Objects in motion tend to stay in motion, and anyone who knows me will tell you that I don't tend to stay still for long. The past several years have been no exception. I've been constantly moving, living a life dedicated to two things: making music and providing for my family (for me, these have become inextricably interconnected).
In the fall of 2015 I moved my recording studio to an incredible new location; a dream come true - and a major commitment of time, resources and creative energy, getting the whole thing up and running. Very thankfully, since then, I've been making records pretty much non-stop. I've collaborated with amazing artists from all over the world, and feel privileged to continue to be invited into so many musical adventures. The only "down side" has been that I have found myself with less time, not to mention creative energy, to dedicate to my own art. Maintaining a business of this nature, in this day and age, is challenging to say the least.
A few months ago, however, the wellspring of inspiration began to rise and I was once again caught up in the infectious excitement of discovering new songs as they began to pour forth. I made time, began writing, and they're still coming, thank goodness! I've also revisited a couple of my tried and true writing partnerships - with my long-time co-conspirator George Breakfast, and my wife Caline Welles. These collaborations brought forth yet another batch of songs - an embarrassment of riches. These, plus one or two that have been waiting in the wings, make for a formidable batch. The stars have aligned it's time to record a new album.
Here's a demo of one of the songs I'm recording:
"Home Again to You" (words and music by Jono Manson) - Magic Request Music/BMI
I have a great recording studio to use "for free" (assuming I can clear the decks long enough for my own selfish purposes, and still stay afloat!) and an accomplished producer/engineer who will work for tacos (that's me!), so that end of the financial equation is more or less taken care of.
Here's what I'm raising the cash to cover:
I've got a great roster of players in mind for this project - both people who live nearby and folks that I will need to bring in from the far reaches of the country, and beyond. Everyone will, of course, need to get paid and for those musicians traveling from far away there will be the added cost of transportation and lodging. Being a lifetime working musician myself, it's very important that everyone be paid as fairly as possible. The musicians who've worked with me, both on the road and in the studio, will testify that I always put together the best payday possible, given the circumstances of the gig. I'll be doing the lion's share of the recording at my place, but also plan to do some overdubs, with extra special guests, in other studios in New York, Austin and Italy, so I'll need to pay for some of the studio time.
Once the record is recorded and mixed the next step will be mastering. This is an important part of the process which I do not take lightly. If you want it done right, which I do, it ain't necessarily cheap!
Then we'll be on to the design, manufacturing and packaging of what is currently referred to as "physical content " (in this case, compact discs and vinyl albums). The last piece of the puzzle (and perhaps ultimately most important, like it or not) is the promotion of my project. I will need to spend some cash getting the record out there so that it can be heard, written about, and loved, by as many people as possible.
As I mentioned in my heartfelt video (if you watched it): when you support a project of this nature, you’re not only helping the artist realize their vision, but you're also helping nourish an entire micro-economy of session musicians, mastering engineers, graphic designers, videographers, and so on....it takes a village, as they say. The complete, gory, budgetary details are listed below.
I've done my best to create "rewards" packages with "something for everyone" in mind. Essentially, I'm pre-selling my products and services to get this done. If, however, you think there's something I've missed, or if you want a customized rewards package, then please contact me and let me know. I will do my best to provide!
Here is my estimated budget for this project. Since I've already begun working on this album, I have a pretty good handle on how it all pans out. (Note: This budget gets the project though post-production, manufacturing and shipping. Once I reach this goal, I'll work on a new "stretch goal" to raise a little more scratch for promotion):
1. Session Musicians: Includes Session fees, transportation, and other related expenses $7000.00
2. Studio costs (for overdubs in studios other than my own):$1000.00
3. Mastering for Digital and Analog releases : $2000.00
4. Graphic Design / Layout for CD and Vinyl release $1000.00
5. CD Manufacturing: $1400.00
6. 180 gram Vinyl Manufacturing and Packaging: Cutting Lacquers with Reference Lacquers $1,770.00, Metal Stampers = $600.00, Pressing = $1500.00, Test Pressings = $125.00, Printed Jackets and Inner Sleeves = $600.00 Shipping = $200.00, Total = $4795.00
7. Packaging and Shipping of Kickstarter rewards: $2000.00
8. Kickstarter Fees: $1700.00
I'm truly very grateful for your support and thank you from the bottom of my heart! With you behind this endeavor, not only will I have the financial wherewithal to proceed, but I'll be able to forge full speed ahead knowing that I'm not in this alone. Not by a long shot!
Risks and challenges
When you commit to living the existence of the full-time professional musician, as I did decades ago, you're signing up for lifetime of daily challenges of every, often unforeseeable, kind.
The good news is that seasoned performing musicians acquire the ability to improvise. When you're on the bandstand and someone else plays a musical figure, you have to "decide", without "thinking" how to respond, or simply get out of its way. I'm convinced, that this ability to "think on our feet" and adapt spills over into every aspect of our lives, and gives us a unique ability to deal with life challenges should they arise.
As for me, I'm not worried, and you shouldn't be either.
Besides, I've done this before. Lots of times.
Thanks again for your vote of confidence.
- (40 days)