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I spent all my money making this open-hearted album! With your help, I can make it even more beautiful! I hope these songs move you...
I spent all my money making this open-hearted album! With your help, I can make it even more beautiful! I hope these songs move you...
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619 backers pledged $42,066 to help bring this project to life.

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Ellis: Making an album to break your heart wide open!

$42,066

619

Let's do the stretch goal!

We made it!  Thanks to all of you awesome backers, I've reached the goal of $25,000. That same day, I called my producer and we set up the dates to add strings to the album.  I'm thrilled to be working with Rob Mathes and he is going to write some beautiful arrangements. And I could never have done this without your help!

With only 5 days left of the campaign, I would like to ask your help.

When I was dreaming of this album, I hoped to raise enough money not just to finish the album, but also to hire a publicist and radio promoter. I have a stretch goal of $40,000!  Can you help me to meet it? 

About the album

I am so excited to share some of the in-progress songs with you from this record, featured in the video.  My dream is to raise enough funds to pay the costs of finishing the recording including adding string arrangements, paying down some of the money I've already spent, and covering the album artwork design and manufacturing,

My stretch goal (double my initial goal) is my BIG DREAM! I hope to hire a publicist and radio promoter. Usually I make a record and spread it person by person, one show at a time. This time, I would love to hire a publicity firm and try to land spots on NPR, in major music magazines, as well as in other mainstream media.

And I can do all that, with your help!

It's my hope that this Kickstarter campaign will give you a way to be a part of making all of this happen. There are a lot of options for sponsoring and dedicating songs, associate or executive producing the record, getting signed and numbered copies of the album, guitar lessons, and so much more!

**Video photo credits: Thank you to Reggie R Barrett, Neale Eckstein, Karen Rowan, Alessandro DeSogos, Jean-Francois Provost, Mark Loken, & Terri Delaney for the wonderful photos!

About Ellis

I am a contemporary folk artist. This is my 9th solo album, and I believe it will be my most mature and moving recording effort yet! For folks (maybe like you) who already know me, you know that it is my life’s work to practice being undefended and open; to write songs from that place and offer them wholeheartedly.

I believe songs are powerful, and at their best, that they can connect people to themselves and to one another. I LOVE recording my songs! I love the process because it's a chance for each song to come alive and live outside of any single live performance setting. 

I hope to make this an album that you love, and become friends with, and that you want to carry around with you every single day. 

I get excited for my songs to have that chance to be fully themselves it's my intention and goal to add musical additions that draw you in and help you to feel the heart of the song at every moment while listening. 

I want to inspire laughter and acceptance and appreciation of all the beautiful things right here without pushing away the troubles that can feel so heavy and break our hearts.

Risks and challenges

I don't anticipate any obstacles in completing this project. The album is 70% finished and I've completed eight other solo albums to date, so I know how long it typically takes. The only possible setback is if the folks who I hire to add strings take longer than planned, then I might need to push back the release date. However, the current projected completion date already allows some time for delays like that. So we should be good!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    GIFT OF LOVE - Give $1 or more to the cause and I will smile and thank you out loud by name when I get the message. It is through support like yours that I will be able to make this album.... $1 at a time!

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A digital copy of the album, in advance of the official release date. And my gratitude and thank yous!

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    120 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    PREORDER - A copy of the album, in advance of the official release date, plus the digital download! And my gratitude and thank yous!

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    170 backers
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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    SIGNED ALBUM - A signed copy of the album, in advance of the official release date, plus the digital download! And my gratitude and lots of thank yous! :-)

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    ON THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR: A CD of alternate versions, mixes and songs that didn’t make the cut from the recording sessions. Only available via this Kickstarter. Plus a signed copy of the album and the digital download in advance of the release date! And my gratitude and lots of thank yous! :-)

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    ELLIS-O-GRAM - I will record a short video message via my phone and message it or email it to you. It could be a happy birthday message, a love message, or I could tell a joke from my daughter's kid jokebook! (Message subject to my approval since I'll be the one saying it! :) Plus you'll get a signed copy of the album, in advance of the official release date, the "On The Cutting Room Floor" CD, and the digital download! And my gratitude and lots of thank yous! :-)

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    PRIORITY BOX OF ELLIS STUFF - I will send you an Ellis "happy" mug, a few random Ellis CDs or other Ellis merch items, and the "On The Cutting Room Floor" CD. Plus you'll get a signed copy of the album, in advance of the official release date, plus the digital download! And my gratitude and lots of thank yous! :-)

