Funded! This project was successfully funded on September 30, 2012.


This album of original music has a rich variety of folk, jazz, and gospel with a stellar line-up of Vermont musicians!

watercolor for album cover by Bess, after Luigi Lucioni
watercolor for album cover by Bess, after Luigi Lucioni

Bess Klassen-Landis

Way Up In Vermont

I am recording my second CD, Way Up In Vermont. It features 13 tracks of original songs, recorded with some of the best musicians in Vermont, a few known nationally and internationally in their fields. I love all types of music and that is reflected in my songwriting. Way Up In Vermont includes “Borrowed Beauty,” (featured in the video) which is in the Quebec tradition; “Lead Me Through,” a gospel song complete with choir; three jazz songs; a swing number; a protest march; and many original folk songs, as well as new lyrics for two traditional Celtic melodies.

My first CD, Beauty So Close, was funded through 18 free concerts in 5 states, where listeners had the chance to pre-buy CDs; and through generous grants from three Quaker organizations. People who pre-bought my first CD often ordered many more to share with family and friends. I also gave hundreds of copies of my CD out as gifts to groups across the country that brought me to speak, witnessing for abolition of the death penalty and forgiveness in 2008-09. (Bess speaking in Indiana in 2009, Journey of Hope...From Violence to Healing.) 

However, this album needs to be funded by you, my online pre-buyers. If you are already a fan of my music, you will love my second album. If you are new to my music, check out my Kickstarter video and my website, Your initial support is crucial to me in this project. Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing proposition. If artists don’t meet their financial goal, they won’t receive any of the financial support pledged to them. Pledges are processed at the end of the goal period. If the goal is met, artists receive a check to finish their project and then mail out their gifts to their backers. 

You might not be aware of what it costs to make a CD. Total budget for this CD will be about $10,000 (same as my first CD.) That includes paying for arranging and producing of my songs, mileage for my producer (not including myself,) paying all the musicians and recording engineer, as well as the additional remote studios and engineers that helped to produce the CD, mixing, mastering, cover graphics, and finally pressing the CD and mailing it to you. Thank you for visiting my site.  I'm overjoyed that you are considering supporting my music and its message. I consider my music to be the truest part of myself. 

If you too believe in the transformational power of music, share the word. Please consider alerting your friends and connections to my goal and goal period. I believe that together we can make this happen!

All the best, 


Way Up In Vermont     

  • Bess Klassen-Landis-songwriter, lead vocals, harmony vocals.
  • Pete Sutherland-arranger, producer, harmony vocals, piano, guitar, fiddle
  • Colin McCaffrey-recording engineer, duet vocal, harmony vocals, guitar, resonating guitar, mandolin, bass, whistling, harp
  • Patti Casey-flute
  • Tim Cummings-small pipes, low and high whistles
  • John Dunlop-cello
  • John Foster-drums
  • Lane Gibson-remote recording
  • Tim Gilmore-drums
  • Carol Jackson-harmony vocals
  • Bill Keck-tuba
  • Benedict Koehler-penny whistle
  • Talitha Landis-Marinello-harmony vocals
  • Laura Markowitz-violin, viola
  • Jeremiah McLane-accordion
  • Bob Merrill-remote recording, harmony vocals, piano
  • Keith Murphy-tapping feet
  • Peggy Ogilvy-harmony vocals
  • Chris Peterman-saxophone
  • Anna Patton-clarinet


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    10 CDs, a lyric sheet, the stories behind the songs, a signed, limited edition print of the cover art and a small original, signed piece of art by Bess.

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