After releasing two professional independent albums and working hard the past four years to learn, grow and gather a network of friends and supporters to join me in my musical journeys, it's time to record and release a Christmas EP. I mean, who doesn't want some acoustic Anna Johnson Band vibes at home for the holidays? Many people have requested a Christmas album, and since this year has hosted many, many life and musical changes anyway, I may as well go for it! I'm eager and excited to arrange and capture some of my favorite Christmas songs to share with all of you. It's time for something new.Over hot cups of coffee and brainstorm sessions filled with memories of Christmas trees, homemade ornaments, magical chocolate confections and adventures in the snow, I've come up with the following plans:
- 1. Record 7(ish) familiar holiday songs with Michael Head at McPherson Studios in Nashville, TN the second two weeks of September (http://www.mcphersonstudios.com). Michael recorded and produced “Winding Road” with me and the band in 2011. Dress code: Christmas sweaters, turtlenecks, wool socks and marshmallow mustaches.
- 2. Invite Robby Klein (http://www.robbyklein.com) to join us in the studio to film and capture still images galore for photo books and “Making Of” music videos, which will be posted during the process and after the work has been done.
- 3. Schedule and enjoy a full-fledged photo shoot with Robby and The Anna Johnson Band for the album art I will design and reproduce myself. Same dress code as the studio dates PLUS an army of handmade paper snowflakes, dough ornaments and glittery faux snow to remind me of home.
When the recording process is done, we will master the EP with Hank Williams at MasterMix in Nashville, TN (http://www.mastermix.com/index.html) and send it off to The ADS Group in Plymouth, MN (http://www.theadsgroupdifference.com) to duplicate and package the discs for us. I used The ADS Group to print my second batch of “Ready To Go” albums (the green cover), and they also duplicated “Winding Road” for me for my release in 2012. Hank Williams mastered “Winding Road”, but has also mastered Taylor Swift's “Fearless”, among other highly accredited projects.
A majority of the funds donated here on Kickstarter will pay for the photo shoots, recording, mastering, and duplication of the Christmas EP. I'm not only trying to raise funds for the holiday-specific project, however. The rest of the funds raised will cover a whole series of professional, high definition, LIVE videos that I will post on YouTube.
Here's why I've decided to make YouTube a priority:
Over the course of the last three years, YouTube has proven to be one of the most beneficial of online resources and social networks I have. Through my account with YouTube, I have been invited to play some pretty incredible shows. Fun Fact: I was hired to open for Colbie Caillat and We The Kings at a summer festival in Georgia in 2010 after someone stumbled upon one of my videos!
So, with the funds I raise BEYOND the cost of the Christmas EP, I am hiring Justin McGrath from Higher Concept Media (http://www.higherconceptmedia.com) to film a whole series of live, HD videos. Justin filmed both of my professional music videos for “Someday” and “Damaged and Bruised”. You can see those videos by visiting http://www.youtube.com/annajohnsonmusic. The videos will showcase a variety of songs, both original and covered. They will also feature different combinations of me and the band: some will include all 5 of us, whereas others will be more intimate versions with only David (husband and nylon string guitar genius) or Julia (sister and violinist/second vocalist extraordinaire) and me. I plan to give you a grand variety so you can enjoy my music different ways depending on what you crave at the moment.
Your help and support at this point in my career makes more of a difference than you can possibly understand. Like every artist who is deeply and seriously passionate about their craft, I have made every life decision in the past several years based around the fact that I believe that I was MADE to make music. I can't stop, but I also can't continue to move forward without your support and grace.
From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for participating in the creation of the Christmas EP and series of professional-quality live videos.
P.S. I'm totally open to your song suggestions for the videos! You're giving to me, so I want to give back.
P.P.S. Check out the "About Me" section beneath the incentives!
- (34 days)