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Ten years of my life are held in these songs, with musicians from every continent joining me to tell these stories. Folk & world music.
Ten years of my life are held in these songs, with musicians from every continent joining me to tell these stories. Folk & world music.
468 backers pledged $41,864 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$41,864

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What's so special about this album?

This is my twelfth CD, the most ambitious project I've ever undertaken, and I think it's the best work I've ever done, in partnership with musicians from all over the world—literally.

In the last ten years my life has deepened in ways I couldn't have imagined. I've formed friendships and had experiences that have changed me. I've spent time in many countries and come to love people whose life experience is very different from my own; I've become a father, written books, struggled and studied, and these songs have been marinating in all of that.

There are musicians from every continent playing on this record, contributing Latin flavors, Eastern sounds, African and Appalachian musicians playing traditional instruments, gospel harmonies, and almost every kind of guitar-shaped-thing you can imagine.

To collaborate across all kinds of cultural lines and yet maintain authenticity is a high bar. This album has been a big stretch for me. It's my music, but it's also something quite new.

Each of my first ten albums covered about a year and a half of my life experience.  This one covers ten.

It's been ten years since you recorded a CD?

Yup.

In 2008, at the height of my music career, I walked away from it (though happily, and for a good reason). My tenth and most recent full-length CD, Change, came out in 2006 (not counting a retrospective 'Best Of' CD).

I had a strong sense that even though my music career was flourishing more than ever, it was time to pursue another lifelong passion of mine and put it front and center in my life. I applied for, and was awarded, a Rotary World Peace Fellowship to pursue a master's degree in International Studies, Peace and Conflict Resolution at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.

I wanted to put more direct action behind the things I care about and sing about, and I wanted to learn more about peacemaking. So my wife, Deanna, and I moved to Australia with our ten-week-old son, Mason. After a rich year there, we moved to rural India so that I could work and study with a Gandhian sustainable development organization. Then we moved back to Australia so I could finish up the master's, then back to North Carolina.

I learned a lot in that time. One of the things I learned, as it turns out, is that music matters a great deal in a world soaked in struggle.

So what have you been doing since then?

I have returned to touring full-time, though now about half of my work is speaking and leading workshops. In the last few years, I have spoken at the Scottish Parliament building and the Maryland State Senate, among other places, and will soon be speaking at the Baccalaureate service for Columbia Theological Seminary. I've also been to jail a couple of times due to civil disobedience. My 2014 book, Worldchanging 101: Challenging the Myth of Powerlessness, is now being used as a college textbook, and has gone further than I ever imagined.

In the six years since we returned to the US, in addition to Worldchanging 101, I wrote an illustrated children's book about creative non-violence, White Flour, I've served on the AFSC Nobel Peace Prize Nominating Committee for five years, I've been busy with a non-profit that my wife and I founded to work with schools and libraries in Guatemala, PEG Partners, I've been a dad and a husband. It's been quite an adventure.

...but I haven't made an album.

I have been writing songs and gathering stories and relationships and struggles and insights for that whole decade, and this CD is an effort to create an artful container for them.

Where is the money going?

To make this record with me, I enlisted two of my favorite record producers, Tom Prasada-Rao and Chris Rosser. Working with all of these musicians around the world, multiple studios and two producers, it's a fairly big investment.

Some wise folks might have counseled scaling it down. I couldn't do that, though. This record needs to be... well, what it is becoming.

Some phenomenal musicians are joining me on this project — Ed King of Lynyrd Skynyrd plays electric guitar. Michael Manring, electric bass guru, lends his art. Graham Sharp and Nicky Sanders from Steep Canyon Rangers (who tour with Steve Martin), and eclectic bluegrass legend Tim O'Brien join me on the record, along with my Three Davids compadres David Holt and David Wilcox. Perla Batalla, who sings with Leonard Cohen, sings on the album. The list is long and distinguished, and the art is exquisite. I am amazingly fortunate to get to work with all of these people!

As of now, we are still recording parts — this week, a french horn and some gospel harmonies. As soon as we are done, we will mix, master, design, manufacture, etc. Estimating the remaining costs, and adding them to what I have already committed, here's how the budget breaks out...

• Recording studios (worldwide), producer fees, mastering: $24,150
• Musician fees: $6,350
• Photography, design and manufacturing (2000 CDs): $5,800
———
The total is $36,300.

The truth is that this doesn't include radio promotion, publicity, and other expenses that are also necessary to get the word out, but I will figure out how to do the rest.

At this point, most of this is money that I owe. And some of the expenses are yet to come. No matter what happens, I can't imagine regretting the decisions up to here, though. Simply the process of making the record has been deeply nourishing, and somehow it all just feels right.

So this is kind of like a major label record project on an independent label (which is mostly me and Barbie, who helps me out with office stuff and booking). The incredible support you have shown in the Kickstarter campaigns for my last two books emboldened me to take on a huge project like this one. I'm so deeply grateful tor that. And, of course, a little nervous, too!

Thank you for 25 years of dreaming with me, and thanks for checking out my biggest dream yet...

Risks and challenges

Well, there are always meteors...