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    Limited 34 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    4 SIGNED CDS - I will send you four signed copies of the album, in advance of the official release date, plus the digital download and a copy of the "On The Cutting Room Floor" CD! And my gratitude and lots of thank yous! :-)

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    Pledge $120 or more About $120

    1 - 60 min GUITAR LESSON - I'll teach you to play any of my songs in-person in Minneapolis or via videochat. Plus a signed copy of the album and the digital download! And my gratitude and lots of thank yous! :-)

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    SONG SERENADE - I will serenade you or a loved one with one of my songs via videochat or in person (within 20 miles of Minneapolis). I'll schedule the serenade to occur within 12 months after the end of the kickstarter. Plus a signed copy of the album, a copy of the "On the Cutting Room Floor" alternative versions CD, and the digital download! Plus my gratitude and tons of thank yous! :-)

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    HAND-WRITTEN LYRICS - I will handwrite the lyrics of one of my songs (your choice which one) on really nice paper and add doodles too! Plus a signed copy of the album, a copy of the "On the Cutting Room Floor" alternative versions CD, and the digital download! Plus my gratitude and tons of thank yous! :-)

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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    LIMITED EDITION PACKAGE #1 - SIGNED & HAND NUMBERED ALBUM- I'll send you all 4 of the rough mix mp3s previewed in the video right away (within 2 weeks of the kickstarter ending), a digital copy of the final album mixes to listen to in August (a month before everyone else!). Then, in September, I will mail you a hand-numbered and personally signed copy of the CD (first pledge gets #1 of 100, and so on); a copy of the "On the Cutting Room Floor" alternative versions CD, and one of my used guitar pics. And my immense gratitude and thanks!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    LIMITED EDITION PACKAGE #2 - HAND NUMBERED ART PRINT - I'll send you all 4 of the rough mix mp3s previewed in the video right away (within 2 weeks of the kickstarter ending), a digital copy of the final album mixes to listen to in August (a month before everyone else!). Then, in September, I will send you a hand-numbered and signed print of art that I designed (the first pledge gets #1 of 100, and so on); plus a copy of the "On the Cutting Room Floor" alternative versions CD, and a signed copy of the album, AND the digital download too! And my immense gratitude and thanks!

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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    CHAT OVER COFFEE: I'll buy you a coffee and we'll chat for an hour or so! The location of meeting would need to be arranged to fit into my tour schedule, so only pick this if I tour to your town each year (or if you're willing to travel :). We'll schedule it over the next 18 months, but you'll get the signed CD, a copy of the "On the Cutting Room Floor" alternative versions CD, and the digital download in September, in advance of the release date! Plus my huge gratitude and thanks!

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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    SPECIAL HEART-FELT INSCRIPTION - Compose a special message or dedication (up to 140 characters) to be included in the album art on a special dedications page. The specific wording is subject to Ellis' editing and approval. This could be a dedication or other sweet note to another person who loves Ellis' music. Email Ellis if you have questions about this! Also, you'll get 2 signed copies of the album, one for you, and one for your special person, a copy of the "On the Cutting Room Floor" alternative versions CD, and the digital download! Plus my immense gratitude and thank yous!

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    SPECIAL PLEDGE ITEM FOR ROBIN - I will hand-write the lyrics of one of my songs (your choice which one) on really nice paper and add doodles too! Plus a happy mug and a signed new cd. Thanks Robin! :-)

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    SONGWRITING WORKSHOP and PERSONAL MENTORING- In a small group of 9 folks or less, I'll teach you my approach to songwriting via videochat. After the 90 min workshop, I'll listen to up to 3 mp3s of your songs and provide feedback via email. I will also schedule a 30 min, one-on-one follow-up session to give you feedback, encouragement and answer your questions about songwriting! Plus a signed copy of the album, a copy of the "On the Cutting Room Floor" alternative versions CD, and the digital download! Yes! Pick this one! :-)

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    SPONSOR A SONG: Dedicate “WHEREVER YOU ARE” on the album - I will include your personal dedication in the album artwork under the song title with the song lyrics. I will think of you or your loved one and announce the dedication when I play this song at the CD release concert of your choosing (where you will be sitting in the front row courtesy of four free comp tickets). In addition, I will send you 10 copies of the album to give as gifts as well as the digital download, a copy of the "On the Cutting Room Floor" alternative versions CD, and I will be so grateful to have your loved one connected to this song in this way!

