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WAYWARD TROUBADOUR -  full CD, vinyl record, video, promotion, more. Truest writing and recording yet. Great rewards!
WAYWARD TROUBADOUR - full CD, vinyl record, video, promotion, more. Truest writing and recording yet. Great rewards!
72 backers pledged $15,040 to help bring this project to life.

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$15,040

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Hi Folks,  

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!


 

Wayward Troubadour CD cover
Wayward Troubadour CD cover

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 : 

 Penelope 

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. 

Takamine Guitar
Takamine Guitar

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.  

Thank you!  

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.

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Support

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    MAKE A PLEDGE WITHOUT A REWARD

    Just want to pitch in? Thank you VERY much. Every bit helps.

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    AUTOGRAPHED PHOTO

    Receive a promotional photograph of Mike, autographed with appreciation.

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    ALBUM DIGITAL DOWNLOAD

    Digital download of the album. Includes a digital booklet as a PDF.

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    SIGNED PHYSICAL CD

    Autographed CD signed with appreciation to whomever you choose.

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    DIGITAL DOWNLOAD AND BACKER T-SHIRT

    Digital album and booklet with liner notes and lyrics. Custom designed Backer T-shirt.

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    MOTHER'S DAY SPECIAL - TWO DAYS ONLY

    Both our mothers have passed on. We know if they were still here they would love to come to a show. We would like to honor them by offering you a ticket to come to show. This includes a concert ticket to any Mike Aiken concert before June 8, 2019, plus a SIGNED CD.

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    EARTH DAY SPECIAL - ONE DAY ONLY

    CARBON FREE REWARD
    To celebrate this favorite day of ours...Mike and Amy will spend 2 hours cleaning the beach of plastic and other trash, in your honor. Includes an ALBUM DIGITAL DOWNLOAD.
    We and Mother Earth thank you.

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    TEAM TROUBADOUR

    Signed CD, digital album with booklet containing liner notes and lyrics. Custom designed Backer T-shirt.

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    LET'S GET DIGITAL

    SKYPE or PHONE CALL WITH MIKE & AMY – Want to show off your boat, garden or home? Want some help playing a certain Mike song or ask about the whales on our Atlantic crossing…or maybe talk about where to find the best fish tacos? Let’s talk. Comes with ALBUM DIGITAL DOWNLOAD.
    (Any mutual time before June 8, 2019)

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    TEAM TROUBADOUR - TWICE

    Sharing is good – get TWO TEAM TROUBADOURS. Giving is good for everyone, can add to your Karma ... and will be doubly appreciated.

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    IN THE GROOVE

    VINYL BABY! We’ve always wanted to do vinyl and this album is PERFECT for it. Includes a copy of the VINYL when it’s ready and a TEAM TROUBADOUR.
    Vinyl expected by September 2018.

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    CINCO DE MAYO - ONE DAY ONLY

    Fish taco double date with Mike and Amy at our favorite place in Norfolk, VA or Nashville, TN. Tacos are on us! Travel is not. Also includes SIGNED CD and ALBUM DIGITAL DOWNLOAD. Any mutual time before June 8, 2019.

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    TROUBADOUR'S TRAIL

    Follow in the wake of this sailing troubadour. Perfect for all fans. Includes a nautical chart of somewhere in the world from our ship's collection, a signed CD, custom Backer T-shirt, and one of each of Mike's last four CDs.

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    VIDEO GREETING FROM MIKE & AMY

    Mike and Amy will send you a video - with a special message for your birthday, thank you, anniversary, or whatever you like. We can even record an acoustic version of one of Mike's tunes and add a personal greeting for someone you choose. Share it to your heart's content. Includes a TEAM TROUBADOUR.

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    BAND BOOK CLUB

    BOOKS? Why yes. BOOKS ABOUT MUSIC? Well, maybe… Did you know that Mike and Amy love spending time with a good read. Receive some recommended reading every other month (6 or more for the year). Might be about boats, might be about music, might be about Indians in the Southwest… Each book will contain an inscription from Mike or Amy. We will throw in other goodies now and then too. Comes with a TEAM TROUBADOUR. Includes shipping to USA. For those outside the USA send us an email and we'll make it work.
    Limit 3

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    AIKEN & FRIENDS FEST VIP PACKAGE

    Join us for the 13th Annual Aiken & Friends Music Fest on the RVCC Campus in Branchburg, NJ. Spend two nights in the very comfortable host hotel, the Hyatt House Branchburg, receive two tickets to all Friday and Saturday Fest events including VIP table for theater concerts. Comes with IN THE GROOVE and an extra Backer T-shirt so you can both arrive in the style befitting the VIPs that you are. (Travel not included, sorry.)

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    VINYL RECORD EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

    VINYL HAS BEEN ELUSIVE BUT YOU CAN HELP BRING IT TO FRUITION. Receive credit on the vinyl sleeve as Executive Producer. Pick your favorite Mike Aiken song to be on the album. Includes IN THE GROOVE and TROUBADOUR'S TRAIL.

