community of KS contributors!) - the only way to spread the love and Whirlyness - is to hit the road!. Between June and August this summer I will have played over 20 tour dates in 6 states!
• PROMOTION - Tattoos, Stickers, Wildflower sprouting download cards, T-Shirts, and all the rest cost moola. But they also support the experience of The Whirlygigs! Come to a show - and take a little Whirlygigs home with ya!
"It takes a village", and I'm here on Kickstarter asking you to be my village. Your support of this project ensures that it will reach the terrestrial and satellite airwaves coast to coast and around the world! You will be a part of sharing The WhirlyGigs with families around the world, and for that, I will be forever grateful.
Yours in the Whirl,
$5 - Tattoo Pack - kids love Tattoos. Right? (And bubbles). The Whirly Tattoo pack features artwork from both WhirlyGigs album. Like the banner above - or the Owl flying a plane (my favorite).
$10 - Download Cards - If you prefer downloading your music, then let me say extra thanks for supporting artists and paying to listen. Its huge. So I hope that you also like soil. Because WhirlyGig download cards are made from 100% post consumer junk mail AND they're embedded with wildflower seeds. After you redeem the card, you can tear it up and plant it in soil. G'head. Grow some wildflowers. Mr. Whirly approves. Download cards are easy to use, the size of a credit card, and feature artwork from the album.
$15 - The Album Itself - Made from recycled board stock, and without any plastic - the 6 panel eco-wallet uses non-toxic vegetable based biodegradable inks - to showcase the beautiful art work of award winning children's illustrator - Barbara DiLorenzo. (Who just happens to be my old high school friend! )
12 tracks, 35minutes long and I guarantee you'll end up dancing in your stockings!
$50 -T-Shirts - The WhirlyGigs are all about 'Au-Natural' and the T-shirts are no exception! 100% certified organic, cotton jersey, dyed with environmentally friendly dyes. (we're still working on the design - but here are a few ideas!)
$75 - Custom T-Shirts - Still 100% percent cotton, but this one has your name on it! On the back of this T-shirt will be ALL the names of people who donated at the $75 dollar level - and all the people who have helped The WhirlyGigs come to life.
$100 - Bulk Discount - Give the gift of music! Get a significant savings when you buy 10 copies of 'Greetings from Cloud 9'. This package may not have all the bells and whistles (or T-shirts and download cards) - of the other packages --- but it's the PERFECT way to stock up on presents!
$150 - From the Stage in my Living Room - There's nothing like having an audience! So why don't you come over?, 'virtually that is' (via web cam app of your choosing) I'll perform for you and whoever else is on the other end of that camera! - Check out my little stage!
$250 - HOUSE PARTY! - Got a birthday or a celebration coming up and live within a few hours of Boston! - I'll bring my whole one man band and show you how to get Whirly! -- Drums with my feet, banjo in my hands, harmonica at the ready! It's a good time! And thank you so much!!
$300 - ART COLLECTOR - If you believe like I do, that art on the wall gives a room feeling - then get happy - because you'll receive a limited edition print on archival museum grade stock, of a piece of artwork from Greetings from Cloud 9.
$500 - YOUR SONG - A most special and unique gift in which we collaborate on the kind of song you'd like to write, the story you want to tell, and who you're writing to. It can be a son or daughter, mom or dad, Grammy or Pops. I'll write you a song and record it at my home studio.
Contributing $$ is a big thing -- and It's so great that you've read all the way down to here. Supporting the arts and indie artists is just plain good karma. Music is something that connects us all. Well, that and having kids! So I hope you'll contribute and become a fan, and love the music, and see a show, and say "HI! I CONTRIBUTED TO YOUR KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN!" - And we'll be fast friends.
Risks and challenges
The biggest down side to not supporting this campaign, is that The WhirlyGigs may never reach a wider audience. This is real music with heart and soul, and a mission to bring families together and deepen their shared experience of listening.
This section of the campaign is called "Risks & Challenges", where we talk about the risks inherent in any endeavor involving the creative process and capital investment. But in true Whirly fashion, I've gone about a little differently.
I like to think, I took care of the 'Risk' part. Meaning, to make a record is a leap of faith, and I needed to take that leap no matter what! When I say above, "The Album is in the can" - I mean - it's available now for digital distribution.
Which brings us to the 'Challenge' part of 'Risks and Challenges'. Without this campaign, without your support, without this village of parents, grandparents, educators and music lovers, the mission of the WhirlyGigs - to bring families together - will not be realized. Your dollars go to • Production • Publicity • Marketing • Touring Costs & • Promotion.
Your challenge is to spread the word. Kickstarter is more than a funding platform, it's a 'Make-it-happen' platform, with a community investing in the greater good. So let's make The WhirlyGigs 'happen'!
All my thanks,
- (37 days)