About this project
Seven months ago, we sold all of our belongings and bought a small camper, so that we could hit the road full time and travel the country, sharing music and pursuing our dreams.
Since then we have traveled over 20,000 miles in our GypsyVan home, and have played hundreds of shows from Chicago to New Orleans and everywhere in between.
In our travels we have met so many new fans and supporters who share our passion for Roots Music. If you are reading this, you are probably one of them!
We have been able to fund our tour completely independently, thanks to the stellar venues and supportive music fans we’ve found along the way. However, the expense of touring makes it extremely difficult to save & build the resources necessary to take the next steps...
1: We are desperately in need of a Professional Studio Recording for a full length album release.
2: We’ve lined up our first ever European Tour, that will begin with headlining a festival in Paris on Oct 5 and end with headlining a festival in London on Oct 26~ and we've already booked a solid month of European performances in between!! When Justin was asked to headline the two roots music festivals, it was an incredible opportunity that we couldn’t pass up... but the GypsyVan doesn’t fly or float... so we need your help to get there!
Our primary goal with this campaign is to fund the album. Having the album recorded, duplicated, packaged, and available for sale will allow us to make the European tour a reality, and will mean that we have an excellent product to sell during that tour. (ie, we won't have to sleep on the Parisian subways!)
THE TIME IS RIGHT!
Our vision is to introduce Roots music with a comprehensive focus on past and present~ where Roots music originated, where it is now, and where we intend to take it!!
To do justice to this ambitious undertaking, Justin Johnson’s first ever solo studio album will be a DOUBLE ALBUM titled “Smoke & Mirrors,” celebrating the Past, Present, and Future of American Roots Instruments!
THE CONCEPT BEHIND "SMOKE & MIRRORS"...
The Handmade Roots Instruments that will be featured on "Smoke & Mirrors" all have a story to tell, from the most ingeniously crafted, technologically complex creations from today's luthiers, to the simple inspired designs of the early Roots musicians who designed their instruments out of necessity. The only way to pay homage to the true spirit of these builders and instruments is to showcase both the past and present.
On the “Smoke” album, Justin will be recording original music on handmade instruments built by today’s most talented and dedicated Roots instrument builders. Among these builders are Cigtone CBGs, J Nickel & Co Luthiers, Madurobob's Luthiery, CapnRon's Lobos, Homegrown Strings, MadCap Instruments, Mojobone Works custom slides... and more to come!
The “Mirrors” album will be a retrospective that pays homage to the history of Roots music. Justin will be recording tunes that were originally written for and performed on roots instruments, and will record those tunes on actual relic instruments dating back to the 1800‘s! How intriguing is that?!?!
We are beyond excited to partner with Bill Jehle, historian, musician, roots music expert, author, and owner of The Cigar Box Guitar Museum in Alabama, in order to access these incredible historical instruments and bring their voices to life again!
In order to make the most of this monumental undertaking, we will also be producing a full-color 24-page booklet, with photos of each instrument used in the recordings, along with detailed information on each instrument’s history and builder, as well as what unique features called for each instrument to be chosen for the track it’s used on. By seeing, hearing, and learning about these instruments, the world can get to know their true spirit, experiencing them in a truly comprehensive and interactive way.
This album can only be made with the help of our fans and supporters. When we meet our goal, the money we raise together will be used to cover professional studio time, necessary travel to get to the Cigar Box Guitar Museum and to the recording studio, as well as the expenses of mixing, mastering, printing, and duplication of the double disc album and full-color 24-page booklet. In addition to those expenses, we must also cover the Kickstarter fees, credit card fees, and additional shipping fees to make sure your rewards get to you quickly and safely.
Any money raised over our goal will be used for marketing the album and sending it to radio and press outlets. Seeing this album through to fruition will then help us fund our European tour in October, which will introduce the album to a worldwide audience!
If we are able to generate enough pledges OVER AND ABOVE our goal, we will VIDEO DOCUMENT the entire process and produce a DVD that will offer a behind-the-scenes look at the in-studio recording process, as well as offering in-depth interviews with current builders and players, more detailed information on both historical and modern roots instruments, and instructional playing demonstrations!
Thank you so much for your support and interest in this project. PLEASE help us reach our goal. We are working hard every day to pursue the vision, but we truly cannot do it without your support. Together, we can make a statement that American Roots Music is alive and well~ and moving into the future with strength and passion!
WONDERING IF WE CAN PULL IT OFF? GET TO KNOW THE MUSIC & LET US SHOW YOU WHAT WE'RE ABOUT!
Risks and challenges
REALLY IMPORTANT KICKSTARTER DETAILS:
You will not be charged until we meet our modest goal of $9,500. If we do not reach our goal, we will not receive any money and you will not be charged.
If we reach our goal of $9,500, you will be charged for what you pledged and the items you purchased will be shipped to you by the estimated delivery date listed in the description. Every pledge is rewarded from the smallest to the largest. Please view the sidebar to see what you can get!
It is also possible to raise more than our goal! The more support, the better!! Whatever we raise before our deadline just helps us to make a better album, helps us to make the historical and instructional DVD to accompany the album, and helps us get to Europe (and back!)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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