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    SPONSOR A SONG: Dedicate “YOU ARE ROYALTY TO ME” on the album - I will include your personal dedication in the album artwork under the song title with the song lyrics. I will think of you or your loved one and announce the dedication when I play this song at the CD release concert of your choosing (where you will be sitting in the front row courtesy of four free comp tickets). In addition, I will send you 10 copies of the album to give as gifts as well as the digital download, a copy of the "On the Cutting Room Floor" alternative versions CD, and I will be so grateful to have your loved one connected to this song in this way!

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    SPONSOR A SONG: Dedicate “THE GUEST HOUSE” on the album - I will include your personal dedication in the album artwork under the song title with the song lyrics. I will think of you or your loved one and announce the dedication when I play this song at the CD release concert of your choosing (where you will be sitting in the front row courtesy of four free comp tickets). In addition, I will send you 10 copies of the album to give as gifts as well as the digital download, a copy of the "On the Cutting Room Floor" alternative versions CD, and I will be so grateful to have your loved one connected to this song in this way!

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

    DINNER & SNEAK PREVIEW LISTENING PARTY WITH ME AND MY FAMILY - You and your guest will join me, my wife, and our daughter for dinner and then we’ll listen to the album together. We'll schedule this over the summer BEFORE the album is officially out. I'll give you all of my albums and mugs and other stuff that you don't already have, along with 10 signed copies of the album, a copy of the "On the Cutting Room Floor" alternative versions CD, (likely I'll mail these depending on when we schedule this) and the digital download. You provide your own transportation to Minneapolis and we'll take ya to dinner and the listening adventure! This will be so fun!

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

    PRIVATE HOUSE CONCERT (LOCAL) - For folks who live in Minnesota or within 4 hours of Minneapolis.
    I will give you input on the set list, invite you to sing with me on a tune, and we will hang out the afternoon before the show!
    Plus, you get a bunch of the other stuff: 10 signed CD copies, a copy of the On The Cutting Room Floor CD, and a hand-written set list from the concert that night.(Arranged by mutual agreement in next 12 months)

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    Pledge $1,494 or more About $1,494

    STRETCH GOAL MAKER - Pledge the amount remaining to meet my stretch goal of $40,000 and then select this reward, and you can pick three of any of the lesser amount rewards (For example, if it is $1400 or more, you could choose a songwriting workshop, AND a song serenade AND an inscription in the album notes). In addition, I will give you album mixes when I have them and also 10 signed CD copies, the art print, and the "On the Cutting Room Floor". And I will cry a little. :-)
    (note, I will keep reducing the amount of this option as the pledges keep coming in... so if no one snaps it up, it will keep dropping in the amount needed to pledge). ps. You can only select this reward and then message me about the others you want to roll into this one!

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    CUSTOM ELLIS SONG - I will write a song for you and record it with an optional dedication, in my home studio. I will retain the song ownership and publishing, and you will own the recording to reproduce as much as you’d like. We will talk for an hour via phone or videochat so I can get as many details as possible about your chosen topic. Plus a signed copy of the new album, a copy of the "On the Cutting Room Floor" alternative versions CD, and digital download in advance of the release date! I wanna write this song for you! :)

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    PRIVATE HOUSE CONCERT - Have you been waiting for me to come to your town to perform for way too long? This is a way to ensure that I will tour to your neck of the woods in 2016 (lower 48 states & DC only).
    I will give you input on the set list, invite you to sing with me on a tune, and we will hang out the afternoon before the show!
    Plus, you get a bunch of the other stuff: 10 signed CD copies, a copy of the On The Cutting Room Floor CD, and a hand-written set list from the concert that night.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER - First, I will call you and cry tears of joy and gratitude. Then, I'll give you album mixes, and you will give input in May and June, before the album is finally mixed in July. We will talk via phone or videochat about your input, and I will list you as an associate producer in the album credits. Plus you will have my immense gratitude for helping me to fund the album in this way!

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - First, I will call you and cry tears of joy and gratitude. Then I will give you all the mixes I have to date and ask for your input right away, as well as in May and June. If we can coordinate schedules, we will schedule a day where you can meet with me and Ben in New Jersey while we're making the final mixes. I will list your name as the executive producer in the album credits. Plus you will have my immense gratitude for helping me to fund the album in this way!

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Funding period

- (31 days)