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New American fiddle tunes from the Stringrays, supergroup of New England contra dance music.
New American fiddle tunes from the Stringrays, supergroup of New England contra dance music.
New American fiddle tunes from the Stringrays, supergroup of New England contra dance music.
295 backers pledged $14,696 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Stringrays Album: Ticket to Nowhere

$14,696

295

Updates

We've reached our all-or-nothing goal and hit our stretch goal of $12,500, so we'll

  • mix an awesome extra bonus track available to everyone
  • throw in an extra special sticker with a design by Sam Bartlett into every mailing

It's not over yet! Many great rewards still available and any money raised will be a HUGE help for us. As you can see in our budget Update, our total project budget is $18,000, so we're far from paying off the full cost of this endeavor. If we manage to make it to $15,000 or 300 backers, we'll find something extra special to do!

Thank you *so* much. We're astounded, astonished, and humbled.

More about the project....

The Stringrays is on the verge of releasing a full length album, Ticket to Nowhere.

And we mean the BIG Stringrays...

  • Rodney Miller aka New England Chestnut / NEA Master Fiddler / NH Artist Laureate (fiddle)
  • Sam Bartlett aka Stuntologist-in-Chief (mandolin)
  • Max Newman aka Nimble McNimblyfingers (guitar)
  • Stuart Kenney aka Dr. Deep (upright bass and banjo)
  • Mark “Pokey” Hellenberg aka the drumminest drummer what ever drummed (drums and, yes, banjo uke)

We’ve worked for almost a year-and-a-half on this project, recording with folkie friend (and, uh, Grammy Award winning) engineer Charlie Pilzer in Takoma Park, MD. We have the tracks recorded, but it still needs to mixing, mastering, artwork, and printing.

What's the music going to sound like?

We are aiming to make your favorite album of the year – an album that you will treasure, that will make you feel things, and that could distract you enough to unwittingly drive cross-country if you left your car stereo on repeat.

We wanted to create music that would capture the thrilling, spontaneous energy and joy we get playing with each other. We're almost there.

What is the money used for?

The money will be used to complete the mixing, mastering, and printing an economical first run of the recording. It will also help us secure some fabulous hand-drawn artwork from artist Ben Belcher, who illustrated our first recording as well as some graphic design to make it all come together. Any additional money with go into recouping the costs of recording in the studio, which will allow us to more quickly focus on our next project.

Bonus Items

  • Limited hand-numbered edition. The first 200 backers getting physical albums will receive a limited, hand-numbered edition in a special, first-edition package. This is personal music, so we thought this would be a nice way to showcase that.
  • Bonus tracks. Probably the most exciting bonus item is two extra tracks which no one else buying this album later will have access to. The A-side is a Rodney tune called Discovery Bay which might as well be titled “Superfun x 10!” and the B-side is probably our most requested track ever -- Stuart’s banjo tune Wandering Soul -- done up in the biggest band sound we could muster. These tracks both have special somethings going on that you’ll just have to listen to discover.
  • Sticker. We’ll give you a cute sticker with Stringrays art, perfect for water bottles and instrument cases.
  • Other stuff. See the Rewards section. Stringrays Zine Issue #0, one-on-one sessions, call in to the band on-stage, a tune written AND recorded by the band for you or someone you know, etc.
  • Errata Although the text of the $500 level says "(4 available)" we are actually making 5 available.

If you have any questions, concerns, or want to share your enthusiasm, just contact stringraysmusic@gmail.com

Can't beat that!
Can't beat that!

(Thanks to Sonya Sones for the photos.)

Risks and challenges

We have most of the album recorded, so the biggest risks we anticipate are delays. This project or some of the rewards could take longer to deliver than we expect.

In addition, a few aspects of it might change as we go through the process.

