Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Katie Dahl's new album of original songs, produced by Birds of Chicago's JT Nero.
406 backers pledged $39,051 to help bring this project to life.

About

"Wildwood": A New Album by Katie Dahl project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

$39,051

406

Woohoo! Thank you thank you thank you! We made our initial Kickstarter goal AND our first stretch goal AND our second stretch goal! So we are onto the THIRD stretch goal: $40,000. At that point we can extend the publicity campaign by a month or even two. AND WE CAN ORDER HOODIES.

Also, we just added a long-sleeved t-shirt option! More on that (and how to add it to the pledge categories to your right) further down.

********************************************************************************

I'm Katie Dahl, a nationally touring singer-songwriter. My new album, "Wildwood," explores life in 2019 through the lens of the small peninsula where I live, Door County, Wisconsin. These songs circle around six generations of family who lived in this place before me, and my experiences living, loving, worrying, singing, being a friend, and raising a family here now. I cut the album live over three days in Nashville, joined by some of the best musicians I've ever met, guided by producer JT Nero (Birds of Chicago). This story is one of deep roots and broad branches, and I'm asking you to be a part of it.  

The Story

I grew up in Minnesota, but to me, Door County (a narrow peninsula in eastern Wisconsin, jutting out into Lake Michigan) has always felt like home. My great-great-great-grandparents came here from Scandinavia in the 1850s. As a child, I came here often to visit my grandparents. When I was 20 years old, I started spending summers here. And when I was 25, I moved here full-time.

Since my last album of original songs came out in 2015, a lot has changed: I've played a few hundred shows, released a covers album, had a child (he's now three), and watched as the world (in Door County and beyond) has begun to feel less certain. And though I didn't intentionally set out to write about Door County, it gradually became clear to me that this latest constellation of songs was exploring the world through the lens of Door County, a place where I have six generations of history--and where I am currently raising the seventh. 

The place where my family settled in Door County (my relatives still own property there) sits just across from Wildwood Road. I've always loved that word, "wildwood." It seemed to me a little scary, and also a little beautiful--not unlike how life seems these days. I took it as the name of the album.    

My great-grandpa and me on the family farm in Sister Bay, near Wildwood Road. One of the photos in the liner notes.
My great-grandpa and me on the family farm in Sister Bay, near Wildwood Road. One of the photos in the liner notes.

The Music

I chose JT Nero, frontman of Birds of Chicago, to produce the album, in part because Birds of Chicago is, no exaggeration, my favorite band (check them out), and also because JT has a lifelong history in Door County. I have loved JT's songs for years, so I knew our musical perspectives were sympatico, and that he would get where I was coming from--literally.    

JT Nero (producer) and Allison Russell (background vocals)--aka, Birds of Chicago--in the Henhouse Studio in Nashville, where we recorded the album.
JT Nero (producer) and Allison Russell (background vocals)--aka, Birds of Chicago--in the Henhouse Studio in Nashville, where we recorded the album.

In the weeks leading up to recording, JT shepherded the songs into their best selves and even co-wrote a couple of them with me. The album also includes two songs from my upcoming musical, The Fisherman's Daughters (set in Door County in 1908), as well as a cover of a song by Door County's resident Grammy nominee, pat mAcdonald. 

The full track list is as follows:

1. Anna Lee / 2. Worry My Friend / 3. Braver than Me (co-written with JT Nero) / 4. Helen / 5. Good Northern Ground / 6. Wildwood Girl (co-written with JT Nero) / 7. Oh Minnesota / 8. The Fisherman's Daughter (from The Fisherman's Daughters) / 9. Valmy (by pat mAcdonald) / 10. In the Dark (previously released as a single, re-recorded here) / 11. Breathing Room (from The Fisherman's Daughters)

Here's the title track from the album:  


We recorded the album at Hen House Studio in Nashville, and JT assembled  a stellar group of musicians to play on it: Steve Dawson (Bruce Cockburn, Tim O'Brien) plays guitar, pedal steel, dobro, banjo, and more. Kristin Weber (Dolly Parton, Eminem, Kacey Musgraves) plays fiddle and sings. Jamie Dick (The Milk Carton Kids, Rhiannon Giddens) plays drums. Allison Russell (of Birds of Chicago and Po' Girl) and Larissa Maestro sing. Filling out the band are my husband Rich Higdon (upright bass) and me (lead vocals, guitar). 

We cut the album live, which I've never done before. What you hear is really what happened, in a room, with four or five people playing music together and listening to one another and feeding off one another. This was awesome, not only because it sounds so real and warm, but also because I was unable to devolve into my usual cautious (some might say neurotic) recording self. What I played and sang is what I got; I couldn't re-record every vocal part twelve times; and that was freeing. The band was lovely to hang out with, and we ate some delicious food together, including some killer egg scone (biscuit?) sandwiches and a particularly memorable Baileys Irish Cream chocolate chip cake that Rich and I picked up at a Nashville bakery.    

