About this project
I’m pleased to FINALLY announce that I’m making a brand new album. The recording dates are booked for August- about a month away! And you, as my closest friends and supporters, are the very first to hear about it. The album will consist of at least 10 new, original songs and will be recorded in Austin, Texas with producer Dan Barrett at the helm. We've been dreaming and listening to songs for about six months now. I know Dan is the perfect producer for this collection of songs. For the moment, we're calling it Routes and Whereabouts. It's an album about the places I'm from and the roads I've taken to get where I am.
It’s been a long journey getting to this point- the point where the studio is booked, the songs are written, and I’m able to type up this letter to you. I’m at the cliff’s edge of a lot of hard work and faith.
It’s a strange and daunting task to ask all of you, my friends and fans, to support me. It’s a trust fall, exhilarating and terrifying all at the same time, to rely on the people that love me and my music to catch me; to help me keep going. But I know diving in, that it’s possible, because we’ve done it before.
My last record Two Birds, recorded at fabulous Blue Rock Studio and produced by my dear friend and mentor Billy Crockett was made possible because of you. Without the backing of a label, I was still able to make my dream album. I asked for your help. You were better to me than any label. $32,000 later ($28,625 on Kickstarter, and the rest in outside donations), that dream was a reality. We made a state-of-the-art recording with incredible players, artwork, production, etc. Arthur Wood at Maverick Magazine said, "If you purchase only one album this year,Two Birds is it!"
A big part of the magic of Two Birds was that the songs were infused with the confidence that came from knowing you had my back. You can hear it in the way I sing.
After four years of touring the country full time, writing hundreds more new songs, moving to three different states, and working with dozens of incredible musicians to find and lead my own band, I’m ready to record again. I’m thrilled to get to share this news with you first. I know you will help keep me on the road, because you’ve been there every step of the way so far.
It’s a statistical fact that Kickstarter projects that get a lot of momentum in the early days of the campaign are way, way, way more likely to be funded and to exceed their funding goals.
Please consider pledging early - add to my momentum!
I don’t know if I can explain just how good it feels to see that little “funded” stamp pop up on a Kickstarter project.
It feels like a green light for my soul. It’s the feeling of grass beneath my feet.
The knowledge that all things are possible, that I can do this, at least for a few more years. It’s a huge sigh of relief. For that gift, which you’ve already given me once and which I’m now asking for again, all I can say in response is THANK YOU.
And that I will give you the best record I know how to make in return. I know you will hear my gratitude and the wind in my sails in every note.
God bless you for supporting art and making this music a reality.
Much love and many thanks.
Although I've set my official goal at $21,816.59, that only covers a basic recording and Kickstarter rewards. Reaching my Kickstarter goal means all my backers get a copy of the album. But to release the album for everybody else and to do some very basic promotion, I'll need to come up with $27,217.81.
Here's what I will do if I'm able to raise more than my goal:
KICKSTARTER GOAL (basic costs) – $21,816.59: Your donation will be used to make the project itself. These funds cover the cost of production (studio time, musicians, mixing, mastering, and producer fees) plus just enough left over to fulfill Kickstarter rewards and account for Kickstarter’s percentage. With $20,000 we can create something as good or better than anything a record label could produce and put a copy in your hands.
Flex Goal #1 - $27,217.81: With this extra $5,401.22, I have just enough for a bare-bones album release. I can send a few copies to radio and reviewers, even though I’ll have to do it myself. I can print enough copies to have CDs at my shows and maybe even a few to give away.
Flex Goal #2 - $28,417.81: I want to showcase at the International Folk Alliance Conference in Kansas City: February 2017 (http://www.folkconference.org/). The conference is a gathering of folk/Americana/alt-country/singer-songwriter tastemakers. DJs, venues, other musicians, and even labels, management, and booking agencies all attend. It’s going to cost $1,200 on the low end to take one side person to the conference, share a hotel room for 5 nights, pay for travel and food, and print a few promotional items to hand out at the conference (showcase times cards, business cards, download cards). Showcasing at the conference will make a BIG DIFFERENCE in getting this album heard. I received an official showcase in 2012, when I released Two Birds, and it was an important piece of the promotional puzzle.
Flex Goal #3 - $31,417.81: Musical shoe polish! This extra $3000 ($300/each song) buys you more/bigger name players on the album. This money could be spent to fly out artists for cameos. For example, Two Birds featured Robby Hecht on two songs. We flew Robby in from Nashville. These funds could also be allocated towards adding just one more song that we absolutely can’t live without. As we go through recording the album, we will inevitably be hoping for a little padding for musical shoe polish here and there.
Flex Goal #4 - $34,417.81: On a 14 day release tour (estimating 8 shows during that time and 6 travel dates), it would cost roughly $3,000 to pay everybody enough to make sure we don’t starve, even if the show is cancelled because of a tornado or nobody shows up. It also purchases 2 hotel rooms/night for roughly half of those nights (assuming we can find couches and floors for half the nights). With an extra $3,000 I could take my beloved full 5-piece band from the Kickstarter video on the road to promote the album. Your donation pays for drums, bass, lead guitar, lead fiddle + me and brings the songs to a town near you.
I am truly grateful for every donation, big or small. Thank you for supporting me and enabling me to continue making music.
Risks and challenges
Asking you to support me this way is a risky venture. I'm staking my ability to record and release new music (which is a huge part of what I do as a full time songwriter and performer) on the belief that you guys care enough about the music to pay for it.
In addition to the faith required, there's a lot of work to do.
Although I've spent months planning, budgeting, designing, and dreaming, there are miles to go. I'll need to run an organized and targeted campaign throughout July. I'll need to stay in touch and keep you in the loop.
When the project is funded, I'll fulfill rewards, track songs in the studio, and strategize the album release plan, including the release tour and promotion for the new album.
Every Kickstarter patron will receive a copy of the album in the mail by the fall. But as for everybody else- DJs, fans at the shows, etc.- the actual album release timeline is a big unknown. It is contingent upon how much we're able to raise, as outlined in the Flex Goals summary above. The album will be released... it's a matter of when.
In short, running this campaign and making this album are going to be my full-time (unpaid) job for the next two months.
There are three good reasons I'm not panicking (for the most part) about the vast mountain of work ahead of me:
1. You. You beautiful, loving, supportive people who funded my last album and continue to have my back.
2. Dream Team. I've got great people helping behind the scenes. Cris Lopez, my better half and an indispensable member of "Team Grace's Album," who helps with everything from overseeing design to crunching numbers to licking envelopes. Kirsten Mathisen, my booking agent, who assists with promotion and keeping a consistent narrative and provides an inexhaustible source of joy and confidence. Dan Barrett, my producer, thinking outside the box and finding creative ways to make this project happen. My band, my videographer, my good friends.
3. Experience. I've done this before. I managed my own Kickstarter campaign last time (with a TON of help from a few amazing people) and it worked! We raised $28K with Kickstarter, made a great album, fulfilled rewards on time. We can do it again.
Whether we just barely meet our goal or blow it out of the water, I'm confident we can raise enough to make something incredible.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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