That said, we’ve been involved in many projects before and we’ve been thoughtful about our goals, so we have quite a bit of confidence in that this will go smoothly. Honestly, the toughest part so far has been getting this Kickstarter out!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 15 or more About US$ 15

    Instant BONUS

    Digital download of the album plus 2 amazing bonus tracks.
    - A-side: Discovery Bay
    - B-side: Wandering Soul

    Includes:
    • Digital download
    • Bonus tracks
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    The Album Package

    ***The first 200 backers here or below will receive a limited, hand-numbered edition of the album. (See the note in the description.)***

    Beautiful physical package album plus
    - A Stringrays sticker (great for water bottles or instrument cases; mileage on pets and children may vary)
    - The 2 amazing bonus tracks
    (A-side: Discovery Bay B-side: Wandering Soul.)
    - A digital download for instant gratification.

    FREE SHIPPING

    Includes:
    • Album (physical CD package)
    • Stringrays Sticker
    • Bonus tracks
    • Digital download
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    178 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Supporter

    A signed thank you note, one copy of the album, an extra sticker, and either:
    - an extra copy of Ticket to Nowhere
    - a copy of the original "Stringrays" album (2014)

    Includes:
    • Personal thank you note
    • Album (physical CD package)
    • Extra album (either the original one or the new one)
    • Stringrays Sticker
    • Bonus tracks
    • Digital download
    Less
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    33 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Postcard from the Stringrays

    A personal postcard sent to you -- or as a surprise for a friend! -- sent during our travels.

    Plus the Album Package.

    Includes:
    • Personal Postcard from the Road
    • Album (physical CD package)
    • Digital download
    • Bonus tracks
    • Stringrays Sticker
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    4 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Stringrays Fan Club!

    We really wanted to have some FUN from here on out, so this one's awesome!

    Stringrays Fan Club Membership includes
    - access to a exclusive video where the Rays personally thank you, play a little music, and tell a few behind-the-scenes stories
    - an exclusive copy of Issue #0 of the Stringrays Zine

    ("What is the Stringrays Zine?" you ask. Well, you'll have to pledge to find out. But expect it to be amusing.)

    Plus the Album Package, of course.

    Includes:
    • Thank You & Behind-the-Scenes Video
    • Fan Club Zine Issue #0
    • Album (physical CD package)
    • Digital download
    • Bonus tracks
    • Stringrays Sticker
    Less
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    18 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Limited Edition TUNE BOOK

    Album / Fan Club Package plus...

    - A limited edition Ticket to Nowhere tune book with special studio tune notes. (We’re only doing one printing of these.)

    Heck, we'll throw in an extra few stickers for your other instrument case.

    Includes:
    • Ticket to Nowhere Tune Book
    • Thank You & Behind-the-Scenes Video
    • Fan Club Zine Issue #0
    • Album (physical CD package)
    • Bonus tracks
    • Digital download
    • Stringrays Sticker
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    11 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Live Call from Behind the Scenes

    From time to time, we call friends and family from the dance stage and set up the phone for a video call with hellos from the band and full view from the stage for a dance or two. It's a fun, unusual experience we'd love to share with a few of you and/or your friends.

    We'll arrange to do this live from the gig of your choice or (if you prefer) send you a video. Good for vicarious dancing and playing wherever we are playing. Regular old phone calls are ok too.*

    *May also be used for a personalized Stringrays voicemail greeting.

    Plus the Album / Fan Club Package.

    Includes:
    • A Call from the Road
    • Thank You & Behind-the-Scenes Video
    • Fan Club Zine Issue #0
    • Album (physical CD package)
    • Digital download
    • Bonus tracks
    • Stringrays Sticker
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Portrait by Sam

    The Album / Fan Club package plus…

    Sam will draw a custom portrait of you (or anyone you want!), in his inimitable Stuntological style.

    Includes:
    • SAM portrait
    • Thank You & Behind-the-Scenes Video
    • Fan Club Zine Issue #0
    • Album (physical CD package)
    • Digital download
    • Bonus tracks
    • Stringrays Sticker
    Less
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 2 backers
    $
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Ukulele with Pokey

    Either a lesson or a serenade from Pokey, who is a renowned ukulele player with a delightful repertoire of vintage ukulele songs.