The band, after the last night of recording: Steve Dawson, Jamie Dick, Kristin Weber, Katie, Rich, JT Nero
The band, after the last night of recording: Steve Dawson, Jamie Dick, Kristin Weber, Katie, Rich, JT Nero

The Rewards

First of all: If there is a reward or combination of rewards you don't see here, please message me on Kickstarter or email me at katie@katiedahlmusic.com. This campaign is about including you, and I want to make your contribution (and maybe your Christmas shopping?) as easy as possible. And if you're feeling minimalistic, keep in mind that you can give at a higher level than the reward you choose (for example, if you'd like to give $100 and just get the CD, you can simply choose that reward and make your contribution higher).

That said, for this Kickstarter, I've worked hard to come up with the best rewards I've had for any Kickstarter so far (if I do say so myself). They include:

  • The CD
  • The Vinyl (my first time ever pressing vinyl!)
  • The "Wildwood" T-Shirt 
The Two T-shirt Color Options!
The Two T-shirt Color Options!
  • The "I  ❤️ Hometown Tables" Stocking Cap (very high-quality and warm, made in small batches in Minnesota) 
The "I ❤️ Hometown Tables" Stocking Cap
The "I ❤️ Hometown Tables" Stocking Cap
  • The Mix (a CD I'll create with some of my favorite songs)
  • The Cup (useful as a juice cup, whisky tumbler, miniature vase, centerpiece--handmade by my husband/bass player, Rich Higdon, at his studio on our property, and featuring a limited edition "Wildwood" stamp)
The "Thumb Cup" (limited-edition Wildwood stamp not pictured)
The "Thumb Cup" (limited-edition Wildwood stamp not pictured)
  • The Lyrics (handwritten lyrics to a song of your choice on high-quality paper, suitable for framing)
  • The DCA Concert: The Door County CD Release Concert is scheduled for November 30 as a co-bill with Capitol Sun Rays, aka Birds of Chicago, Luther Dickinson, Amy Helm, Grahame Lesh. In short? A fantastic show. This gets you tickets and a song dedication.
  • The Concert at Our House: A Kickstarter-backers-only release concert at our house in Baileys Harbor, WI on September 27
  • Dinner at Our House: What it sounds like. We believe we cook well (even if our son does not always agree).
  • A Concert at Your House: What it sounds like. If this seems financially unattainable, consider splitting the cost with a friend or two, or charging your guests a cover and keeping the money. Learn more about house concerts here.
  • JUST ADDED: The Long-Sleeved T-Shirt! To replace a short-sleeved with a long-sleeved tee (for example, you want to pledge for a CD and a shirt but want a long-sleeved instead of a short-sleeved shirt) simply add $10 to a reward level that includes a shirt. To add a long-sleeved tee (for example, if you want to pledge for the digital but also want a long-sleeved shirt, or want to pledge for a CD and a short-sleeved t-shirt but also want a long-sleeved t-shirt), add $30 to any reward level. Questions? Email me at katie@katiedahlmusic.com. 
The Long-Sleeved T-Shirt
The Long-Sleeved T-Shirt

Publicity

For the first time in my career, I'm hiring a real live publicity team to promote this album's release. This is essential to getting the album heard by a broader audience than my songs have had before. Recording the album with some musical heavy hitters in a top-notch Nashville studio was fun and rewarding (and, as I mentioned, delicious) in its own right, AND it's also a fantastic way to get some traction on websites, blogs, radio stations, and print media that might not feature my music otherwise. I'm hopeful that my publicity team will be able to capitalize on the fabulous musicians who came together to make this record. Of course, hiring a publicity team is expensive, which leads me to...

The Budget

The album has already been recorded, mixed, mastered, and submitted for production. So the project's budget (with the exception of publicity) is essentially set. So far, it's been paid largely via loans from friends, loans I must pay back upon completion of the Kickstarter. 

Producer, Studio, Musicians: $11,739

Mixing and Mastering: $3,705

Manufacturing (CDs and Vinyl), Photography, Graphic Design: $8,220

Travel to Nashville: $436

Publicity (Print, Online, Radio): $9,200

Kickstarter Fees: $2400 (8% of total amount raised; budget amount is based on raising $30,000)

Kickstarter Rewards/Shipping: $2,500

Total: $38,200

Stretch Goals

I've already received $5,600 in off-site donations to the album (oh my goodness; thank you so much), and I set my initial Kickstarter goal at $30,000, which--if reached--will cover about 95% of my total expenses. So I've got three stretch goals:

Stretch Goal #1: $32,600. At this point, I cover all of the album's costs.

Stretch Goal #2: $35,000. At this point, I can afford to make two more music videos--a huge help in the world of music promotion these days.