Seriously, I've got great team on this, and we are deeply committed to it. We have the time to get it done, so if we can raise the funding, we can take this the rest of the way and bring it to the world in the next few months. Thank you for checking it out! And if you want to be part of the crew making it a reality, welcome!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    THANK YOU! You're wonderful, and I'm grateful for your support. To say thanks, I'll send a download of one song from the album by the end of June, more than two months before the album is released.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    DIGITAL MUSIC — Digital download of The Other Way Around, plus download of one song in June.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    REAL CD (early!) — One copy of The Other Way Around CD, mailed to you *before* the CD release party on September 2, plus download of one song in June, plus download of the whole album. The CD will have a thick and artful lyric booklet, featuring the photography of Mike Belleme. Includes shipping in US.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    PERSONALIZED — A copy of The Other Way Around CD, signed to you or anyone you choose, plus download of one song in June. As with every premium level, US shipping included.

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    Pledge $85 or more About $85

    LISTEN AND READ — All three of David’s books (White Flour, S.S. Bathtub, and Worldchanging 101: Challenging the Myth of Powerlessness), plus a copy of The Other Way Around CD in August, all signed to whomever you choose, plus download of one song in June.

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    Pledge $120 or more About $120

    LYRICS — Hand written, signed lyrics to any song of David’s that you choose, plus personalized signed copy of The Other Way Around CD, plus early download of one song.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    COME TO THE PARTY — Two prime seats at the Album Release party at Diana Wortham Theatre on 9.2.2016 in Asheville, NC, two copies of The Other Way Around CD (early!), plus early download of one song.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    STEPHANIE'S REWARD — a 'Box Set' USB drive containing all of David's previous CDs and books and a ton of other content, a personalized copy of the new CD, and an early download of one song.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    VIDEO MESSAGE AND SONG — Customized Youtube message to you or a friend, with David playing one mutually agreed upon song, personalized copy of The Other Way Around CD, plus early download of one song.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    THE BOX SET — Flash drive ‘box set,’ containing nearly everything David has done in his 25-year career (all 11 albums, all 3 books, videos, a lyric book, lots of bonus songs not released on other albums, etc.; two personalized copies of The Other Way Around CD; two tickets to album release concert; plus early download of one song.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    VIRTUAL HANG-OUT — 1-hour Skype session, personal guitar lesson, or songwriting consultation to use as you like (David reading one of his children’s books or singing to your kid, virtual visit with your book club, college class, youth group, etc.); two personalized copies of The Other Way Around CD, plus early download of one song.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    STYLIN’ AT THE SHOW — Four prime seats at the album release concert at Diana Wortham Theatre in Asheville, NC on Sept. 2, 2016; 2 personalized The Other Way Around CDs, USB box set, after party invitation, poster signed by musicians who play at album release concert, plus early download of one song.

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    BEHIND THE SCENES — A custom CD of “The Making Of… multiple versions of “Drink Deeply” at various stages of production, and with various artists featured, showing the progress and creation of the song in the studio; a CD of early demos of the songs (including songs not chosen for the final CD), extensive studio photos (not public elsewhere), a Box Set USB drive containing all of David's previous CDs and books and a ton of other content, one signed 11 x 14” canvas print of David singing in the studio, two personalized copies of The Other Way Around CD, plus early download of one song.

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    Pledge $850 or more About $850

    RETREAT — All fees, food, and lodging for David's 'Change Your World' Weekend retreat August 19-21 in Montreat, NC; all three of David's books, a USB Box Set, a personalized copy of The Other Way Around CD, plus download of one song in June.

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

    CUSTOM SONG — David will write a song on a topic you specify, or about someone you know. He will interview you, then write the song, or coach you to write your own (not a co-write); then make a custom CD of a simple recording of the song for you; two personalized copies of The Other Way Around CD, plus early download of three songs.

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    Pledge $1,200 or more About $1,200

    CUSTOM SONG AND A SHOW — David will write a song on a topic you specify, or about someone you know. He will interview you, then write the song, or coach you to write your own (not a co-write); then make a custom CD of a simple recording of the song for you; two personalized copies of The Other Way Around CD, two prime seats at the album release party, two after-party invitations, plus early download of three songs.

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    BACKSTAGE & CHOOSE A COVER — Pick a major artist for David to sing a song by at the album release party on September 2, 2016. He will choose a song by that artist, perform it at the show and thank you from the stage; four premium seats; backstage passes; 2 personalized CDs, a signed USB box set (see above), a poster signed by musicians who play at the album release concert, plus early download of three songs.

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    Pledge $2,800 or more About $2,800

    THAT’S A TRIP! — Solo concert or talk anywhere in the world (including your living room or a public venue), 4 personalized copies of the CD, 4 prime seats at the CD release party, backstage passes and after party invitation. USB box set, all three of David's books. Thanks by name in the CD booklet, poster signed by musicians who play at album release concert, plus early download of three songs (+ transportation).

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  19. Select this reward

    Pledge $3,600 or more About $3,600

    THE WHOLE VACATION! (for up to six people) Up to six days (9/1 — 9/8) at Dryad Cottage in Black Mountain, 6 prime tickets for the album release show, backstage passes, 6 tickets to after party, 6 USB box sets, all three of David's books, gourmet vegetarian brunch on the deck the next day, made by David, and featuring fresh eggs from his backyard chickens, 12 signed and personalized copies of the CD sent well before the official release date, thanks by name in the CD booklet, shout out from the stage at the album release party, 3 posters signed by musicians who play at album release concert, plus early download of the entire album.

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Funding period

- (30 days)