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An outlaw honky tonk dreamscape where love blurs with addiction, tables turn on a dime, and graves hide in the sands of time.
29 backers pledged $1,332 to help bring this project to life.
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Memoirs of a Honky Tonk Heart: Not Every Story Has a Happy Ending...

Like Waylon said, "I've always been crazy, but it's kept me from going insane." So here I am with a country album I really had no business making, and thrilled beyond belief at the final product! I'm so in love, and all I want is to share this crazy project with somebody, anybody - the whole world would be great?

Not surprisingly, there's a ton of drinking and heartbreak on the album - obvious, timeless country music themes. But for good measure, I threw in some addiction issues, domestic violence, a sawed-off shotgun, and a grave in the desert - so basically a love story. It winds up with a honky tonk angel beyond salvation, jolting us out of an outlaw dreamscape and into a harsh modern-day reality, with unanswered phone calls, an unexpected new character, and the most final of final escapes. Happy endings are overrated.

At some point, I realized Memoirs of a Honky Tonk Heart was like the photograph negative of the Red Headed Stranger by Willie Nelson - black where he had white, gray where he had gray, a steely woman where he had a reckless man, and an irreversible downward spiral instead of his red headed stranger's redemption. I remember poring over the illustrations on the back of the album as a young girl - the opening wail, "It was the tiiiiime of the preacher..." still gives me chills. So that unintentional twist enthralled me even more. 

That wasn't the only instance of strange serendipity. Through a friend's Instagram page (thanks Kenzie Kovick at @rhinestonedcowgirl, amazing purveyor of wester vintage duds! ;), I came across a seductive multi-talented musical and visual artist, Ambur Rockell West (@witchywestern; @midnightballadera for her book). Short story, I asked her and she agreed to illustrate the album. Her medium is old-fashioned pen and ink, and she came through with pictures even more beautiful and perfect for the story than I could have imagined. Thank you, Ambur!

Ambur Rockell West
Ambur Rockell West

The pictures are simply inseparable from the music, just like the pictorial on the Red Headed Stranger album cover. However, that kind of storyboard would never fit on a CD cover, and in a CD booklet it would just be hidden away. For a digital download, it would never even be seen. So, proof of being crazy and also possibly insane, I decided to include a 12" album "cover" with every single order - CD and/or digital. Sensible? Totally not. Profitable? Hahahaha! Just do whatever you want with it, cut it open and hang it on the wall where you can see the front AND the back at once...?

Speaking of rewards of being a contributor...let's check out a preview of how I want to thank you for helping me finish up this project:

Not enough for ya? Still hungry for more? No problem. The last two levels, the OUTLAW and the GRAVEDIGGER get even more seriously awesome, with rewards straight from my own hands and heart:

Yep, so I know you're like "WOW" and itching to get over to the supporter's page now, so I'll wrap this up. 

The instructions on this section say to tell your story like you're explaining it to your friend. Well, my closest friends and family already know that I've spent the last 2 years working on this project in my spare time, around parenting and wife-ing and running my business. They already know I've spent an illogical amount of money on it (thanks Citi and Cabela's points!) but understand how important it is to me. They know that many of the songs are rooted in AMPLE personal experience. 

They've also already heard about how awesome Ray Hamilton and Richie Boe with Trial by Fire Productions have been to work with, playing instruments on the tracks and contributing their creative touches to fleshing out the songs and expert mixing. Blake Francis Bickel of Dynamic Sound Service will be polishing them up with mastering. Then it will be shipping off for CD manufacturing and sent off into the cloud for streaming at Bandcamp!

So with that, THANK YOU SO MUCH for reading my story, check out the video to see how awkward and not-a-video-producer I am, and please consider being a contributor by ordering this one-of-a-kind album and getting some of the awesome rewards available for all you awesome project backers! 

XOXO, Jessie Wesloh

Risks and challenges

Everything about Memoirs of a Honky Tonk Heart has been a risk and a challenge, except the actual writing of the songs, which flowed out with a life of their own. Challenges: learning what to do with a song with a song after you have scribbled words on paper, like making a beginning and an end. Keeping a flow and momentum working 2 hours at a time, sometimes 3-4 weeks apart. Listening to drafts over and over again with 2 kids gravitating like magnets toward any attempts to focus.

RISKS: Everything, but 100% worth it. Spending literally thousands of dollars to record and mix a 13-track album (and that's with so much generosity from everyone who helped me - it should have cost much more). Putting my heart and soul into songs that are special to me but might be terrible to everyone else. Remembering it's about art, not profit.

And now a finished product in hand, ready for mastering and production. This pre-sale is not only a way to get the word out and estimate an amount to order, but a hope for a final little funding push to get this thing out the door. My goal is small because I'm almost there and don't expect to recoup what I've already invested up to this point. Your generous support will just help me take this last step in making Memoirs of a Honky Tonk Heart a reality!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 15 or more About US$ 15

    The Bandita

    Memoirs of a Honky Tonk Heart, in your dirty little hands before it's released. You will receive a physical CD with digital download included, packaged in a 12" album cover lavishly illustrated with haunting black and white scenes by witchy western artist Ambur Rockell West. This one of a kind, multi-media, multi-artist work can be yours to feast your eyes and ears upon forever, for less than the cost of anything that costs $20.

