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I invite you to join me in co-creating an album of the richest, most moving and meaningful songs of my life.
I invite you to join me in co-creating an album of the richest, most moving and meaningful songs of my life.
545 backers pledged $88,300 to help bring this project to life.

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$88,300

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Howdy my friends, yes, it’s me, that Michael Tomlinson. The singer/songwriter who released "Run This Way Forever" thirty years ago this summer, then Still Believe, Face Up in the Rain and Living Things - all albums which were played on radio around the world, allowing me to headline great halls like The Greek in LA and The Universal, Wolftrap in DC and many others. 

In the last few years I’ve written a rich collection of melodic, meaningful new songs which I've been performing to wonderful response at concerts around the country. Now, 12 albums into my body of work, I’m reaching out to seek your help in co-creating a recording of one of my most powerful and deeply moving collections of songs — and in funding the promotion and national touring that will follow.

By far, the largest portion of my funding will be for going into the studio this summer with some very talented, world-class musicians. I'll be working with legendary studio engineer, Jay Kenney, in his Audio Logic Inc. Studios here in Seattle. This is where I recorded my favorite of all my albums, "The Way Out West." 

Because even the most exciting album in the world must be promoted if it's going to be heard and shared, a portion of my funding will go to hiring someone to help me in sending word of it to reviewers and publications, websites and radio stations. Another portion will go toward putting together several small tours, playing cities and towns all over the United States. If I should exceed my goal - as some artists have done - I will do much more promotion and touring. Either way, I promise you a wonderful album of songs you're going to enjoy for a long time.

Risks and challenges

There are always challenges in recording, but I do not see them as risks. My mission is to create something that lifts spirits, inspires the heart and touches the soul - and that you run around singing for months. A friend told me about a situation in a studio where two musicians were struggling to get a track just right, growing irritated and impatient. The producer, having seen this a thousand times, stepped in and said, "Folks, just remember, it doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to be wonderful." That is the kind of record I am making.

If indeed there does turn out to be some setback in recording, some delay for unavoidable reasons, I will treat it like I do everything else in my life. I'll communicate it clearly and find my way through it with as much heart and integrity as I can. Because of the way I work, the kinds of songs I write and sing, there are a thousand ways this record can be made and all of them wonderful. Remembering that helps me to flow with whatever occurs and turn the challenges to my favor.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Digital download of album - before it is released - plus bonus acoustic song not on the commercial release

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Autographed CD - plus digital download sent to your friend (or free loader of your choice.) Plus, I'll send you my recipe for delicious toast!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Autographed CD, Plus digital download, and bonus song, And a friendly handwritten card.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    2 Autographed CDs, Plus digital download, A videotaped thank you from me just to you.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    YOUR NAME LISTED IN MY ALBUM CREDITS and on my website under “My Friends Who Made This Album Possible!” Plus signed CD.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    I'LL HAND WRITE THE LYRICS of any one of my songs you choose. PLUS, your name listed in my album credits and on my website under “My Friends Who Made This Album Possible!” Plus signed CD.

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    ORIGINAL 45 rpm of “THE CLIMB”, my first song on record. New and pristine. The first song I ever had on the radio was not yet on record. They had only a home made cassette, but they played it anyway and it became their number one requested song. It was a song about a man with one leg who had climbed Mt. Rainier on crutches and thousands of people have sang that song as they climbed the mountain themselves. The station brought me to Seattle in fall of 1982 for a sold out show and I recorded a 45 single of The Climb to benefit a charitable organization. For 33 years these 45s have been stored in boxes inside of boxes. Protected from weather, in excellent condition. You can own one of your own. I’ll autograph it if you wish. Plus, your choice of CD or download and your name listed in album credits.

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    PERSONAL PHONE CONVERSATION - I'll call you and we’ll enjoy a friendly phone conversation. No subject is off limits except for bowling. PLUS, your name listed in my album credits and on my website under “My Friends Who Made This Album Possible!” And signed CD or download.

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    MEDITATION RECORDING. I’ll make a special 20-minute meditation recording with the soft tones of Tibetan bowls and my guitar and voice. I’ll sing soothing melodies and softly guide you to a very calm space. I’ve done this at retreats over the years and people have always told me that it is very comforting. You can even tell me if you wish it to be something that will help you go to sleep or something for morning. Also, your name listed under “My Friends Who Made This Album Possible!” and signed CD or download.