Stretch Goal #3: $40,000. I can extend my publicity campaign by another month or two, giving this album a bigger chance to succeed on a larger scale.

Business Sponsors

Fourteen generous Door County businesses have signed on as sponsors of this album, for which I'm so grateful. Here's the full list.  

Risks and challenges

This album is made. The biggest risk I can foresee are that I lose money on it. More realistically, the risk is that these songs don't get heard by as large an audience as I'd like.

If you've read this far--wow. You're a rock star whether you contribute or not. And if you contribute--well, I don't know how to thank you. To begin with, I'll send you your rewards. But please know that my gratitude goes deeper than that, as deep as it can go. Thank you for giving my songs a foothold in the world.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1.00

    The You

    As you choose your reward, please let me know if there's some combination of rewards you'd like but don't see. Contact me at katie@katiedahlmusic.com or via Kickstarter direct message with a suggested package and price.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    5 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    The Digital

    An advance digital download of the album.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    47 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    The CD

    A signed copy of the CD. Includes advance digital download of the album.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    112 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 30 or more About US$ 30

    The Vinyl

    A signed copy of the record (my first time ever on vinyl)! Plus the advance digital download.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    11 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 40 or more About US$ 40

    The Extra CD

    A signed copy of the new CD, plus another CD of your choice: another copy of "Wildwood," a CD from my back catalogue, or a mix CD featuring some of my favorite songs and artists. Plus the advance digital download.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    22 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    The Wildwood Bundle

    A signed copy of the new CD or vinyl, plus ONE of the following extras (your choice!): the CD, the vinyl, the mix, the "Wildwood" t-shirt, or the "I ❤️Hometown Tables" stocking cap (see left for designs). Plus the advance digital download.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    43 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    The Wilder Wood Bundle

    A signed copy of the new CD or vinyl, plus TWO of the following extras (your choice!): the CD, the vinyl, the mix, the "Wildwood" t-shirt, or the "I ❤️Hometown Tables" stocking cap (see left for designs). Plus the advance digital download.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    9 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    The Cup Bundle

    A handmade ceramic "thumb cup" with a limited-edition "Wildwood" stamp. Hand-thrown by my husband (and bass player) Rich Higdon. Plus a signed copy of the CD or vinyl and the advance digital download.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    43 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 125 or more About US$ 125

    The Lyrics

    Lyrics to one of my songs (off this album or an earlier one, your choice), handwritten by me on nice paper, suitable for framing. Plus The Wilder Wood Bundle or The Cup Bundle.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    6 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    The Big Bundle

    All the swag: the CD, the vinyl, the mix, the shirt, the stocking cap, the cup, the lyrics, the advance download.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    11 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    The DCA Concert

    Two tickets to the November 30 CD release concert at Door Community Auditorium (co-bill with Birds of Chicago and others!), where I will dedicate a song to you. Plus your choice of The Wilder Wood Bundle or The Cup Bundle.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 13 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    The Concert at Our House

    Two seats at an intimate Kickstarter-backer-only CD release concert at our home in Baileys Harbor, WI on Friday, September 27. Plus The Wilder Wood Bundle or The Cup Bundle.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 5 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    Dinner Chez Dahl/Higdon

    Dinner (or breakfast!) for you and three guests at our home in Baileys Harbor, WI. Featuring Rich's cooking, Katie's baking, and our 3-year-old's impeccable table manners. Plus The Wilder Wood Bundle or The Cup Bundle. (Goodies will ship immediately; meal to be scheduled at a mutually agreeable date.)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    2 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  14. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    Because You Can

    Maybe you'd just like to help me out, and you can afford it, but you don't want dinner or a concert or the whole schtick. Please let me know how many CDs, records, shirts, hats, etc. you'd like and I'll set you up!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    3 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  15. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    The Door County House Concert

    A concert at your home in Door County (please note that you're welcome to charge your guests a cover to recoup your expenses). Includes The Wilder Wood Bundle or The Cup Bundle. (Goodies will ship immediately; concert to be scheduled at a mutually agreeable date.)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    4 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  16. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1,250 or more About US$ 1,250

    The Midwestern House Concert

    A concert at your home in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, or Indiana (please note that you're welcome to charge your guests a cover to recoup your expenses). Includes The Wilder Wood Bundle or The Cup Bundle. (Goodies will ship immediately; concert to be scheduled at a mutually agreeable date.)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    1 backer
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  17. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1,500 or more About US$ 1,500

    The American House Concert

    A concert at your home anywhere in the continental U.S. (please note that you're welcome to charge your guests a cover to recoup your expenses). Includes The Wilder Wood Bundle or The Cup Bundle. (Goodies will ship immediately; concert to be scheduled at a mutually agreeable date.)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    0 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  18. Reward no longer available

    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    The Early Bird CD

    The first 25 people to sign up for a CD get it a little cheaper. Includes advance digital download of the album.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 25 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (32 days)