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Justin Johnson’s debut double studio album: “Smoke and Mirrors” Celebrating the Past, Present, and Future of American Roots Instruments Read more

Mebane, NC Music
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on July 8, 2013.

Justin Johnson’s debut double studio album: “Smoke and Mirrors” Celebrating the Past, Present, and Future of American Roots Instruments

Mebane, NC Music
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About this project

OUR JOURNEY...
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!

THE CHALLENGE...
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. 

THE BUDGET...
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!
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!

2013 Roots Music Tour

FOX 8 Roy's Folks Interview "Guitar Man"

MORE of Justin's performance during the Roy's Folks Segment~ Extended Outtake! 

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

FAQ

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    5 backers

    BLOWIN' SMOKE: A digital download of 10 of the tracks (our choice) off of the new double disc album, available before the official release

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $20 or more

    30 backers

    SECOND HAND SMOKE: A digital download of the new double disc album, available before the official release

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    24 backers

    SMOKE AND MIRRORS: Autographed copy of the new double disc album including full-color 24-page booklet highlighting the historical and contemporary roots instruments used on the album and information on each contemporary builder.

    *Includes digital download of the new double disc album, available before the official release

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $60 or more

    0 backers

    ROLLIN' PAPER: All of the Above
    + PLUS autographed, full-color 11"x17" limited edition poster

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    2 backers

    THE SHIRT OFF OUR BACK: All of the Above
    + PLUS Justin Johnson/Roots Music T-Shirt (your choice from our current merch)

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    2 backers

    TELEPORT TO THE WIZARD: Two 1 hr online Skype lessons on the one string diddley bow, any # of string CBG, traditional guitar, or the loop station!
    Just ask, and all shall be revealed to you ;) The 2 lessons will allow one hour for getting you started with some new techniques, and a follow up lesson to help with your progress. Cool!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    18 backers

    WIZARD'S SELECT: All of the Above
    + PLUS your name printed in the liner notes of the album AND a postcard from Europe this October!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    0 backers

    FOR LITTLE WIZARDS: Perfect package Just For KIDS! Everything included in Reward #6 + PLUS Everything you need to get them off of the X-Box and onto the Cigar Box! Includes an acoustic one-string diddley bow (designed with little hands in mind), a guitar slide, and a pick. Also includes an instructional series of online lessons designed for absolute beginners.
    You can choose to get the diddley bow as an unassembled kit with instructions, so that they can build it themselves (minimal tools required) or you can choose to receive it ready-to-rock!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    6 backers Limited (14 left of 20)

    DIDDLIN' YER BOW: Everything included in Reward #6 + PLUS an autographed One-String Diddley Bow Custom Made for you by one of the roots instrument builders featured on the "Smoke & Mirrors" album
    * This will be a special limited edition build only available through this Kickstarter campaign!!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    THIRD STRING'S A CHARM: Everything included in Reward #6 + PLUS an autographed 3-String Cigar Box Guitar Custom Made for you by one of the roots instrument builders featured on the "Smoke & Mirrors" album * This will be a special limited edition build only available through this Kickstarter campaign!!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $600 or more

    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    FOUR-PLAY: Everything included in Reward #6 + PLUS an autographed 4-String Cigar Box Guitar Custom Made for you by one of the roots instrument builders featured on the "Smoke & Mirrors" album
    * This will be a special limited edition build only available through this Kickstarter campaign!!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $750 or more

    2 backers

    RINGSIDE SEATS: Everything included in Reward #6 + PLUS a private concert in your home, neighborhood, venue of your choosing, or even a wedding! Contact us for special song requests for a customized set list for your party! + PLUS 10 additional signed copies of the "Smoke & Mirrors" album for your guests! **We'll have to make special arrangements, and there may be additional travel costs to consider. CONTACT US

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $800 or more

    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    BUILDERS' BONANZA: (For instrument builders) Everything included in Reward #6 + PLUS Justin will record a song inspired by a build of YOURS! He will also create a promotional demo video for you, highlighting the unique features of your instrument. The song inspired by your instrument will be considered for possible inclusion on the "Smoke & Mirrors" album.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    1 backer

    THE ORACLE SPEAKS: Everything included in Reward #6 + PLUS Justin will WRITE AND RECORD A PERSONAL THEME SONG JUST FOR YOU! Everybody dreams of what the theme music would sound like when they walk down the street or walk into a room, right? I know we do.. Justin will work his wizardry, consult his magical & mystical oracles, and conjure the perfect song to announce your presence to the world! How cool is that?!? This would be a really cool surprise for someone else as well!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $2,500 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    ROCK DOWN TO ELECTRIC AVENUE: Everything included in Reward #6 + PLUS the VERY FIRST ELECTRIC GUITAR that Justin Johnson ever purchased. This is a very sweet-sounding Fender Lone Star Stratocaster, with 2 Texas Special Single Coil Pickups, and 1 Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates Humbucker Pick-up, & AUTOGRAPHED by Justin. It's in great performance condition, and has been painted a very cool graphite chalk paint finish. This is the guitar that Justin learned to play on, and the guitar that he performed and recorded with for the first decade of his professional music career.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $5,000 or more

    0 backers

    PROMOTION TO EXECUTIVE PRODUCER!: Everything included in Reward #6 + PLUS EXECUTIVE PRODUCER CREDIT ON THE ALBUM...please note, this means bragging rights for the rest of your natural (or unnatural) life!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $5,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    TAKE OUR WHEELS SO WE CAN FLY!: Everything included in Reward #6 + PLUS the ultra-reliable 2006 silver Ford Taurus that we used full-time for our travel and gigging until we moved into the GypsyVan! We can't drive both (and it can be challenging enough to find parking for one!) so seeing the Taurus off to a new owner will help us get those plane tickets to Europe this October, so that we can get "Smoke & Mirrors" the international audience it deserves!
    * Must be able to pick the Taurus up in NC. Contact us with any questions.

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (39 days)