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Zephaniah & The 18 Wheelers Debut record– This Highway- Produced by Luca Benedetti & Jim Campilongo
126 backers pledged $7,202 to help bring this project to life.

About

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photo credit : RAY FOLEY @ www.grain-pictures.com
photo credit : RAY FOLEY @ www.grain-pictures.com

Hey folks. My name is Zephaniah, and together with my band The 18 Wheelers, we have recorded the basic live tracks of an album of original material I have written over the course of the last year.

After spending the last couple years with The 18 Wheelers performing old truck driving music from the likes of Red Simpson, Dave Dudley, Del Reeves, Red Sovine and more, I began to write songs inspired by the spirit of this music, as well as songs from my own experiences. I've also drawn heavily from the large collection of golden era country and western LPs I've amassed over the years; greats such as Merle Haggard, Marty Robbins, Carl Smith, Wynn Stewart, Johnny Paycheck, Ray Price, and Ernest Tubb.

The incredible musicians of The 18 Wheelers have brought these songs to life with great respect for the tradition, and we've captured the sound and spirit of the music in just the way I had imagined. I hope you'll join us in getting this music out into the world.

About the Band

The 18 Wheelers
The 18 Wheelers

The 18 Wheelers first came together when I mentioned to guitarist Jim Campilongo after one of his performances at Rockwood Music Hall  that I wanted to perform some classic truck-drivin' country material. “How's tomorrow?!” he shot back. I called up some friends and put the band together there and then. The rehearsal went so well I booked a gig shortly thereafter, and we haven't pumped the brakes since.

Let me introduce you to the musicians on this album:

The Producers : I am more than thrilled to have these two gentlemen producing the record. Luca Benedetti (Co-Producer) and Jim Campilongo (Co-producer) have many years of experience in the recording studio, and are true masters of their craft. Reflected in their guitar playing, and their deep knowledge of the american songbook. I couldn't have asked for a better team to work with.

Luca and Jim
Luca and Jim

Jim Campilongo (Co-Producer / electric guitar) : Jim is truly a world-class guitarist and country music aficionado, and has worked with numerous award winning artists including, Norah Jones, Cake, Nels Cline (of Wilco), Honeyfingers and more. Jim has achieved cult like status among guitar players around the world and is a contributing editor at Guitar Player magazine.  

Jon Graboff  (pedal steel guitar) : One of the best pedal steel players around, Jon has worked with everyone from Willie Nelson to David Byrne to Phil Lesh to Shooter Jennings to Noel Gallagher, a member of The Cardinals  to...well, you get the point. 

Roy Williams (piano & vocals) : Multi-instrumentalist Roy Williams is best known for his guitar work with Stephane Wrembel and with his own band The Human Hands, but plays hard-driving country piano with us. 

Scott Colberg (bass) : Scott has played with some of New York's finest musical residents, and many of the local country & western bands in town. 

Nick "Crime" Anderson (drums): A veteran of the NYC jazz and improv scenes, Nick lends us his talent when he's not on the road with guitar virtuoso Stephane Wrembel. 

John Shannon (acoustic guitar)  John is an up and coming session and live guitar player in the New York scene. And has been the talk of the town with his expert playing in The Human Hands and for his rare masterful finger style guitar skills. 

Luca Benedetti (Co-Producer / Electric guitar )  Not only is Luca producing the album, he is lending his incredible guitar skills to sweeten the deal. Luca has played with many greats including, Ron Carter, Kenny Wolleson, Jason Loughlin Group, North of Amarillo, Honeyfingers and The National Reserve. 

 additional musicians on the sessions :

Alex Hargreaves (Fiddle) - An award winning fiddle player who has taken New York City by storm and has toured around the world. As well as regular appearances on Austin City Limits and The Grand Ole Opry.  David Grisman, says "Alex is destined to be one of the fiddle giants of the 21st century." 

