Producing an album is a lot of work and for most artists it's truly a labor of love. It can take months, sometimes years, to prepare the material. And the costs involved can be staggering. Studio time, design, production, and promotion are just a few of the more costly aspects of getting a CD completed. If I didn't eat, sleep, live and bleed bluegrass music, well, I'd never have produced a single album.
I've gone through the CD birthing process 8 times in my career. It's been 3 years now since my last album, One Foot in the Honky Tonk, was released. I'm proud of that accomplishment for a number of reasons, especially since it made two Top Ten CD lists and had a single that charted nationally. During production, I lost my life partner and music collaborator, Tina Aridas, to cancer. It was the last project that we worked on together. Since then, I relocated to Arizona to be closer to my ailing mother, and lost her only a year later. Through it all, I've continued to play and perform bluegrass music.
Being a bandleader for bands on both coasts has been challenging, but mostly it's been rewarding. I've gotten to work with some of the legendary performers located on the west coast like Blaine Sprouse and Phil Salazar and made many wonderful new friends. This newest project will include members from both bands and a few surprises too! That's just one of the exciting aspects about this latest CD.
I see this project as a catharsis for me personally as well as a way to raise awareness of the many different faces of the homeless. I decided to focus on homelessness for this album for a number of reasons, including my own tangle with being on the streets as a young adult. As I started gathering together songs for this album, I was struck by the broad variety of folks that are technically homeless: truckers, prisoners, addicts, and the elderly are just a few. And the songs vary too, from up tempo pieces celebrating the freedom of life on the road to the ballad cry from a broken hearted mother.
And then there was the recent immigrant crisis across the southwest as young children, attempting to escape countries ravaged by drugs and gangs, made their way across treacherous terrain only to be turned back at our borders. Now they are homeless too, waiting in detention centers for their fate to be decided. This human drama has particularly tugged at my heartstrings and has prompted me to write original material to be included on the album.
Because the album will focus on this very important issue of the homeless, I have decided to donate a portion of the proceeds from the album sales to a charitable organization that seeks to assist homeless families. It is my sincere hope that you will help me to complete this important project, not just as a means of producing new music but to raise awareness and support for those who are homeless. Together we can make this happen!
Risks and challenges
I've been in this business for over 20 years and produced 8 albums in my career. I may not know everything involved in album production, but I have had my share of bumps and bruises as I worked to get each project completed and into the hands of music lovers. This experience has prepared me to tackle this newest project and provided me with the contacts and industry resources to "get 'er done!" Once pre-production funds are in place, studios can be reserved and the fun part of producing an album can begin...singing and playing with my fellow band members. I can't wait to get started...the sooner we're funded, the sooner that happens.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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