FOUR YEARS AGO I left my job as a high school English teacher and decided to pursue a career in music full-time. The transition was challenging, but immensely fulfilling. After studying and playing other people's music my entire life, in 2010 I released my first EP of original songs and called the project 'Kalispell'. In 2012 Kalispell released its first full-length album, Westbound. Lots of touring and writing followed, and reactions were positive:
"The music is meticulous in its arrangement, placing every note in its perfect place, but it feels effortless and natural." - HearYa
"Low on pretense, loaded with a certain calm chemistry ... a perfect storm of wandering lyrics and contemplative melodies." - Independent Weekly
"Timeless .. some of the strongest country-tinged folk out there." - Slowcoustic
While touring with Kalispell I found work with other bands, like Field Report, Bro. Stephen, and The Ericksons. I also made periodic visits with an elder generation of fiddlers and banjoists like Clyde Davenport and Lee Sexton to learn about Appalachian music and culture from the source. These experiences exposed me to new music, new ways of performing, and newfound confidence! I developed a collection of fresh songs, even more personal and honest than what I had sung about on Westbound. These new songs revolve around the theme of family - how we honor our roots while also distinguishing ourselves as individuals.
Meet the family.
The core group of musicians on this album are people I've come to love and trust after years of performing together. They are members of my musical family, and all of them regularly travel between folk and improvisational music. Check 'em out: Ben Lester (multi-instrumentalist), Jess McIntosh (violin), Kevin Rowe (bass).
Co-producing and engineering the record is Grammy winner and trusted friend Brian Joseph (Bon Iver, Bowerbirds, Kathleen Edwards). And with any recording, the physical space plays a central role in creating tone and mood, which is why I've chosen April Base, a beautiful and homey studio owned by Justin Vernon of Bon Iver.
Where does my pledge go?
I chose to launch this campaign to create a partnership with everyone who pledges. It's a win-win, and we're making this album together. Here's the breakdown of what your pledges go toward:
- $4,600 pays the musicians' fees
- $860 covers travel to get everyone to and from the studio
- $5,400 rents the studio (where we'll also sleep) for 12 days
- $2,500 covers editing, mixing, and mastering
- $140 feeds the team while we work
- 10% cut ($1,500) goes to Kickstarter and Amazon Payments total
Most importantly, none of this gets funded unless we reach our $15,000 goal in time. So...
Spread the word!
I don't have a publicist or record label to pump info to the masses - yet. At this stage, it's you and me, a supportive community working together to get the word out. Share the project on Facebook! Blog or tweet about it! Maybe email some of your music-loving buddies and let them know. Introverted? Grab a sharpie and scrawl the URL on a bathroom stall. No don't do that.
Risks and challenges
I'm confident that the professionalism and vast experience of all musicians involved will create a smooth process. However, obstacles and set-backs are a reality with any project. When recording an album, these can include production delays, re-tracking musicians' parts, schedule conflicts, and in Wisconsin, winter weather. I'll do my best to avoid each of these, and no matter what you can rest assured that I will get your rewards to you. Recording an album is an organic, non-linear task where some aspects require more time than expected while others come along surprisingly easy.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)