I have been writing songs since 1992. But in 2016, I found it very difficult to write anything. Among other things, I kept trying to write songs that would build bridges and bring people together, but was paralyzed under the weight of that task. I wondered many times that year if I had written my last song - and if so, what did that make me now? I haven't really been anything professionally other than a songwriter.
Eventually I found my way back in to what I love by narrowing the scope of my focus. Instead of trying to change the world with a song, I focused on working with what was right in front of me - my friends, my community, my family ... my own heart. I started writing songs about my human condition and my experience in the world and ended up in places like ...
"I turn to the gold rule when I get stuck in my ways
When I look at the impasse and start to lose faith
Every stranger is a neighbor, I just don't know his name
I have to love local for the world to change."
- from "Village"
And so the songs that emerged for this record were essentially little exercises in learning to "love local". Like all of the records before, the songs are snapshots of my recent life - covering pain, sadness, hope, surrender, loss, resilience and the joys of raising teenagers.
In 2017, I recorded most of these songs and printed up a limited run of an acoustic pre-release version of the CD that was only available at shows - with plans to come back this year and add the other elements of production as well as a couple of newer songs. I have been chipping away at it slowly this summer and am hoping to be done with the final version by the end of September.
I am starting this Kickstarter as a way to fund this record. I am having a handful of fabulous friends play with me on this record (Will Sayles, Matt Pierson, David Henry, Sierra Hull, Nate Dugger) and am excited to turn all of the files in to my buddy, Shane Wilson, for mixing. I am also excited about working again with Rachel Mosley - who did a lovely job with the artwork on the pre-release version.
I have only ever been an independent artist. I don't have people managing me, booking me or taking care of any of the many details in this "career". To many of you, this is painfully obvious :) But the truth is that thanks to the generous support of friends like you, I have somehow been able to keep on keeping on in this life that I love. So thank you for partnering with me in this adventure. I really couldn't do it without you.
Everyone who supports - at any level - will get an immediate download of the acoustic pre-release version that is not available anywhere else online. As for the fully produced version, I hope to have the physical copies by November with an official release later that month.
We have THREE WEEKS to reach the goal of $18k. As I am sure you are aware, if we fail to reach the goal - everyone gets their pledged money back. So please help spread the word to help us get there before the deadline.
If we happen to go over the goal, there are a few "stretch goals" as well that include hiring some actual promotional help and making some videos that aren't produced and edited by yours truly.
I hope you find something you like over here on the right side of the screen ------>
If you don't, feel free to contact me with other ideas.
Thank you so much for your support today and over the last two decades. I hope you can feel the love and gratitude coming from my home to yours.
And just so you know what you are getting yourself into, here is a list of the songs on the record:
Different Now - strangely enough about how I am different from who I once was.
Village - written about Charlottesville, Houston and my own side of the street.
Mirage - written with the great Eric Peters - encouraging us all to come out of the fog.
Let It Go - a song about surrender that was NOT featured in the movie Frozen.
Everything's As It Should Be - the first song out of the long writer's block.
Teenagers - take a wild guess what this is about.
Death Without a Funeral - a song about loss written with my friend, Jason Gray
The End of A World - about those times in life when it feels like the world should stop.
Light A Candle - finding a way to protest the darkness.
Your Worst Day - a song of comfort for those who are at rock bottom.
The Brave One - a new song about courageous and resilient people that inspire me.
Risks and challenges
I am not too far from the finish line for this record. The biggest challenge is just completing all of the finishing touches before I hit the road pretty heavily this fall.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (21 days)