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Help us record our second album, "Lydian Water Songs, Pt. II." New songs, bigger ensemble, same prickly LOVE.
Help us record our second album, "Lydian Water Songs, Pt. II." New songs, bigger ensemble, same prickly LOVE.
101 backers pledged $7,804 to help bring this project to life.
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Cactus Tractor - Lydian Water Songs, Pt. II

$7,804

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Hello from David, Christy, Stef, Samuel, Paul, Brandon, Matthew, Matt, Jordan, and Orlando!

(photo by Noah Armstrong)
(photo by Noah Armstrong)

With the help of many of you—friends, family, and fans (now friends!)—we were able to fund the recording of our first album early last year. Hannah, can you hold it up for us?

 Thanks Hannah! We miss you!

We can't express enough how much gratitude we have for everyone who helped us with the first campaign. We were able to professionally record and produce an album that we are really happy with, and we feel that it continues to touch hearts in ways we couldn't have anticipated.

Christy doing her best to anticipate
Christy doing her best to anticipate

Since that time we have played probably around 50 live shows, reached thousands of people, been featured at two Southwest Regional Folk Alliances (in Santa Fe and Austin), played a beautiful wedding, been recorded live in the studio for KUNM's Ear to the Ground, and been invited to play at the Albuquerque Folk Festival—although the invitation was rescinded when our tent blew away. That event might have gone a little like this:

(video by Scott Warmuth, music by us)

We're now ready to begin recording our second album, which we're calling Lydian Water Songs, Pt. II. We noticed during the recording of our first album that just about every song featured water in one way or another ("meet me by the river," "the river roared her wondrous might" "her little house looks so lonely by the lake," "rolling water on the plain,""the clouds roll in and it starts to rain," etc.). And a ridiculous number of them featured a version of the major scale with the fourth degree raised—called by those in the know "the Lydian mode." We joked at the time that the first album should have been called Lydian Water Songs. And then we realized that just about all of the new songs are also about water and in the Lydian mode. So we thought it was time to come clean and call our music what it is.

We will again be recording at Matthew Tobias's Empty House Studio in Albuquerque, NM. Matthew is our drummer and our good friend, and he's the best in the business, so we're very happy to be working with him again. Here's Matthew trying to look his most respectable:

photo by Ashley Covington
photo by Ashley Covington

And if you've seen us play recently, you'll know that we've added a 3-piece horn section. Meet Orlando Madrid, ...

... Jordan Fredrick, ...

and Matt Breuer!

In preparation for the album, we've been assembling full ten-piece arrangements for most of our songs (though a few may use smaller ensembles), and we're expecting to squeeze twelve full songs onto the record.  We're budgeting $4,000 for studio time (10 days tracking and 3–4 days mixing), $1,500 for mastering (which will cover us for up to 15 songs), $1,500 for duplication, and $500 for miscellaneous expenditures like taxes and what it costs us to get all the prizes in the mail.

We hope you'll join us on this journey. It might sound a little cheesy, but it's true—it feels like you're right here with us rehearsing and recording when you join our campaign.  

Here are some stills from our flash concert in downtown Albuquerque. (Footage by Micheal Lopez. Photo at top of page by Kate Burn Photography.)

David about to puke mid-guitar solo. Watch out Stef!
David about to puke mid-guitar solo. Watch out Stef!
 
Stef getting sassy (not as a result I don't think).
Stef getting sassy (not as a result I don't think).

Christy singing it away.
Christy singing it away.
What we look like from behind a very handsome ear and some equally lovely hair.
What we look like from behind a very handsome ear and some equally lovely hair.
Paul really thinking about which note to play next.
Paul really thinking about which note to play next.
Christy just now noticing Stef's hat.
Christy just now noticing Stef's hat.
"Da da da da da da!"
"Da da da da da da!"
Look at those angles! Nice shooting, Michael Lopez!
Look at those angles! Nice shooting, Michael Lopez!
Watch out! Paul is coming for you.
Watch out! Paul is coming for you.
Salmon Sam 'n' Salmon Paul (on bass), playin' a little tun'a
Salmon Sam 'n' Salmon Paul (on bass), playin' a little tun'a
"Are you crazy or what?"
"Are you crazy or what?"
Get crazy!
Get crazy!
A group hug and a skycall to end the concert.
A group hug and a skycall to end the concert.

Risks and challenges

We don't foresee anything too terribly weird happening, with hundreds of miles between us and Roswell. Maybe some delays in recording/reproducing the CD and/or getting rewards in the mail. Our ufologists are on the alert.

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    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Downloadable copy of the CD.

