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MIXTAPE, Mark Erelli's new covers record, features his take on a wide variety of material drawn from his annual Under The Covers show.
MIXTAPE, Mark Erelli's new covers record, features his take on a wide variety of material drawn from his annual Under The Covers show.
607 backers pledged $42,549 to help bring this project to life.

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Mark Erelli made you a MIXTAPE. project video thumbnail
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How many of you out there fondly remember the mixtape? More than just a collection of songs by various artists, a mixtape had a sense of purpose--commemorating shared times, cheering someone up, or simply just telling someone "these are songs that I love." Mixtapes intimately confided in others, telegraphing emotions we weren't confident enough to put into words. With juuuuust the right group of songs, you could indelibly capture the memory of a certain summer or let someone know you wanted to be more than "just friends."

A certain level of craftsmanship and dedication was required to make a good mixtape. Before we dragged, dropped and streamed, songs were recorded off of other LPs or cassettes, or taped as they were broadcast on the radio. Labels were intricately lettered in your coolest possible handwriting, and adorned with scraps from magazines or hand-drawn images. In an age before instant gratification, making a mixtape was an investment in the power of music in our everyday lives.

For my 11th solo record, I have made you a MIXTAPE and I love you so much I took 13 years to make it. 

For over a decade now, I have looked forward all year to my annual Under The Covers concerts each December at Club Passim in Cambridge MA. These perenially sold-out shows have featured the likes of Lori McKenna, Jake Armerding, Zachariah Hickman and Rose Cousins in-the-round, performing songs by other artists. They are fun and wide-ranging celebrations of the music we love, as likely to feature songs by Joni Mitchell or Bob Seger, as others by Sir Mix-A-Lot or Journey. For MIXTAPE, I drew upon some of my favorite songs that I've performed at these shows over the years. It's kind of like mixtape with just one artist singing all the songs. Or think of it as a greatest hits...of songs that aren't my hits. 

I recorded MIXTAPE at Great North Sound Society up in Maine, spending three and a half days singing live in the studio with a small group of friends (and fellow members of Josh Ritter's band) backing me up. Whether it was a song that was a colossal hit in the 80's or a more obscure track from a cult favorite singer/songwriter, I threw everything I had into these performances. The idea was to unleash my voice, in a way that my own material might not allow. I'm proud to say that in 18 years of making records, you have never heard me sing quite like this.

If you've been a fan of what I've done over the last 18 years...you should KICK this record. 

If you love interesting and surprising cover songs...you should KICK this record. 

If you love to discover great new music...you should KICK this record. 

If you want to support truly independent art made with love, care and integrity...you should KICK this record. 

If you're one of those people who really like details (and a better idea of where all the money goes), check out this rough budget below...and then you should KICK this record!

  • Musicians - $9,000
  • Studio & Engineer - $2,900
  • Mixing & Mastering - $3,200
  • Songwriter/Publisher Royalties - $2,800
  • CD/LP Manufacturing - $5,250
  • Radio Promotion & Publicity - $12,000
  • Album Release Tour Support - $2,000

(This comes to a little over $37K, and I still need to pay Kickstarter's fees) 

I could go on and on, but I'd rather not. The bottom line is that there is currently no other viable model for me to get this project out to you, let alone give it a shot at getting it heard by new fans. But if I don't raise all the to meet my Kickstarter campaign goal, then I don't get any of the funds you pledged. It's all or nothing, so let's do this.

If you have as much faith and trust in me as I do in you, we're gonna be fine. Thanks, as ever, for the privilege of your continued support. 

-mark

 

Risks and challenges

I've been doing this 18 years now. I'm not a household name, but I'm a reliable bet as far as putting out a quality product and working hard to get it heard. I'm not a flake and while there may be times I have a lot of balls up in the air, I am not going to drop any.

