How it began...
It was a Sunday afternoon, October 2nd, 2011 when I boarded the plane. Seattle to Nashville, the second out of two trips that I made in 2011. My friend and now manager Aaron, who I had met once and gotten to know over a few emails and phone calls, answers the phone again and says "Welcome to Nashville, I sent you an email with all of your meetings for the week. The first one is a co-writing session tomorrow at 10 a.m., the guy's name is Neil Mason and it will either be really good, or really bad."
I hung up the phone and sat down at my laptop in my hotel room and google'd: Neil Mason Nashville. I found a long haired songwriter/drummer who's rock band had been touring with people like Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top. At first I freaked out. I didn't know what a "co-writing session" even meant and I was so intimidated by what I found on this guy that I actually bing'd his name again just to double check. Sure enough I had found the right dude, and the very next morning I was knocking on his basement door at 10:03 a.m. adjusting my belt buckle on my cool new True Religion jeans that my mom bought me, hoping that I was going to be "cool enough" to write a song with him. After three minutes of being in the house talking to Neil I realized that I was being completely ridiculous. He was extremely humble and amazingly kind. We wrote two songs that week and it is safe to say Neil and I became friends very quickly.
After a few months went by I was looking for a place to live in Nashville so I called Neil. He's the guy behind the 8mm camera (iphone app) in the video above. The whole idea for this project began with a few songs that he and I wrote together over the course of the last six months. We put together six of the best songs that I have written with other writers from around the world and began mapping out what will be my fourth studio effort as an independent artist.
What it will say...
An American Story is an EP made up of six songs. At the root of each song are big themes and ideas. Hope, Motivation, Patriotism, Youth, and Inequality to name a few. I want to portray what exists in the heart of every person by finding the good in life's difficult circumstances.
Musically the songs touch upon multiple genre's, yet lyrically they are similar in a way that makes them belong to each other.
Here is a worktape of a tune called "Till The End" Neil and I wrote that week in October...
To me "Till The End" is an anthem for the worker that wakes up to the grind day in and day out. This song along with five others like it will be on the EP.
We will be recording in the first two weeks of July at Sound Emporium Studios in Nashville, TN.
Other projects that have been recorded there include: Robert Plant/Alison Krauss - Raising Sand. R.E.M - Document Willie Nelson - Heroes. Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Mark O'Connor - Appalachia Waltz Kenny Chesney - Lucky Old Sun and Just Who I Am: Poets and Pirates Gillian Welch - Hell Among The Yearlings The Soundtrack to: O' Brother Where Art Thou.
The instrumentation will be recorded over the course of two days and will include live vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano, bass, drums and percussion. After tracking is done we will do any overdubs and background vocals in the third and fourth day and begin mixing on the fifth and sixth day. After all the tracking and mixing is finished the songs will be mastered and sent to be pressed in August. The entire EP will be released in the Fall of 2012.
Who will listen...
The only way that it can be heard is if it is recorded, but more importantly the only way people will listen is if they are told about it.
The studio has been booked, $8,000 will be just enough to record, mix, and master the EP. With every bone in my body I believe that this project will succeed. I believe in kickstarter and I believe in you.
If you believe in this project please share it with anyone and everyone you think will believe in it too.
Thank you for your support and for making my American Story come true.
-Austin vanBroekhoven Jenckes
- (25 days)