Bright, alt-country/pop-blues and seriously soulful
The plan is make a record that authentically and honestly comments on four main universal themes. Time, Loss, Pain and Faith.
The folks involved are as professional as it gets. Some quite well known. The idea is to best my 2008 record, which although Iam proud of many things about it, I feel fell short of the quality and accuracy I was shooting for. This record, I am confident hits the target. The anguish and torment, not to mention time and cost that goes with this attempt to make more than a casually fun record, is tough to describe. But rest assured I would not be following it's calling after five years in THIS particular musical and economic climate, if I didn't believe it it's higher purpose.
This time the songs have been put through the editing process over five years, and then yet again with the professional craftsmenship of my gifted producer Allan Lowe.
They underscore the import and brevity of our time here, they honor those we have lost, they uplift those who will follow us, they cry out for increased measures of faith in a time where we all need more faith than ever, they ask us to look more to what we have that can unite us instead of this crazy poison of political divide we live with. They look outward and they look inward, they look above and they look below.I invite YOU now HELP US make a worthwhile contribution to our collective dialogue.
Allan and I went into Skylab Studios on Jan. 25th of this year to record the material in an entirely acoustic format as a template demo for the great musicians who will be joining us. Beginning in just a few weeks we will begin laying the rhythm tracks. In April, we will track all guitars. In May, all lead and background vocals are scheduled, and June is slated for mixing and mastering.
The project is to be replicated and released in late July. Preliminary conversations with some key (and influencial) players raise the possibility of actually mixing the final cuts in Nashville, with some specific high level professionals, in an effort to support the material in a way it deserves.
The point of all this being folks, while we are certainly not attempting to make "Pet Sounds" or "Sgt. Peppers" we are in fact seeking to make an extremely professional record on EVERY conceivable level.
With YOUR help, in summary, the goal is to offer a record with "timely" (no pun intended) and topical observations everyone of us can find ourselves in, served by simple melodic arrangements, and informed with timeless musical styles like folk, rock, blues, country and gospel. The listeners time is not wasted. No cut will last longer than 4:30 and no filler lyrics or music is included.
I believe we are about to make a GREAT record that has something to say, while remaining terrifically listenable from start to finish. One YOU will honestly be able to say with pride, YOU helped produce!
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The only risks are potential recording delays. Recording involves people, and in this project we have commitmnets from six other musicians besides myself and not including studio staff, engineers etc. When you are in any group project, group members often face the unexpected challenges all of our lives bring! Ranging from schduling conflicts to head colds, having babies to financial crisis'es! So the potential is always there to delay certain sessions for small periods of time, as we move forward, in order to accomdate the unexpected.
But the folks involved on THIS record are seasoned professionals with stable lives, and studio experience, so we fully anticipate a very professional session schedule.
Other than the financial assistance we are asking for, and the potential of those afforementioned unexpected delays, we are facilitated with all we need to produce a great record on schedule.
This is a record of material that has been in the works well over five years. The songs themsleves have weathered the test of time, and I believe they are a train bound for its destination, almost with or without me! This record will indeed be made!
What do backer's need to know about the 2008 release "One Or The Other"? Can it be heard by potential backers today?
I'm very proud of that record. It came right out of our pockets, and we never went into a real studio to cut it. That was entirely recorded in my own "back room" studio, with an HD16. Later some overdubs were done on Pro Tools by Jeff (Jeff Sims Producer) and he then mixed it down that way himself. We mastered it at Crescendo Studios here in town, but other than that we built it from the ground up And I learned lesson #1...THE ARTIST HAS TO BE IN THE MIXING PROCESS!!! It was my first time going "behind the curtain" as Bob Dylan says with respect to songwriting. The songs all came from a very honest place, and I poured my spirit into iot literally. I told MY story , and testified. But I was five years less musically competent then! I hadn't started the brutal but rewarding trek towards "crafting" songs. The material was the best I could offer with what I had at the time though. But my biggest regret, maybe my only actual regret really, is my vocals. Not because of pride or insecurity, but because I "choked", and what I settled on ended up nothing like my normal voice. Jeff thought it best not to apply the "always used" Auto Tune feature in the tracking, so there is no adjustment to bad pitch or poor dnamics. What you hear is as raw as it gets I promise. That part is actually a cool badge of honor because unless your Tom Waits etc. today, it's just not done that vulnerably. So in that organic way, it's as honest as honest can be. But I was totally freaked by the posterity of laying a vocal track, and just reached way too far