These days, with more music being released than ever, the hardest part about putting a new record out is getting folks to listen to it. I had originally envisioned this as a more low-key (and less expensive) project just for my fans. But as I got deeper into the record, I realized that this was something that deserved more. It's still for you, but it is also serves as a potentially powerful introduction to new groups of people who aren't yet familiar with my music. In order for the record to be heard, I have to hire radio promoters and publicists. They are the largest chunk of my expenses, but they are great folks that I've worked with before and I know they will do their damnedest to make sure the record takes flight.

Other than the risk of indifferent ears, the other potential issues are really fairly minor. It might take me awhile to draw a picture of your house, or to schedule a house concert if you live outside of New England. But this is my third Kickstarter, and I'm learning more each time about improving the experience for my backers.

YOU literally mean everything to me. If there are any problems that need solving, anything that needs to be made right, you only have to contact me and I will make it so.

You have my word.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    The "I Will Always Love You"

    I will always love you, Mark, just not enough to actually buy the whole album.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    The "Higher Ground"

    Get a DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of MIXTAPE, in mp3 or your choice of hi-resolution formats, well before it's available to the general public.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    The "Brown Eyed Girl"

    Get an autographed copy of MIXTAPE on CD, shipped to you well before it's available to the general public. [NOTE: This & all higher reward levels INCLUDES DIGITAL DOWNLOAD for immediate gratification.]

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    The "Sweet Caroline"

    Get an autographed copy of MIXTAPE on CD, plus digital downloads of 3 exclusive BONUS TRACKS that didn't make the album. (I can't tell you what they are, but if you live in MN, NJ or TX then you're likely a fan of the extra artists I covered.)

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    The "Old Time Rock & Roll"

    Kick it old school & listen to MIXTAPE on VINYL! Records take a while to get pressed & but I think I can get these to you by Christmas (hint hint).

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    The "With A Little Help From My Friends"

    Get a signed CD of MIXTAPE shipped to you, plus a digital download of a sampler of cover songs from previous years of my UNDER THE COVERS show (featuring Jake Amerding, Zachariah Hickman, Rose Cousins & Lori McKenna).

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    The "All Along The Watchtower"

    Get a signed CD of MIXTAPE shipped to you, plus a 20-song digital compilation of HERE & THERE: RARE TRACKS & OUTTAKES from radio interviews, live shows, demo sessions, etc.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    The "Proud Mary"

    Get a signed CD of MIXTAPE shipped to you, plus a digital download of out-of print debut 1995 EP LONELY TOWN & 1997 full-length album LONG WAY FROM HEAVEN. Hear where it all began & marvel at how far I've come!

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    The "I Heard It Through The Grapevine"

    Get a signed CD of MIXTAPE shipped to you, plus 3 EXTRA COPIES of the new CD to pass out to friends & family that you think might enjoy my music.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    The "Sweet Jane"

    Get an autographed copy of MIXTAPE on CD, plus a copy of MIXTAPE on CASSETTE! Each tape will be autographed, and features original artwork & song titles hand-lettered by yours truly. Just like in high school.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    The "Wild Horses"

    Get a signed CD of MIXTAPE shipped to you, plus 5.6.17, an OFFICIAL BOOTLEG of a magical show at the legendary Club Passim, featuring Zachariah Hickman on upright bass & Deni Hlavinka on vocals.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    The "Walk This Way"

    Get a signed CD of MIXTAPE shipped to you, plus a a DVD of the long-promised-but-never-officially-released documentary on the making of ME's "The Memorial Hall Recordings." This hour-long program, which aired on select PBS stations in 2002-2003, features behind the scenes footage from the sessions, interviews & more. This reward also includes the digital MIXTAPE BONUS TRACKS.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    The "Take It Easy"

    Get a signed CD of MIXTAPE shipped to you, plus TWO (2) GUEST LIST TICKETS to a ME headlining show of your choice* & pre-show MEET & GREET with Mark.