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    THE CHESAPEAKE

    NORFOLK HARBOR CRUISE
    Have you ever seen Norfolk from the water? Seen Navy vessels up close? Join us for a cruise for up to 4 people. We’ll do lunch! Comes with two TEAM TROUBADOURS. Any mutual time before June 8, 2019.

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    HOUSE CONCERT - DUO

    THESE ARE THE BEST.
    MIKE AND AMY WILL PERFORM AT YOUR HOUSE – we come to your house and play for you and your friends within a 200-mile radius of Norfolk, Virginia or Nashville, Tennessee or another gig that is on the calendar. Throw a party, get your friends to chip in, use the concert for a fundraiser or corporate event, or just have Mike & Amy all to yourself! If you are not familiar with the house concert concept, let us know and we'll work with you to make it easy and memorable. (We are happy to travel over the 200-mile limit, we may have to adjust for travel expenses and/or sound, but we'll work it out.) Comes with IN THE GROOVE (Any mutual time.)

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    A LITTLE LAZY IN YOUR LIFE

    A PLAY DAY ON THE WATER for up to 8 people. Refreshments provided. Choose Nashville (pontoon boat) or Norfolk (a day on the bay by boat). Comes with ALBUM DIGITAL DOWNLOAD and BACKER T-SHIRT for each crew member. Any mutual time before June 8, 2019

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    MIKE'S TAKAMINE GUITAR

    Become the owner of one of Mike’s trusted friends. This nylon-string Takamine was used to record 90 Miles To Hemingway (also a video tutorial of this song), Put A Sail On It (see it in the official music video). He hates to part with a trusted friend but he believes in this record so much and the need to promote it that he would love for this to go to a good home. Includes TROUBADOUR'S TRAIL.
    See the guitar in action in this tutorial video: https://youtu.be/4nyN0h-AJT8

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    PUT A SAIL ON IT

    CURIOUS ABOUT WHERE THIS SONG CAME FROM? Mike and Amy welcome you (up to four people) into their home and will take you for a sail aboard their beloved Ocean Girl. Enjoy a sail and a meal. Comes with a TEAM TROUBADOUR for each fearless crew member. Any mutual time before June 8, 2019.

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    HOUSE CONCERT - FULL BAND

    THIS IS WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT!
    MIKE will come to your house with 3 trusty troubadours by his side–and play their hearts out for you and your friends within a 200-mile radius of Norfolk, Virginia or Nashville, Tennessee or another gig that is already on the calendar. Throw a party, get your friends to chip in, use the concert for a fundraiser or corporate event or just have the band all to yourself. If you are not familiar with the house concert concept, let us know and we'll work with you to make it easy and memorable. (We are happy to travel over the 200-mile limit, we may have to adjust for travel expenses and/or sound but we'll work it out.) Comes with IN THE GROOVE. (Any mutual time.)

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    THE NASHVILLE SKYLINE - FOR 6

    A TROUBADOUR'S TOUR FOR UP TO 6.
    Experience Nashville for a weekend through this troubadour's eyes. Gather up to six of your family and/or friends for a personal tour. Visit places you only know about if you are in the music industry. Spend one day aboard a day coach / band tour bus, see the Grand Ole Opry backstage, tour Music Row and walk into a famous studio, for example. Enjoy a private acoustic set by Mike. Spend another day on a foot tour with Mike and trusty Nashville based manager, Joe Kelly, hearing the REAL stories as you visit the Ryman, Printer’s Alley and lower Broadway’s honky tonks. It is Nashville so you never know whom you will see or meet. Travel and lodging are your responsibility. We will provide the tour and tales for up to 6 people. Comes with a TEAM TROUBADOUR for each person attending. Any mutual time before June 8, 2019.

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    THE NASHVILLE SKYLINE - FOR 15

    A TROUBADOUR'S TOUR FOR UP TO 15. GO FOR IT - Gather up to fifteen of your family and/or friends for a personal tour. Visit places you only know about if you are in the music industry. Spend one day aboard a day coach / band tour bus, see the Grand Ole Opry backstage, tour Music Row and walk into a famous studio, for example. Enjoy a private acoustic set by Mike. Spend another day on a foot tour with Mike and trusty Nashville based manager, Joe Kelly, hearing the REAL stories as you visit the Ryman, Printer’s Alley and lower Broadway’s honky tonks. It is Nashville so you never know whom you will see or meet. Travel and lodging are your responsibility. We will provide the tour and tales for up to 15 people. Comes with a TEAM TROUBADOUR for each person attending. Any mutual time before June 8, 2019.

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    ALL IN - VIDEO EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

    Now YOUR’RE producin’!! Be in the biz, be executive producer on an official music video. Choose your favorite Wayward Troubadour song, make an appearance (optional), receive production credit for the world to see. Includes IN THE GROOVE and TROUBADOUR'S TRAIL.

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Funding period

- (30 days)