STAYING INDEPENDENT!!! (With your help!!)
You all CRUSHED it last time. Lets do it again!
So many folks have told me how much they enjoyed being able to make a difference by being a part of the last Kickstarter. And having the fans involved absolutely makes the difference for me in terms of how I make records and what those records accomplish. So it just makes sense to me to come here and try this again. I'd never experienced anything as amazing as having fans fuel an entire record, but that's EXACTLY what happened with "Strip It Down", and it was huge in so many ways for me. So I'm back here to try and make it happen again. NEW MUSIC means I am ready to make a NEW RECORD, and I can't do it alone. Sure it's always a risk to put something as intimate and personal as my music on the line, but I'm willing to take it on faith that we can make this happen. I'm fully committed to keeping this a "family affair" for as long as I have an audience willing to listen to the records I make. And it's finally time to do it all again so HERE WE GO!
I've had a pretty great career so far, and it's really kind of crazy when I think about some of the amazing things that I've been able to be a part of. So many amazing things in fact, that it's actually taken me time to feel comfortable talking about all of it. It's not that I'm not proud of what I've accomplished so far, but it's more like I realize how lucky I am to be blessed with those opportunities. But even through all of the crazy and amazing moments, I'm still most proud of what I accomplished by making my most recent record. The making of which would never have been possible without a KICKSTARTER page just like this one. "Strip It Down" was a record about me being honest with who I am. This NEXT record will be about me being comfortable with who I am, but it sure won't happen without the help of passionate people like yourself who believe in music.
I'm still so proud of "Strip It Down" because it came out exactly as I wanted it to. I know that that kind of success can happen again if we are able to fund this record. To not have to sacrifice the quality of the record making process would be an absolute blessing beyond belief and I believe that I will end up with another record that I will love for the rest of my life if we can reach the goal.
The last few years have seen so many of my dreams come true. I'm finally interacting with people that I respect and admire. Artists, producers, writers, musicians and even the fans. These are all people that have the same heart for music that I have. It's been an absolute pleasure working alongside artists like Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Delbert McClinton, Tom Hambridge, Lee Roy Parnell, and the list goes on. The point is that after a lifetime of dedication and work, I'm finally busting in to the scene that I've always wanted to be a part of. To drive down the road and hear my song being played on SiriusXM BB King's Bluesville is one of the best feelings I could ask for. Especially when I still feel proud and excited about how it sounds.
With the intention of staying 100% true to my music, I am doing my best to remain an independent artist. Free to make the exact record that I want to make. That's the immediate GOAL. Just to make honest music that sounds great. That only comes with the ability to actually afford the record making process, so that brings me back to my fans.
I would certainly love to not have to worry about the money side of things when it comes to music. But having to compromise the music in any way just isn’t a sacrifice that I'm willing to make. My dream is that my AMAZING fans that have supported me throughout my career will continue to be invested and want to be a part of making these records with me.
After a LOT of thought and prayer, I’ve decided to set the goal at what I actually need to create and promote this record. While sixty thousand will not cover much in terms of promo, it will certainly get the ball rolling and cover the initial costs of making the record. Working with the best in the industry does not come cheap, and I know that the groups of individuals I have in mind are exactly what this music needs to really come alive. Great material is one thing, but it takes the right producer, band, studio, and engineer to create the actual sound of the final product. No matter what an artist brings to the table, there is no way around having a great team of professionals to help see a project come to fruition.
To have the music in my head match the final outcome exactly is still to this day the best feeling I can ask for. Especially when I know from experience that the record is going to be good enough to be on the radio. Being supported on radio is a HUGE BLESSING that I don't take for granted. It's definitely a goal of mine to continue in that direction. Sharing my music with folks that don't know who I am is one of the most important things I can do to gain more of an audience and again, that can only happen if I make the right record.
The long-term goal is to continue to write, produce, and perform music for as long as I am able. And just like every other long-term goal, it's dependent upon me achieving success in the short term. So no matter how I (or any artist for that matter) slice it, it always boils down to the fans.
Produced by Grammy award winner Tom Hambridge, featuring an appearance from Bonnie Bishop and a duet with Delbert McClinton on "Bulletproof" (co-written with Delbert), sounds pretty great when I say it. It sounds even better when I follow that with the fact that YOU ALL MADE IT HAPPEN. "Strip It Down" has led to so many opportunities for me that I don't know where to begin. Certainly some of the highlights that I've shared here in this Kickstarter campaign are life changing, but for me, the most amazing part is that the whole record was created from a passionate fan base that funded the whole process. The success of the last Kickstarter and where "Strip It Down" has led me is the reason that Im back here again. So THANK YOU. I know it's been said many times before, but it's been life changing and nobody can take away the success that you helped me to create.
The record I'm asking you to help me make is the NEXT chapter for me. The biggest blessing of being independent is being able to make the exact record that I want/need to make as an artist. There have been a lot of changes in my life, and I know the new record will reflect those changes. I have two small children (one more on the way) and a loving wife that has more faith in me (and faith in my fans) than I can believe. Being surrounded by that kind of love and faith has created a strength and confidence in me that I didn’t know could exist. I feel so much more in tune with WHO I AM. I can't wait to see how much stronger the new record will be as a result of where I am at in my personal life. I'm willing to share more of who I am, where I've been, and all of the highs and lows than I've ever been willing or able to do. I fully believe that kind of openness will result in a strong record.