    *This may not apply to some shows outside of my control (sideman gigs, festivals, etc.). Please note that tickets to shows ARE NOT included in other/higher rewards packages.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    The "Thing Called Love"

    Get a signed CD of MIXTAPE shipped to you, plus the exclusive 10-song digital compilation THE FIRST DECADE (VOL. 1), featuring NEW SOLO, ACOUSTIC RECORDINGS of songs from albums released in my first decade as a professional musician. Volume 1 features selections from Mark Erelli, Compass & Companion, The Memorial Hall Recordings & Hillbilly Pilgrim. This reward also includes the MIXTAPE BONUS TRACKS.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    The "Somewhere Over The Rainbow"

    Two (2) tickets to an exclusive & intimate PRIVATE SHOW in Somerville MA on Sunday Nov 12. I'll be joined by MIXTAPE producer Zachariah Hickman on upright bass & we'll play the whole album acoustically, plus who knows what else. Everyone who comes to the show gets a signed copy of MIXTAPE on CD. Road trip!

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    The "Nothing Compares 2 U"

    Get TWO (2) signed CDs of MIXTAPE shipped to you, plus HANDWRITTEN LYRICS to one of my songs for you, suitable for framing. If there's a certain song of mine that means a lot to you or someone else, this is the perfect gift. I somehow manage to have both painstakingly neat AND very cool handwriting...it's like I write in my own font. Everyone says so.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    The "Hazy Shade Of Winter"

    Get TWO (2) signed CDs of MIXTAPE shipped to you, plus I'll record a special, solo acoustic COVER SONG OF YOUR CHOICE & send you the mp3. Ever wanted to hear me sing "Free Bird?" Me neither, but it's your money.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    The "Me & Bobby McGee"

    Get TWO (2) signed CDs of MIXTAPE shipped to you, plus...did you know I'm pretty good at pen & ink illustration? It's true. Send me a photo of your house & I'll send you back an original PEN & INK DRAWING OF YOUR HOME, signed by me (no larger than 8"x10" frame). I obsess over capturing every little detail (shocker!), so if you live in a brick house I may end up hating you just a tiny bit.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    The "Killing Me Softly"

    Get TWO (2) signed CDs of MIXTAPE shipped to you, plus the HERE & THERE compilation (outtakes & live tracks), 5.6.17 OFFICIAL BOOTLEG (live show from Club Passim) & THE FIRST DECADE, (VOL. 1) (new solo, acoustic recordings from 1st 4 records).

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    The "Hard To Handle"

    Get TWO (2) signed CDs of MIXTAPE shipped to you, plus a ONE-ON-ONE SKYPE/FACETIME session. We can talk about guitar tips, songwriting critique, politics, etc. Probably will last 30+ minutes, but let's see how it goes. Also includes the MIXTAPE BONUS TRACKS.

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    The "Blinded By The Light"

    Get TWO (2) signed CDs of MIXTAPE shipped to you, plus...are you a singer/songwriter working on a recording of your own material? You send me a track you've been working on, we'll discuss what approach you're looking for & I'll add OVERDUBS in my home studio! Could be anything from harmony vocals, guitars, mandolin, lap steel, harmonica or simple percussion. Might take a bit to make it happen, but I'll do everything I can to work with any deadline you may be under. I'll also throw in the MIXTAPE BONUS TRACKS & THE FIRST DECADE (VOL. 1).

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    The "Hallelujah"

    Get THREE (3) signed CDs of MIXTAPE shipped to you, plus I will show up on your doorstep (in the continental USA) at a mutually arranged time to play a SOLO CONCERT AT YOUR HOUSE for you & your friends.* You're free to charge them admission to offset costs. If you're in New England, we can make this work with any of my local tour dates. Outside New England, travel costs are not included & additional funds may be needed to cover travel, or we can wait til my regular touring takes me through your area. Also includes the MIXTAPE BONUS TRACKS, HERE & THERE compilation & THE FIRST DECADE (VOL. 1).

    *Please invite friends: a show in your home for just you would be kinda creepy, no?

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Funding period

- (30 days)