Mike Aiken here and I can’t wait to tell you how excited we are about my new project, WAYWARD TROUBADOUR! When completed, the WAYWARD TROUBADOUR project will include an eleven song CD, a vinyl record, at least one official music video AND have the professional promotion needed to get the music out far and wide. I’ve spent three years writing and recording these songs and a lifetime of experiencing and observing life to do so. To make all of this a reality I humbly need your help.
I’m a singer-songwriter who shares his time between Norfolk, Virginia and Nashville, Tennessee. I’ve released six CDs, had eight songs hit the charts in the Top 30 to 1 in Europe. I’ve played coast to coast and five tours in Europe. 13 years ago, Amy and I started a music festival to benefit music education, the Aiken & Friends Fest. We believe in hard work and investing in oneself.
To everybody who stops by to check this out and be a part of kickstarting WAYWARD TROUBADOUR, I thank you in advance. To those who were a part of the Captains & Cowboys Kickstarter in 2012…thank you for continuing the journey with me. With that campaign, I promised to produce a full-length CD and one official video. I managed to leverage that into a first-round Grammy-nominated CD and seven official music videos! (see sample videos at the end) I most certainly did not squander or waste your hard earned money and I pledge to do the very same with WAYWARD TROUBADOUR!
I’m coming to you to gather the capital to complete this project. Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms like this are the BEST way to put out music right now – no rules, no fuss, no muss, (no wasted corporate money) – just us and the music.
Being frugal sailors and Indie musicians we know how to leverage this project to match what a major label would spend several hundred thousand to do. We’ve proven this with Captains & Cowboys. Every penny will be stretched into dollars. WE ARE NOT ASKING FOR FREE MONEY…keep reading…see the REWARDS to the right →
This project is more than we’ve ever tried to undertake before and will be followed by US and European tours. Every dollar will go to the production of the vinyl record, artwork, filming and editing video, promotion, marketing, promotion…repeat.
KICKSTARTER IS AN ALL OR NOTHING FUNDING CAMPAIGN. If we don’t reach our goal, we don't keep ANY money and the project is at risk. HOWEVER, IF we exceed our goal, all the extra funds will be used for additional videos, marketing, and promotion. None of these dollars will go in my pocket. Hence, the goal is lower than the need. We have already invested nearly twice what we are asking for so together we can make project WAYWARD TROUBADOUR a reality.
To all our friends and fans who have become a part of our Mike Aiken Music Family and who continue to show us your support and love, we THANK YOU! We could not have accomplished so much without your support buying tickets, CDs, downloads, letting us crash in your house or on your boat. For that, we are VERY GRATEFUL.
For those who know me off-stage, you know that I’m a self-reliant, independent person who doesn’t like asking for help as it makes me uncomfortable to do so…soooo we’ve come up with some very cool rewards designed with you in mind. You’ll get your money’s worth.
I intended on having a new album out before now but the truth is I wanted this record to be my best and it took time to get what I was after. I had a very clear sound in my head for this, my seventh album, one I’ve always wanted to capture and I was not going to settle. At this point in my career, I choose to work only with folks who believe in the music 110%.
Wayward, by definition, is difficult to control, unpredictable, non-conforming. Tracking began in Austin, Texas late in 2016. I then found my way to Lattitude Studio South in Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee. Here is where the magic started, where all the wayward musicians I gathered could be themselves and we could begin to capture what I heard in my head, on vintage equipment. Tracking and mixing were later completed in Deep Creek, Virginia when longtime friend and mixing engineer, Skip DeRupa, joined the crew. We had not worked together since Just Add Salt in 2008 but we picked up as if no time had passed.
The band members I put together were like-minded in the studio and brought the collaborative sound I was looking for. Tom Hurst (Gary Allan, Sister Hazel, Wang Chung, Backstreet Boys, Tracy Lawrence) on drums set the tone and character I was after. David Roe, bass, (Jerry Reed, Chet Atkins, Johnny Cash, Dwight Yoakam) came to track mostly electric and a couple of upright tracks. The vibe was right and the bass a-thumping and ten of eleven tracks feature upright. Kenny Vaughan, acoustic, electric (Marty Stuart) shared the guitar work with me, adding grit, tension, and color. And of course, Amy Aiken added the percussion and harmony she’s so well known for. Ben Probus rounded out the band on fiddle.
Two Lane Highway :
Everything Changed :
Let me tell you a little about what’s behind some of the songs and introduce you to the people I wrote with. As a writer and performer, I really like collaborating with the right folks. Of the eight original songs on this album, six are co-written. Two Lane Highway was penned with Henry Paul (Outlaws, Blackhawk, Henry Paul Band) who also lent his talents to mandolin and vocals on this timeless, sweet track. Nashville Skyline, written with Chris P James (Burrito Brothers), covers the troubadour’s view of Nashville as seen from any highway leading into town. I included two very different songs I wrote with Paul Jefferson, the cookin’, Bob Wills-esque, Everything Changed, and the tense song about not being judgmental, Hard Working Working Girl. Longtime friend and co-writer, Tim Buppert and I wrote the more tongue-in-cheek tunes with Hangover Helper and the Gypsy Jazz-flavored, A Little Lazy In Your Life. I covered three special songs I’ve wanted to record for years. They were chosen for their content and the songwriters, rather than audience familiarity - Real Mean Dog (Robbin Thompson, Gregg Wetzel) for Robbin, longtime friend, fellow sailor and songwriter, Dead Man Runs Before He Walks (Mark Collie, Shawn Camp) for an interesting twist on a somber story, and Penelope (Christopher Hynes) for its reminder that the grass is not always greener elsewhere. The self-penned songs Travelin’ Bone and Chesapeake give an autobiographical peek into Mike Aiken. For those of you who don’t know, Chesapeake was picked by Sports Illustrated for their list of “All-Time Top 40 Sports Songs.”
It isn’t easy to ask for help and I prefer to offer substance for your investment. It is more of an advance on a project. Consequently, we’ve been scheming on things we think you’d like… based on things we can offer. We tried to get clever, using some song titles for reward titles, just for fun. My personal favorites include the house concert and anything on the water. House concerts are great. They are up close and personal, I am able to tell the stories behind the songs and meet the folks in the audience. And any day on the water is good…so why not share that???
SPECIAL REWARD: Mike's Takamine EFG136s flamenco guitar with built-in Cool Tube pre-amp and hard shell case.
If we do not reach the goal, we will not receive any of the money you pledge, so your support is extremely important. Every bit adds up and together we can do it. So get a little wayward with us and go for something you wouldn’t otherwise…we’ll all be happy you did! What happens when we reach our goal? Within days we’ll set about ordering vinyl (turnaround is 3-4 months), and scheduling to shoot/edit videos. We will finalize our publicity plan and get to work fulfilling our promises to you. You will receive regular updates, can always ask questions and will be very happy with the results.
That's it folks. Thanks for watching, listening, reading...and for your support!
Risks and challenges
I don't see a lot of risks involved for you as backers. The risks are more for us if we can't reach our goal. The recording is done. This is not our first Kickstarter, and this is not our first project.
I am very good at communicating progress and plan to keep you well informed during and after the campaign.
No, I don't really see risks, just a lot of potential for BIG success with your help.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)