    (May also be used for a curated pint* with Pokey where he’ll undoubtedly share some of the fascinating trivia in his brain, a well-told joke, and one of his (in)famous stories. We’d recommend asking about gigging in an Elvis-themed band or the time they had to bleep a word on the radio.)

    *Kickstarter rules prohibit us from actually buying your beer, but we can "pint" you in the right direction.

    Includes:
    • Ukulele with Pokey
    • Thank You & Behind-the-Scenes Video
    • Fan Club Zine Issue #0
    • Album (physical CD package)
    • Bonus tracks
    • Digital download
    • Stringrays Sticker
    Less
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Deep Groove with Stuart

    The Album / Fan Package plus…

    Stuart is the master of the groove and the groove "workshops" he has been honing for decades are a thing unto themselves. More of an experience than a lesson, expect to leave with a sense of musical and personal engagement.

    A 90-minute one-on-one or small group deep groove musical experience. Musicians and non-musicians alike welcome.

    Includes:
    • STUART groove experience
    • Thank You & Behind-the-Scenes Video
    • Fan Club Zine Issue #0
    • Album (physical CD package)
    • Bonus tracks
    • Digital download
    • Stringrays Sticker
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Coffee with Max

    The album package plus…

    A curated coffee experience, tailored to your coffee interests but most likely a deep dive into tasting and brewing. Or just a really good, caffeinated chat.

    Includes a truly exceptional bag of coffee.

    Includes:
    • Coffee with MAX
    • Thank You & Behind-the-Scenes Video
    • Fan Club Zine Issue #0
    • Album (physical CD package)
    • Bonus tracks
    • Digital download
    • Stringrays Sticker
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    Music Lesson with Rodney

    Get some fiddle insights (echo bowing!) from the inimitable Rodney Miller. Or talk about tune writing. Or just have a chat.

    Online or in person. For yourself or someone else.

    One 90-minute session or two 45-minute sessions.

    Less
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    Limited 2 backers
    $
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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Commission a (Good) Tune

    The album / fan club package (and a reasonable number of extras, as you desire) plus…

    Stringrays will write a (truly good) tune for you and send you a recording of them playing it.
    (4 available)

    Includes:
    • A (good) tune for you, written and recorded by the Stringrays
    • Album (physical CD package)
    • Bonus tracks
    • Digital download
    • Stringrays Sticker
    • Thank You & Behind-the-Scenes Video
    • Fan Club Zine Issue #0
    Less
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 4 backers
    $
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  14. Select this reward

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

    An (Awesome) House Concert

    The album / fan package (and a reasonable number of extras, as you desire) plus…

    The Stringrays will perform a house concert for you and anyone you’d like, replete with witty banter and historical conjecturing not found anywhere else!

    Or if you’d like a house dance, we can help arrange for a caller and we’ll convince someone to write a dance for the occasion.

    Timing depends on when we are in your neck of the woods and/or travel costs to be arranged separately.

    Includes:
    • House Concert/Dance
    • Album (physical CD package)
    • Digital download
    • Bonus tracks
    • Stringrays Sticker
    • Thank You & Behind-the-Scenes Video
    • Fan Club Zine Issue #0
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Another album

    We'll give you an extra album. Not an extra copy -- we mean a whole new album of rollicking new music recorded in the studio by the Stringrays 5-piece band. Just for you (at least for now).

    We're not kidding.

    And the Ticket to Nowhere album and other stuff.

    Includes:
    • Untitled Future Stringrays Album
    • Album (physical CD package)
    • Bonus tracks
    • Digital download
    • Stringrays Sticker
    • Thank You & Behind-the-Scenes Video
    • Fan Club Zine Issue #0
    Less
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
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Funding period

- (27 days)