So what will the record be? It will be honest, real, and personal. I won't be trying to fool anyone. I'm a big fan of making a record that I can reproduce on the road, so just like "Strip It Down" I won't be doing a bunch of overdubs and "fixing". That means you will hear the real me and not some perfected version of me that really doesn't exist. Of course I will work my tail off to make a killer sounding record, but I want it to be REAL and not fabricated from the use of modern technology. This will be another record that is really just musicians playing and a few massively talented engineers capturing that perfect take on the other end.
Two Good Hearts
I worked with Tom Hambridge on the previous record and I can tell you that this guy is the REAL DEAL. As an artist/musician/writer/producer he has every side of the process covered. Not all producers (a shockingly low amount actually) have so much experience in so many different aspects of the business. Trust me when say that it shows in the records that he makes (Multiple Grammys are a BIG DEAL). The entire process from top to bottom was as it should have been, and the focus was on the music and the performances. Ending up with a record that sounded exactly like I wanted it to and also enjoying every step of the process made it an easy choice for me to want to work with him again. Tom doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel but instead he simply lets me be me and makes sure to put me in a situation where I can shine. It's EXACTLY how I like to produce and be produced, and with his base of knowledge when it comes to music, he can always help the band get to where we need to be. I trust Tom and believe that working together with him will lead to new music that I'm proud and happy to share with you and the rest of the world.
Working with musicians that understand your music and vibe is absolutely essential to making a great record. Thankfully I've worked with this crew a lot and I know that they "get" me. Another special thanks to the fellas for being a part of this. It's a pleasure and an honor!
Touring is what it's all about for me. There is no substitute in life for being able to share my music with a live crowd and let the music change and evolve. It's always the chicken and the egg with touring. Im in between agencies right now (those are the people that book shows for artists) and I know that making a great record will be a huge help for me to find the right fit. But to make a great record, I need to have the budget. The good news is that with my goal set where it is, I will be able to make it happen even without an agency if I have to. So no matter what happens, as long as we succeed here, I will come to play this record somewhere near you at some point. And that makes me VERY, VERY happy to think about.
FLY ON THE WALL & VIP - Will be Happening on either Aug 12TH or Aug 13TH
SURE! Just tag on the price of the other item you want when you checkout, and specify your extra item in the backer survey that you'll get once the KS is funded. For example- if you want the ($100) HANDWRITTEN LYICS AND THE MUSIC X4 ($60) just choose the more expensive reward ($100) and tack on the lower amount ($60) at checkout. YOU CAN'T ADD MORE EXPENSIVE ITEMS TO A CHEAPER PLEDGE AMOUNT. PICK THE HIGHER PLEDGE THEN ADD ON THE LOWER ONE.
Last time around I asked for half of the project funding and ended up receiving all of it (thank you again!!). I'm a bit more prepared this time around and have a few plans if we should happen to exceed the goal. IF we get past the goal by 25%, I am going to make an acoustic record in addition to the new full band untitled record. It will be a fully produced band record, but with an acoustic vibe. Think James Taylor or Ray Lamontagne. Acoustic feel, but with multiple instrumentation. I have so much material I've written through the years that lends itself to this kind of production that I've always wanted to make an entire record of it. Im planning on doing some touring with just me and a guitar as well, so this would be a way for me to play my original material and keep the vibe right in the live setting. It would open the doors to a different type of show and could be a nice departure from my normal touring. Again to clarify, this would be a completely separate record from what I'm working on currently. It's a bit crazy to even mention it here, but I just want to let you all know that its my plan.
RISKS & CHALLENGES :
I think we all know without saying that one of the biggest risk is failure. But of course that's true in all aspects of life really. If I fail to raise the money for this record, I won't be able to see the music come to life. Without a quality record it would be very difficult to tour, and without touring, I won't be able to provide for my family. But the biggest risk for me is the thought of not being able to continue playing and making music. It is without a doubt my hearts desire and my passion in life, and the thought of not being able to follow my heart is really scary. So of course it's a huge risk to depend on anyone for this kind of help. But again, I believe that this is the right way to do things. I was so blown away with what we accomplished last time around that I am a bit less apprehensive this go round.
The biggest challenge for me is to make this work. And by this, I mean continuing to make music and play that music around the world. That can happen only with the support of each and every one of you. I sound a bit like a PBS broadcast, but I love PBS so I guess that's not a bad thing really. It certainly makes sense to me that most things I love are funded by the people who love what is being created. Instead of having some bank that wants to tell the creator what THEY think it should be, the funding can come direct from the consumer who believes and trusts that the creator will deliver the goods. I'm thankful and proud to think that we can possibly achieve this without having to sacrifice the vision of where I'm going musically.
Thanks to each and every one of you for being here. Even just checking this out and looking into supporting music is something that deserves praise. If not for you and other people like you, the art of music would eventually be reduced to one person in a room by themselves. Nothing wrong with that (it has to start somewhere), but I definitely LOVE the rest of it just as much and want to see music continue to flourish and help shape the way we feel and live our lives. Much love to you all.
Risks and challenges
Our last kickstarter was quite successful and we had a very efficient delivery system. Everything was on time, and the response from the backers was extremely positive.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)