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    Cactus Tractor's Second Album! Lydian Water Songs Pt. II. Your very own physical copy of the cd!

    We've cut the shipping and slashed the price of this backer reward! Our goal is to get the album out there, and if 500 people pre-order we can make it happen!

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    New Prize! Secret recipes from the band members of Cactus Tractor! You'll receive the new album and three handwritten recipe cards representing the cross-section of our collective food aesthetic!

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    Both Cactus Tractor CDs! With handwritten note of thanks!

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    Cactus Tractor t-shirt and physical copy of the CD.

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    Crush Poster! Includes signed copy of the CD, and warm fuzzies.

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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Car-or-dog wash party! All the girls (or all the boys) in the band will come to your yard in swimsuits to wash your car (or dog). Available in Albuquerque only, ideally in one of the warmer months. Includes a signed copy of the new album!

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    Cactus Tractor dress and physical copy of the CD.

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    Three-part harmony answering machine message recorded for you, by us. Includes signed copy of the CD.

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    Pledge US$ 70 or more About US$ 70

    Complete Cactus Tractor Crush Kit! Includes a signed copy of the new album, a comfy Cactus Tractor t-shirt in your preferred size, and a full-color poster to hang on your wall, on the interior roof of your car, or wherever.

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    Illustrated songbook for the album plus a signed copy of the CD. Includes lyrics and chords for each song, with some fuller arrangements for piano and/or other instruments.

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    Private lesson from a member of the band in any of the following skills: music theory or composition (Prof. David Bashwiner), flamenco guitar (Brandon), worm composting with worms provided (Samuel), stilting (Christy), or the Tinku (Stef).

    Lessons can be live if in Albuquerque (or nearby), otherwise by Skype. Includes a signed copy of the new album!!!

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    Original Lydian-Water-Song-inspired visual art by Christy. Includes a physical copy of the CD.

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    Thrift store wardrobe makeover with at least three members of the band. We'll then accompany you for a night on the town! Albuquerque only. Includes a signed copy of Cactus Tractor's much anticipated second album, Lydian Water Songs, Pt. II.

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    Sandia motorcycle adventure with Brandon and Samuel for you and a guest. Expect the unexpected!

    Includes a signed copy of the new album.

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    Jam with the band, and if you send us chords in advance (way in advance for some of us), we'll play whatever songs you like (including your own!). You can even make a little demo recording of it. Albuquerque only, or provide transportation, or via Skype.

    Includes a signed copy of Cactus Tractor's Second Album and a Cactus Tractor Songbook!

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    Private Trio Concert. At least three of us will come play for you privately or for an event you are hosting for up to two hours. Includes a signed copy of the CD. Albuquerque only, or nearby plus transportation costs.

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    Let us get your party started! We'll show up in costume and get the dance party started, guaranteed. Albuquerque only, or you provide transportation.

    Includes a signed copy of Cactus Tractor's Second Album!

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    Personalized singing telegram delivered to the recipient of your choice. Live if near enough geographically, otherwise via Skype. Includes a copy of our much anticipated second album!

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    Your child's birthday party (or bar/bat mitzvah, or bachelor/bachelorette party, or other)! Choose to have us dressed as clowns, giant animals, circus performers, or ourselves. We (at least three of us) will juggle, unicycle, stilt, and hula hoop! And play a few songs. While unicycling. (Short ones.) And while stilting. (Tall ones!)

    New Mexico only, or you provide transportation. Includes a signed copy of Cactus Tractor's Second Album!

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    Private Full Band Concert. Add bass, drums, and horns and you have a full performance from us for your lucky self or for an event you are hosting. Includes signed copy of the CD. Albuquerque only, or nearby plus transportation costs.

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    We'll write and record a song for you based on your dreams, ideas, lyrics, fantasies—or those of someone you appoint. Includes a signed copy of the CD.

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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    New Prize! Cactus Tractor will play a show with you as the front (wo)man! We'll play whatever songs you want (although you can choose to sing ours if you prefer). Prize includes: 3 rehearsals, a complete Cactus Tractor Songbook, help booking the show (we have connections at hip venues throughout Burque), and one incredible rock star fantasy come to life!

    New Mexico only, or you provide transportation. You will also receive a signed copy of our much anticipated second album.

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    Physical copy of the CD.

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    A felted creature designed and created especially for you. These little guys are ideal for sitting on your bookshelf, or next to your record collection. Wouldn't you like your very own specialized surrealistic doo-dad hand-made by Cactus Tractor's Christy Cook?

    This prize includes a signed copy of Cactus Tractor's second album!

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Funding period

- (29 days)