Thanks for watching our video! The Littlest Dobro and I have been working on this CD on and off since October of last year, and it's been a blast to work with Toronto bluegrass superstars The Slocan Ramblers: Frank Evans on three-finger and clawhammer banjo, Adrian Gross on mandolin, Darryl Poulsen on guitar, and Alastair Whitehead on bass. I got to know them and their music very well while mixing their album Coffee Creek, so I knew they'd have the perfect blend of good taste and creativity to craft memorable renditions of my original tunes. I flew to Portland a few weeks ago to record fiddler Annie Staninec on a few tunes as well.
Here are some preliminary mixes!
Clinch Mountain Bar Mitzvah:
I'm recording and mixing the album myself, and the process is really fun: I send demos to the Slocan Ramblers, they learn the tunes, and then we arrange them in person, turn on the mics, and start recording. It's been amazing to have the benefit of their arrangement ideas - they're endlessly creative and energetic with their bluegrass, and the nicest guys you could hope to work with.
Album Title and Artwork
The Littlest Dobro is a shout-out to the iconic Canadian TV show (and its canine protagonist), The Littlest Hobo. I've been living in Canada for a few years now, and assimilation is apparently complete - resistance is futile.... I know it's a little goofy and this might be mistaken for a kids' album, but just for fun, my little clay creations will be front and centre in the album art.
You'll find a number of options with physical CDs or downloads of this album, plus options for downloads of my previous recordings. Downloads are by default high-quality mp3s (mp3 320, which is roughly 70 megs of data per album), but if you prefer CD-quality WAV downloads (roughly 40 or 50 megs per song), just let me know and I'll send you your preferred file formate instead.
Dobro Instructional Perks!
- Tablature book - learn amazing Dobro licks including "Angry Chicken," "The Star Trek," and "The Bar Mitzvah Roll"! For the Dobro players out there, I'm going to tab out all of my solos exactly as they were played. You'll notice the difference compared to the usual tablature where the last 5% of the details are washed over--which is frustrating if you're the type of player who can figure out the other 95% yourself! Shipping books from Canada is quite expensive, so I recommend the PDF tab book option.
- "Music Minus One" album download. As another instructional perk for ambitious Dobro players, I'm going to mix a "music minus one" (i.e. no Dobro) version of the album, so you can practice up to speed with a great band, improvise your own solos, and also hear how your Dobro backup sounds behind other soloists. I think this will be a valuable tool for intermediate and advanced Dobro players who don't have enough opportunities to practice with a professional band.
Animated Project Updates! (for all supporters of any amount)
I had a lot of fun making this Kickstarter video (it took about a week including trial-and-error clay figures to do it - that was a good week). To keep this project entertaining for my supporters, my Kickstarter updates will be animated as well. In addition to keeping you apprised of the latest developments, I think the animated updates will be a fun bonus for supporting this project (and maybe a nice distraction from this insane presidential election cycle). I wonder what kind of shenanigans The Littlest Dobro will get into next...
Animated Reward! Personalized Animated Thank-You's, Happy-Birthdays, etc.
That's right, you can get a personalized 30-second animated film with the clay versions of me and The Littlest Dobro. Imagine the Littlest Dobro singing a loved one happy birthday, dressing up like Santa to wish your kids a merry Christmas, delivering a hearty "mazel tov" for an anniversary or bar mitzvah, or giving your spouse the slidiest Valentine's Day greeting ever. This would make a great present for your Dobro-pickin' loved ones, or for the little kids in your life who would lose their minds when a Dobro sings them happy birthday. These will take several hours each to make, so let me know as soon as possible if there's an upcoming date you'd like to have yours by. Note: please make the content requests rated G or PG :-)
Don't See What You're Looking For?
If there's a combination of rewards you'd like but don't see listed, let me know and I'll add it.
Thank you so much for considering the idea of backing my Kickstater campaign. I'm shooting for $8000 CAD (approx. $5840 USD) to bring this project into existence and do a concentrated radio mail-out to tried and true radio stations who have played my music in the past. If I exceed that amount, I'll use the extra for additional radio promotion.
Risks and challenges
I don't foresee any risks or challenges with producing the main products of this Kickstarter - making a CD and Tab book ain't rocket science. It just takes a lot of time and dedication. But if any unforeseen delay were to come up, I'd let you know right away.
Depending on how many people select the animated greeting rewards, those could take a while - claymation requires at least 20 frames per second to look decent, plus there's the time spent setting up, mapping out the cartoon, recording audio, and possibly making new clay figures. It's very enjoyable, but extremely time consuming. But let me know if there's a birthday or other occasion coming right up and I'll make it work!
Shipping tab books will be quite expensive both in and from Canada, which doesn't offer media mail. For that reason, I recommend the PDF tab book reward option. You can always print it yourself and have it bound at a copy shop, and I'll design a nice cover for it. If you're in the U.S. and can wait a bit, I can mail your book cheaply via media mail next time I'm in the States. If that happens and you've overpaid for shipping, I'll refund the difference.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)