About this project
Welcome to Shadow Waltz's Kickstarter page! We are so thrilled about this album we're making and are just looking for some additional financial help to see it through.
For those of you not yet familiar with us, Shadow Waltz is a blues, country, soul duo comprised of me, Christine Laskowski, and Jose Moreno. He and I met at Berklee College of Music in Boston. It was a bright, wintery day and I asked Jose, who I'd never seen or met before, standing nearby for a light. Soon we got to talking about the music we enjoyed playing and learned that we had a lot in common. He played guitar and loved finger-picking Delta blues. I played banjo, loved singing and oldies country music. We decided that given the circumstances we should probably get together and jam sometime and about a week later we did. I remember initially playing covers of songs that we liked, and soon we moved on to songs we had written ourselves. That was truly the defining moment, I think, because we each came with songs and those songs found a compliment, a counterpart in the other's. Jose played me "It's Not The End Of The World," and I remembered thinking both how haunting and beautiful the lyrics were, and how damn catchy it was. I played him some of my songs, one of them for certain being "Best in a Dress," which is also going to be on the album. He started singing the harmony to the chorus and without any effort or to-do, our music just blended in this really easy and inspired way. It was incredible.
Click above to hear 'Man and a Ghost'
The idea of having a band and recording an album came later, but not too much later. We started with two to three original songs each, some more complete than others, and soon embarked on this journey to arrange them, come up with lyrics, better intros and outros and bridges. People often ask us if we write our songs together. I suppose the simple answer would be no. The ideas come individually, but the improvements happen as a pair. We've written a lot of new songs this past year and we know damn well they're l better because of what the other contributes.
Shadow Waltz has been an important musical step for me, and for Jose as well. I know for myself personally, being new to the banjo (and new to playing an instrument other than my voice as well) and having never had to lead a band before, this album was a significant departure from roles I'd played in bands and albums in the past. I feel that this album represents the music I want to make more accurately than ever before. I've had the pleasure of watching Jose grow more and more comfortable singing and performing and really develop as a songwriter.
Click above to listen to 'Unless I Leap'
We've worked hard and steadily during the past year to record the album, but we've reached a juncture where a substantial adjustment our budget would make an enormous difference, both in terms of paying studio musicians for string and horn parts, mastering and CD printing, for instance.
We're not setting our fundraising goal as high as some looking to fund their records. In reality, ours is a low estimate and about 1/2 of what our ideal fundraising goal would be. However, we looked closely on what we could get by on and for $2,000 (10% of that will go to Amazon and Kickstarter fees, so we're adding it to our total fundraising goal, hence $2,200) we would get the minimum of what we needed funding for, which is better than not having minimum funding at all. That said, we are hoping to reach beyond our fundraising goal so that we can afford to pay for better things all around, like say, an entire string quartet or all of the horn players we would like, the ability to hire the best person available to master the album and give it a professional, radio-ready sound, jewel cases for our CDs rather than jackets, and a photographer to take the photos for the album artwork. We don't absolutely need them, but we thought the fair thing would be that if you see value in those things, your support'll reflect it. Of course, if we are fortunate enough to go well beyond our fundraising goal, we plan on using it to help fund cross-country tours, to help get ourselves on radio stations across the US, and to have help with publicizing the band.
We encourage you all to follow-up on tracks in-progress we have on Facebook, SoundCloud, and our website. We've posted a few on this page for you to listen to as well, to give you some idea of what we're trying to achieve.
Christine and Jose of Shadow Waltz
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- (30 days)