for some other voice that isn't my own! Live and learn, and Ive since recorded what I feel are much better vocalks with "Right side Up", as well as singing live now with those guys consistently for 5 years. So on one hand it (One or The Other) proved to be a great step in the whole learning process, but on the other hand the wierd vocal really stands in the way of the material, to me, as a distraction from what I still think is a good collection of genre crossing compositions. Songs that came from a very very broken place, and in the end was really my statement of faith. My belief in things hoped for but not seen. Its available on Itunes too, even now. But Thats another lesson. Ive made back about 30% of what it cost me to make from Itunes (which by the way was more than our target budget on this one) ...and thats not Itunes fault its mine, because Iam raising a family and cant/won't leave them to tour and support it. Itunes actually generated a shocking amount of sales, mostly from outside the US... from Japan, Italy and sweden!! But by sales I mean "units sold" or more aptly "singles sold". The artist gets back less than 15 cents for that 99 cent (now $ 1.29) song of mine, folks kindly purchased. So the only way to recoup money at all on a record is to be a road dog and to support it live, and sell units afterwards. Which again is just not a realistic approach for me right now. So the hope is Kickstarter will provide a "break even" type of support labels provided back in the glory days:)
Yes, to an extent. The traditional concept of "record sales" is extinct. No record stores, no record sales, therefore no "record deals". Labels are mostly an archaic concept, and radio (non sattelite) is dead. The only way an artist can possibly sell his/her material is digital outlets, and playing live at shows. My stage of life does not easily accomodate any touring. Live shows, if any will be limited. Bottom line is, the record is made more to be enjoyed and to do what any decent art form should, provoke, inspire, and stir.
Writers write, Painters paint, photographers photograph, etc. and musicians make music. Any of us blessed (cursed) with the gift and passion to "say something" through songwriting, inexplicably, feel like we have little choice. The upswell of the material within that gestates like a volcano just before eruption, is hard to describe to those who don't share it. Perhaps its a need for attention, to be listened to, maybe its an egotistical thing where we are dillusional in thinking we have something of "import" to share from a platform, I would never deny those two very real possibilities. But equally possible is that you are being "given" things over the spiritual airwaves that mysteriously need to be shared. If even one person is moved even the smallest distace toward faith, instead of despair, toward the hope that springs from the community music provides (as it did for ME) ...toward the truth that we ALLswim in the same mud, and we are never alone, then it's an honour to be able to do this.We live in such a "dumbed-down" Paris Hilton age, where we equate notoriety with import. I am blessed to play with Allan Lowe in the prisons once a month to share hope and faith, and God's love with isolated inmates. We play ONLY for the imprisoned. No one but no one(outside of family & close frinds) hardly, knows we do it, so there is ZERO notoriety. But I can say with confidence, what goes on in those visits and concerts, is far more important than 99.99% of anything even in the highest level of showbiz. So like most things, what we SEE and then THINK subsequently, isn't always what we THINK it IS! God works in mysterious ways as they say;)...Then again I might just love the attention:)
I am really not sure! Quite likely they may not. I don't have any interest in birdwatching, so I am not likely to spend on a bird feeder even what I'd spend on a six pack of Sam Adams! But I do LOVE music. I am hoping anybody who has a sincere interest ( and an INTELLIGENT/INFORMED interest) in music would understand the state of music today and how exactly ANY of it gets heard. The stuff presented in shiny gift wrapping on Television shows, or on FM radio today is worse than uninspired, its "paid for- test markketed-anesthesia" usually the result of hiogh dollar back room deals and entirely in the spirit of profiteering. Art and those ideals conected to it (see question #2) couldn't be farther from the sausage making process today. Its 100% about disposable noise to accompany sexualization, misogyny, ignorant world views, and the lowest common denominator of topics. Reducto Absurdum. But good music is being produced and made in no less ways than it was in 1968. There are no shortage of artists with something to say, in mad love passionately inspired ways, and WITH amazing musical ability. They are simply denied the same access and development Charles Hammond once provided Bob Dylan, Billie Holliday, Bruce Springsteen and others. Those days as we said, are GONE. So artists pay for it themselves, and as in my case in 2008, we actually lose money on these projects. So financially supporting anyones effort to make a record is simply one way to put your love of real music with action. Whether we raise the funds for this record or not, I love this idea that we have a way to spit in the face of the machinery that has successfull marginalized real musicians and real musical artistry. I am hopeful there will many givers of small amounts, small rocks that make up a boulder, and that we will receive the assistance we need. But if not, organizations like kickstarter are counter punching American Idol and Jay Z. And that, in the bigger picture, is much more important than whether or not MY project gets funded.