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    LET’S SLURP COFFEE! 1-2 people. Let’s meet at a coffee shop across the street from Greenlake, in Seattle. We will not drink from the same cup with two straws, but we can share the same stir spoon! We’ll become coffee achievers together and spend an hour or two visiting and/or spilling our guts about stuff. (I have SO much to get off my chest!) Plus, your choice of CD or download and your name listed in album credits.

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    PLAY PERCUSSION ON MY ALBUM! - and get listed in the musician credits! Here is what you do. Go into a quiet room. Record on your smart phone or computer several finger snaps or hand claps. In the studio I will add these to tempo on one of my songs. If you don't know how to do this, I'll tell you how. It's easy. If you don’t know how to snap your fingers, please wear a helmet when you walk. Plus your choice of autographed CD or download.

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    YOU CAN LEARN TO PLAY MY SONGS! (or some one you love may) I’ll make you video clips showing you the chords to 4 of my songs - your choice, By A Friend? Yellow Windows? All is Clear? Asphalt Dream? NOTE: there are some obscure ones of which your guess is as good as mine as to what the heck I was playing, but we’ll find four that you love and that I can remember. I’ll train the video on my fretboard and tape for you the chords and tell you the tuning so you’ll be able to learn them at your pace. I don’t always know the names of my chords, but I can sure as heck SHOW them to you. Someone recently told me that he’d asked three different guitar teacher professionals if they could help him figure out Yellow Windows. All tried, not one could get it. (hint: it was too easy and they never suspected that) Plus, your choice of CD or download and your name listed in album credits.

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    ORIGINAL UNOPENED "RUN THIS WAY FOREVER" VINYL LP - I have in my possession 5 extremely rare copies of my first LP - released 30 years ago this year - that are still in the cover, never opened, never touched, never played. Exactly as they were when I had them pressed in 1985. These are on my own original Desert Rain label. I am almost positive there is not an unopened copy anywhere on earth outside my possession. Within a year or two of it’s release, I stopped making these. You’ll receive One Copy, autographed if you choose. You can tell me if you want me to sign on the wrapper or open it slightly to sign the LP cover itself. We’ll work it out as you wish. Plus, your choice of CD or download and your name listed in album credits.

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    TWO FULL ACCESS VIP-TICKETS - for a very special Seattle Area concert to be held in early 2016. You'll be special guests at my before concert reception. I'll take you backstage to hang out with me and my friends. PLUS, your name listed in my album credits and on my website under “My Friends Who Made This Album Possible!” And signed CD or download.

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    CONCERT AROUND A CAMPFIRE! Two VICFP (very important camp fire persons) tickets to join me for an evening of songs and stories around a campfire near Seattle. If weather permits, this will be this coming autumn. I’ll give a few weeks notice, at least. We’ll sit around the fire, roasting tofu wieners while I’m yodeling. Not really, tofu bubbles up something awful and scares people. Plus, your choice of CD or download and your name listed in album credits.

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    TWO 1 & 1/2 HOUR SONGWRITING SESSIONS via Skype or email/phone, your choice. We'll work together with your songs. Maybe you just want me to listen and give you feedback or show you the chords to MY songs. I'll help you to enhance your writing. Plus your choice of signed CD or download.

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    MUSIC FOR HEALING. One-Hundred free album downloads for charitable organization of your choice. Hospice, Hospital, Recovery Center, Alzheimer’s Center, School? You name it. I will send them a 100-pack of paid download cards - In Your Name - so that families, patients, staff may download for free my calming, soothing, uplifting music. Also, your name listed under “My Friends Who Made This Album Possible!” and signed CD or download.

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    SING A SONG ONSTAGE WITH ME! (Or snap fingers/ clap hands) I’m serious as a dang broken toe. Of course, we’ll make sure someone gets you on video. The audience will love you simply because you pledged and helped finance my album. So even if your voice ain’t so good, you’re a star! And if your voice is TOO good, well dammit, I will just have to feel a little insecure, I guess. We’ll choose a concert together in 2016. I will be playing several cities around the US. Plus, your choice of CD or download and your name listed in album credits.

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    LOS ANGELES CONCERT- Extremely intimate concert in 2016. Includes Tickets for two in a private setting, up close, friendly, just a small group of us talking and enjoying each other, interspersed with songs and stories. I’ll share with you. I’ll give you 30-60 day’s notice of the date, longer if possible. Plus, your choice of CD or download and your name listed in album credits.

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    SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CONCERT- Extremely intimate concert in Southern California in 2016. (roughly somewhere between Huntington Beach and San Diego) Includes Tickets for two in a private setting, up close, friendly, just a small group of us talking and enjoying each other, interspersed with songs and stories I’ll share with you. I’ll give you 30-60 day’s notice of the date, longer if possible. Plus, your choice of CD or download and your name listed in album credits.