    Includes:
    • CD w/12" album cover; digital download included.
    Less
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    Ships to Only United States
    15 backers
    $

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 30 or more About US$ 30

    The Gambler

    Same as Bandita: Memoirs of a Honky Tonk Heart, in your dirty little hands before it's released. You will receive a physical CD with digital download included, packaged in a 12" record-sized album cover lavishly illustrated with haunting black and white scenes by witchy western artist Ambur Rockell West.
    PLUS: Throw in a few extra chips and cash in on 2 Jessie Wesloh Montana Outlaw & Outlaw C@untry shirt decals that you can iron on any ol' damn shirts you please.* Or underwear. Or whatever. I don't know your life. This isn't just "some songs," it's a multi-sensory work of art. Raise the stakes and roll the dice.

    Includes:
    • CD w/12" album cover; digital download included.
    • Jessie Wesloh "MONTANA OUTLAW" Iron-On Shirt Decals
    Less
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    Ships to Only United States
    4 backers
    $

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    The Honky Tonk Angel

    For the true Honky Tonk Hearts out there - drop some more silver down the slot and let the needle drop. Get everything in the Gambler rewards PLUS the Jessie Wesloh "Montana is Outlaw Country" trucker hat. You know you want it. I know you want it. No matter where you're from, you can represent the badassness of Big Sky country, while drifting away to your favorite local jukebox. Get it on your head before they run out. (Specify your choice of black, red, green, or blue; lots of black available but limited numbers of the colors!)

    Includes:
    • CD w/12" album cover; digital download included.
    • Jessie Wesloh "MONTANA OUTLAW" Iron-On Shirt Decals
    • Jessie Wesloh "Montana is Outlaw Country" Trucker Hat
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    3 backers
    $

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    The Desert Rose

    Welcome to the desert, where graves hide in the sands of time... or in haunting artwork on your wall. Each piece of art on the album cover is a gorgeous, original pen & ink illustration by Ambur Rockell West, created specially for Memoirs of a Honky Tonk Heart. For a few more bucks, you still get every single thing in the Honky Tonk Angel package, PLUS (2) stunning 8 x 8 Ambur Rockell West prints, "Desert Rose" and "Timesss Up" from the album artwork. Now you'll have a little piece (or two) of Ambur's work you can get lost in whenever the desert calls...

    Includes:
    • CD w/12" album cover; digital download included.
    • Jessie Wesloh "MONTANA OUTLAW" Iron-On Shirt Decals
    • 2 8x10 Ambur Rockell West Prints: "Desert Rose" & "Timesss Up"
    • Jessie Wesloh "Montana is Outlaw Country" Trucker Hat
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    0 backers
    $

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    The Outlaw

    If you've scrolled down this far, you know what they say - curiosity killed the cat... This one is where it gets real. For those of you souls who are music-loving and generous enough to support my project at this level, you get a super bad-ass thank you from the bottom of my outlaw heart. Of course, you also get every single thing listed in every level above. But now to the NEW added goodies: (1) a digital download of 2 non-album songs that have never been released, AND...how about a very limited print of my own rendition of two of MY favorite outlaws: Waylon and Willie. That's right, this original artwork is straight from yours truly, exclusively for all my outlaws out there who support real country music and my little labor of love. (Well, not ALL y'all...there will only be 15 of these available so don't miss out forever! XOXO - Jessie)

    Includes:
    • CD with 12" album cover (digital download included)
    • Limited Edition "Waylon & Willie" by Jessie Wesloh
    • Digital download of two (2) unreleased originals
    • 2 8x10 Ambur Rockell West Prints: "Desert Rose" & "Timesss Up"
    • Jessie Wesloh "MONTANA OUTLAW" Iron-On Shirt Decals
    • Jessie Wesloh "Montana is Outlaw Country" Trucker Hat
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 0 backers
    $

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 150 or more About US$ 150

    The Gravedigger

    People, THIS IS IT. If you are seriously this awesome, here's the deal. Support Memoirs of a Honky Tonk Heart at the Gravedigger level, and not only will I go to MY grave a happy woman, but everything above will also be yours, plus . . .

    YOUR OWN COUNTRY SONG. You send me a story or an idea, could be about you, could be about your worthless ex or your favorite beer, and I'll turn it into an original honky tonk tune, record it, and post it on YouTube and my social media pages (with you tagged of course). You will also receive a digital copy of the video, an mp3 file of the song, and a handwritten copy of your lyrics signed and dated by me.

    I'm only offering 5 of these because if I write you a song, I'll be giving it 110%. If you take my work this seriously, I'm gonna write you a seriously awesome song. And with that . . . THANK YOU everyone for checking out my project and the Pledge reward, and I hope to see you in the honky tonk!

    (Please allow around 4 additional weeks for song.)

    Includes:
    • CD with 12" album cover (digital download included)
    • The PERFECT PERSONALIZED COUNTRY & WESTERN SONG
    • Limited Edition "Waylon & Willie" by Jessie Wesloh
    • Digital download of two (2) unreleased originals
    • 2 8x10 Ambur Rockell West Prints: "Desert Rose" & "Timesss Up"
    • Jessie Wesloh "MONTANA OUTLAW" Iron-On Shirt Decals
    • Jessie Wesloh "Montana is Outlaw Country" Trucker Hat
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 4 backers
    $

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Funding period

- (29 days)