Hi, my name is Stephen Simmons and I am a singer/songwriter from Tennessee. Nashville has been my home for over fifteen years now, but I’m originally from a little town south of here called Woodbury. Most of you that already know me; whether you’ve bought my albums, know me from iTunes or Spotify, heard an interview on the radio or seen me live somewhere in the US or the UK or Europe know that I have written a lot about (and talked a great deal about) where I’m from and growing up in the small town south.
I am getting ready to make a new studio album (this one will be my 11th) and it’s actually one I have been wanting to make for years. It is one that tells my story about growing up, my family and where I’m from in a much more direct and personal way than any of my previous work. This collection of songs has been forming since I was in my twenties when it first started to become a concept in my mind. I have been saving all the songs that I thought fit this project as I’ve added to the list over the years continuing to write new songs. And it now feels like the time is right to try and paint the picture I have in my mind.
I know they say you can never go back home, but I don’t think that’s true for art. I have found a small church in my hometown of Woodbury, Tennessee that I am planning on setting up a temporary recording studio in. This album is about where I’m from and I wanted to make it on my native soil. I have made all my other albums in studios in Nashville over the past fifteen years, so I’m excited to do a project in a place that has been so inspiring to me over the years.
This will be my fourth time raising funds for an album on Kickstarter. I’ve always set my goals modestly (knowing I will have to spend more of my own money to finish) and I’ve always finished my projects and delivered them to my contributors way in advance of releasing the album to the world at large. This is the anxious “not me” part of the process I dread; The ask. I have been overwhelmed each time I’ve done a crowdfunding project at the generosity of my fans and friends. That so many of you have helped bring my music out to the world has been one of the more life re-affirming things I’ve witnessed as an artist the past several years. So as always, the details, rewards, etc will be here on the page. Fingers crossed, we’ll have another album this summer.
Risks and challenges
I love making albums. They always take longer and cost more than you estimate (like any project in life). However, I've been producing my own albums for almost 15 years and have successfully completed 3 in the past using Kickstarter. So even though I know there will be setbacks and things take longer than you plan, I am doing my best to factor that in with all my past experience. But the songs are written, and the place to record is already arranged so that part is taken care of. I hope to record it this summer and have it mixed by the end of summer. Things like artwork and manufacturing are things that can't be scheduled till the back end of the project. The album may not be ready for an "official" release to the public before the end of the year, but I will be sending it to the Kickstarter contributors before it's available to the public. I hope this to be in the Fall, but that is why I try to communicate with you all the timeline as it progresses.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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