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    SANTA FE CONCERT- Extremely intimate concert in Santa Fe area in 2016, Includes Tickets for two in a private setting, up close, friendly, just a small group of us talking and enjoying each other, interspersed with songs and stories I’ll share with you. I’ll give you 30-60 day’s notice of the date, longer if possible. Plus, your choice of CD or download and your name listed in album credits.

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    DENVER CONCERT - Extremely intimate concert near Denver in 2016. Includes Tickets for two in a private setting, up close, friendly, just a small group of us talking and enjoying each other, interspersed with songs and stories I’ll share with you. I’ll give you 30-60 day’s notice of the date, longer if possible. Plus, your choice of CD or download and your name listed in album credits.

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    NEW ENGLAND CONCERT - Extremely intimate concert in New England in 2016. Includes Tickets for two in a private setting, up close, friendly, just a small group of us talking and enjoying each other, interspersed with songs and stories I’ll share with you. I’ll give you 30-60 day’s notice of the date, longer if possible. Plus, your choice of CD or download and your name listed in album credits.

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    ATLANTA CONCERT - Extremely intimate concert in 2016, Includes Tickets for two in a private setting, up close, friendly, just a small group of us talking and enjoying each other, interspersed with songs and stories I’ll share with you. I’ll give you 30-60 day’s notice of the date, longer if possible. Plus, your choice of CD or download and your name listed in album credits.

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    WASHINGTON D.C. CONCERT - Extremely intimate concert near Washington DC in 2016. Includes Tickets for two in a private setting, up close, friendly, just a small group of us talking and enjoying each other, interspersed with songs and stories I’ll share with you. I’ll give you 30-60 day’s notice of the date, longer if possible. Plus, your choice of CD or download and your name listed in album credits.

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    LIVE PRIVATE CONCERT ON SKYPE OR FACETIME - Via computer, I’ll perform a concert in your living room for just you or all the friends you can fit on the couch! We’ll talk between songs, you can ask me questions. Or I’ll just sing the whole time and you can listen. We’ll arrange a mutually agreed upon date. Plus, your choice of signed CD or download.

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    URBAN OR NATURE HIKE - take a Seattle hike with me I'll take you and up to three friends on some of my favorite ravines, creeks, woods and nature trails and we'll have a refreshing beverage after -- Or -- we'll do the urban version and explore Pike Place Market, coffee shops in Pioneer Square and the Seattle Waterfront. Roughly 4 hours. (we'll work out a mutually agreed upon date) Plus your choice of signed CD or download.

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    LET'S GO ON A PICNIC! Who cares what the season? There are always places around Seattle to sit outside and eat and talk and laugh. Bring as many people as you like. Split the cost between the whole dang neighborhood if you like, or just show up by yourself. Dogs welcome. Don’t bring no pigs. Approx. 4-5 hours. (We’ll work out a mutually agreed upon date) You bring some food and I will too. A big appetite is inevitable. Also, your name listed under “My Friends Who Made This Album Possible!” and signed CD or download.

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    RIDE THE WASHINGTON STATE FERRY WITH ME! I have never gotten tired of riding these big sea-going vessels across Puget Sound, seeing the towering Olympic Mountains before us or the jagged Cascade Range behind us. We’ll walk on the Bainbridge Island Ferry out of Downtown Seattle, then wander around the quaint town of Winslow for the afternoon, perusing books stores, stopping for coffee or a sandwich or having a drink overlooking the marina. When we’re ready, we’ll catch the ferry back that evening. Seeing Seattle rise before you from the upper deck of the ferry is an inspiring, beautiful sight. Good for 1 to 4 people. Approximately 5 hours. Also, your name listed under “My Friends Who Made This Album Possible!” and signed CD or download.

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    THE ROAD TO MT. SI - An afternoon/evening adventure for 1-2 people in Snoqualmie, WA with me and a friend or two. If you’ve watched my presentation video you’ve seen how beautiful the river and trees, the roads and Mt. Si are. How would you like me to take you with me? We’ll meet somewhere local and you can hop in my truck, we’ll stop by my friend Rick’s house in Snoqualmie and Rick will show us around all the great spots not many people know. I guarantee, with Rick along, we will laugh like crazy. Well, you’ve seen the video, so you know. We’ll go to a couple of places on the river where we love to just sit and talk, a great place to toss pebbles in the water. We’ll drive the road leading up to Mt. Si that you see in the video. We may stop by Snoqualmie Brewery for a bite or visit a couple of wonderful friends in the area. You’ll love every minute of it. We’ll work out the date according to both our schedules, but it’s a year round invitation. Plus, your choice of CD or download and your name listed in album credits.

