In 2012, supporters, friends and strangers [who've since become dear friends] contributed to my very first Kickstarter project, which raised funds for a Christmas album called, "Christmastime With The Anna Johnson Band", and series of live, HD music videos called, "The Living Room Sessions". The project was a blast, and I felt incredibly blessed and encouraged by the support. The album was released as promised in November 2012, and was a smashing success : ) The music videos are still being released bi-weekly on my YouTube channel, and people seem to be enjoying watching them as much as I have enjoyed making them.
Well, since Christmastime is such a small portion of the year, I figure it's time to record and release another full-length album of original songs about life, love, friendship and the road. Those are my specialty, after all, and after having had my first child in May 2013 (little Eloise Grace), I'm especially inspired and filled with love and joy and stories to tell. I'm also dying to get back into the studio after what has felt like an incredibly long musical hiatus.
At this point, I have all 12 songs mapped out for the album:
Let's Go Searchin', Here, Something Isn't Right, Walk With Me, With You, You & I, Don't Hold Back, Hurricane, Skyfall (cover), I Need You, Thief, Someday We'll Figure It Out
This will be my first time recording and releasing an album of songs I am specifically writing to belong together. See, in the past my records have been compilations of tunes that I'd written over time and picked out of a whole bunch of options. This time, I'm being intentional and making a collection with the purpose of fitting well together to represent who I am, where I am, and what I'm being inspired to say NOW. I suppose that's why "Here" is a fitting title. It's a snapshot of my life recently, right here.
Like "Christmastime", the album will feature my live band and their creative abilities, sweet hearts, and individual personalities. It will also feature similar instrumentation, with the addition of some retro-sounding electric guitars, tambourines and exciting vocal layers. I suspect we'll throw in some unexpected sounds, too, 'cause we have an awful lot of fun coming up with them when we're altogether in the studio. All in all, it will be a great representation of our live Americana/Pop style, emphasizing our crisp, clear vocals and tight vocal harmonies, intricate finger-picking guitars, light [but tasty] percussion parts, and warm, cozy bass lines.
"Here" will be recorded at McPherson Studios in November 2013 by Michael Head, who recorded and produced "Winding Road" and "Christmastime". I will be the executive producer, and Michael Head and David Mitchell (husband/guitarist/songwriter) will co-produce alongside me. Michael Head and Chris Wright will mix the record in January 2014, and Hank Williams from MasterMix will work his magic to ensure the final product is mastered to perfection by early February 2014. I will design the album art, using photos by the fabulous Joanna Branson (who shot for "Winding Road"), and the project will be duplicated and ready to go by March 2014.
To celebrate the release of "Here", I plan to perform at least one big show in Nashville (tentatively The Listening Room Cafe) and one in my hometown in Wisconsin (tentatively Chippewa Falls Senior High School). Those shows will feature my whole band and the new, exciting music from the record, and will be a fabulous way to join together to kick this thing off.
With your help, every aspect of this album has potential to come together perfectly, creating a beautiful collection of new songs for listeners around the world to enjoy. I'm so grateful for the support you've shown in the past, and am really excited to get you involved in this new adventure. It will be something each of us can be incredibly proud of when it's all said and done, so I thank you in advance for your participation!
As always, thank you for making my music a possibility!
Endless cyber hugs,
Risks and challenges
I don't expect any obstacles, delays or set-backs in the making of this album. Seriously! [The power of positive thinking.]
See, before committing to launching this Kickstarter Project, I needed to confirm the availability of each person involved (band mates, studio engineer/producer, mastering engineer, photographer, etc.). Everything will need to be accomplished before the two release shows I book in Spring 2014, so that means everyone is locked in and dedicated to making this thing happen as smoothly as possible in the time frame we're allotted!
We're all in this 100% 'til the very end, and we have the same goal of ensuring it turns out beautifully. We love to work together, we're looking forward to this chance to spend time in the studio, and we all appreciate your help and involvement, because without it we wouldn't have this incredible opportunity.
I promise we will be faithful stewards of your generous gifts, and I will do everything possible to exceed your expectations! Check out "Christmastime" to see what we did with our backers' gifts last year: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/christmastime-anna-johnson/id572976246Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (40 days)