"Sleepy" Mike Barnett (Fiddle) - A Nashville native and child prodigy on the Fiddle. Mike was a Virginia Boy with the legendary Jesse McReynolds and his Virginia Boys band, as well as making regular appearances on "The Grand Ole Opry, and touring with The David Grisman Sextet. 

Veronica Davila (Vocals) :  Since moving from Seattle, Veronica has become part of the fabric of the New York City music scene. She is a highly skilled and studied vocalist who is providing beautiful vocal harmonies! 

Now after almost two years of performing around some of New York City's best venues (Rockwood Music Hall, The Living Room, Union Pool, The Bell House, Sunny’s Bar, Brooklyn Country Music Fest) and sharing the stage with some of the best national country acts (Dale Watson, Nikki Lane, Poundcake etc) the time has come for us to reach out to a wider audience.

Why I need your help: 

Working out arrangements
Working out arrangements

We have spent countless hours making these songs the best they can be arrangement wise. I have invested all of my resources and personal savings into the costs of the record up to this point. As you may or may not know, making a professional record of this quality is NOT cheap, and requires much time and effort from every person involved behind the scenes. With your help, I know we can finish the record and get it out to the world! 

We finished all the live tracking with the full band in Studio A at The Bunker, one of the finest studios in Brooklyn, NY. I can proudly say this is already shaping up to be an amazing record, and myself and the fellas have put their heart and soul into this music. 

Now I need your help to finish the production and take it the last mile!

Minimum Goal: $6,000 This will cover costs of 2 days for edits and overdubs, 3 days of mixing and paying the musicians and engineers a respectable compensation for their skill and time. As well as the cost of tape. This would go such a long way into helping us finish this record. And we would be eternally grateful if you got involved. 

...but it won't get us all the way there.

 Stretch Goal #1: $7,000 In addition to mixing and overdubs this will guarentee we are able to get professional mastering which can run $100 and up per song. (at the current time we have 12 potential songs to master) 

Stretch Goal #2: $8,000 This will cover production of CD's, and other materials as part of the rewards program.  

Big Goal: $10,000 This will cover all the extra miscellaneous costs and manpower, and will also allow us to afford a humble PR run. This is crucial for getting reviews, interviews, and radio play for the record, and allows us to share the music with as many folks as we can. 

The fellas listening back to our work so far!
The fellas listening back to our work so far!

Risks and challenges

The major risks and challenges are that physical production may be delayed in the process of manufacturing. All of the musicians on this record are professionals who have a lot of experience in the studio. So I can say with confidence we WILL finish the musical production side of this project.
And I am determined to go to the last mile to finish this piece of work. It's been a lifelong dream of mine, and now I'm fortunate enough to be surrounded by such pros! And with YOUR help, it will be sooner than later!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    BIG WHEEL: Physical This Highway CD and digital download

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    THIS HIGHWAY - Vinyl LP Pre-order

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    BLACK COFFEE: Limited edition Zephaniah and The 18 Wheelers Coffee mug + This Highway CD + digital download

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    WIDE LOAD: Vinyl LP, CD autographed by the band, digital download + Limited edition Zephaniah and The 18 Wheelers mug

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    CHANNEL 19 : A rare and unreleased 2 song home demo . Sent to you with love and a thank you note.

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    RUBBERNECKER: I think you’re awesome - please just take the money and run!

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    CONVOY : Rare and unreleased 4 song home demo recording, 'This Highway' Vinyl LP +'This Highway' CD signed + limited edition 18 Wheelers Coffee Mug+ Hand written thank you note

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    MAGIC MILE: Private solo performance with Zephaniah for you and your friends anywhere within the New York City Metro area. (Plus LP, CD, and digital download)

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    HAULING DYNAMITE : Full band concert for you and your friends in the New York Metro area (plus LP, CD, and digital download), and a special thank you in the liner notes!

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    BLUE LIGHT SPECIAL: A world class haircut & style from Zeph ($150 value) at Arrojo Studio or in the comfort of your home, plus CD and download

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Funding period

- (30 days)