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    COME INTO SEATTLE STUDIO with me to observe one of my recording sessions, 3-6 hours. You can watch and listen from the control room with my engineer. Please don’t issue unreasonable commands. “Do that over! That harmony sucks! Make it more disco!” (we'll work out mutually agreed date) Plus your choice of signed CD or download.

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    I’LL PRODUCE YOU AND YOUR SONG IN THE STUDIO. We’ll spend up to a 6-hour day in the studio and I’ll help you with arrangement ideas and to get the best possible performance out of yourself. You can bring in players or go solo. You pay your musicians - I’ll pay studio time. I’ll even sing background or harmony on your song if you like. Plus, your choice of CD or download and your name listed in album credits.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    OWN MY BEAUTIFUL HAND PAINTED GUITAR. As a boy, art was my release and until I found that I could write songs, I was a painter. I have recently painted an Alvarez guitar with stark bare winter tree branches at night, under a full moon, with the silhouette of an owl soaring across. It’s really beautiful. The guitar is meant to be displayed as art rather than used as a working instrument. You can see it on my Facebook page. See photo here: https://www.facebook.com/130313150682/photos/pb.130313150682.-2207520000.1427841715./10152576230920683/?type=3&theater
    Plus your choice of signed CD or download.

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    OWN MY AUTOGRAPHED GUILD 12-STRING - which I’ve played since 1975. The guitar on which I wrote and recorded “Waves”, “I Will Not Pass You By” and “All is Clear.” 1967 F-212 Guild with pickup. Many repairs over the years, yet still one of the most beautiful sounding 12-strings I've ever heard. It still has my song list from the early 1980s on it. Comes with custom Mark Leaf heavy duty travel case. See photo here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152753884153121&set=pb.515693120.-2207520000.1427841503.&type=3&theater Plus your choice of signed CD or download.

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    DEDICATE MY NEW ALBUM TO SOMEONE SPECIAL - “In Memory Of”, or “To” someone you love. Your short dedication will be printed on the back of the CD cover and a fuller dedication in your own words on my website album credits page. Plus, your choice of signed CD or download.

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    PRIVATE CONCERT AT YOUR HOUSE IN ONE OF THE 50 UNITED STATES. I'll arrive and perform a special concert that you and your friends and family will never forget. I'll hang around to visit with you and your friends after the concert. I'll pay travel and accommodations. You buy me a guitar pick. I've done these private concerts from coast to coast and they are some of my most memorable. (we'll arrange mutually agreed upon date) Plus your choice of signed CD or download.

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    PRIVATE CONCERT IN ONE OF PETE NELSON'S TREE HOUSES near Seattle. You know Pete from the Discovery Channel's “TreeHouse Masters.” I've been inside several of his one-of-a-kind, gorgeous tree houses. An acoustic concert in one of them for 2-4 people would be a dream. You'll pay for your stay, but I'll help arrange it for you. (we’ll arrange mutually agreed upon date) Plus your choice of signed CD or download.

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    PRIVATE CONCERT - INCLUDES YOUR WEEKEND LODGING at BELL'S BEACH ON WHIDBEY ISLAND,WA ON PUGET SOUND. For up to 8 people! This is a private beach house with three bedrooms and four bunk beds in an additional recreation room. I have stayed here many times and in fact, have written many of my songs here. (Trace the Sky, Barton Springs) I’ve seen hundreds of bald eagles here over the years, Orca and Gray whales too. You can stay the weekend and I’ll visit from nearby. We’ll have a cook out and I’ll play a concert by the fireplace on Saturday evening while you gaze out to sea or across to beautiful Camano Island. This is truly one of my favorite places on earth. (we’ll arrange mutually agreed upon date) Plus, your choice of signed CD or download.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    I’LL WRITE A SONG FOR YOU OR YOUR LOVED ONE - This is for real, my friend. I do not write novelty songs. I will write a deeply meaningful song inspired by you or the person you name. We’ll talk on the phone about your (or their) life, places you’ve been, what you love in life. You may share photos or stories with me. I will write this as i write all my songs; by allowing it to flow into a beautiful melody I imagine, taking shape in inspired moments. When it is done it will truly be a song I’ll be proud to perform. After all, I did just this same thing when I was asked to write a song for President Jimmy Carter. He loved his so much he wrote me a personal letter about it. I’ll record your beautiful song for you and give it to you on CD and also on mp3.

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- (60 days)