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Mr Bus Driver Man Sir and Her wrap up a children's CD to spread musical joy for the holidays, and will follow up with a colorful book
Mr Bus Driver Man Sir and Her wrap up a children's CD to spread musical joy for the holidays, and will follow up with a colorful book
Mr Bus Driver Man Sir and Her wrap up a children's CD to spread musical joy for the holidays, and will follow up with a colorful book
181 backers pledged $8,492 to help bring this project to life.

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Joy to the World! Children's CD Holiday Gift, Book to Follow

$8,492

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We are offering this Children's CD as a special pre-release JUST for our Kickstarter supporters, because so many folks have been asking about the kids album for the holidays!  So special THANKS to all who support us here!

Here's a sampler of ALL the songs on the album!  Feel free to listen while you read about the project and look over the rewards.  :-)

Chrissie and Jimmy Joe Natoli are kicking off this campaign to raise $7500 to bring their joyful children's songs to life through a CD and illustrated book. But they have huge creative dreams and would love to reach even higher to delight kids and parents in even more ways!

  • STRETCH GOAL #1: $9,000: Creation (and maintenance) of a fun INTERACTIVE WEBSITE where kids can listen to the songs and see the pictures and leave comments, stories, songs, and pictures of their own.
  • STRETCH GOAL #2: $12,000: Creation of an ANIMATED VIDEO of one of the songs to post on Youtube. They can only imagine how fun it would be to have some of their characters come to life in a little cartoon!! 
  • STRETCH GOAL #3: $15,000: Complete ILLUSTRATION OF THE SONG, “ELLEN’S RIDE,” which has a cast of imaginary creatures (A one-horned one-striped flying zebracorn, and the rhinocepotamus, and the three-legged iron-backed rusted-belly fish...) They would add huge flashcards of this song to their live performance, and eventually give this song its own book, too.
  • STRETCH GOAL #4: $18,000 Hire A PUBLICIST AND SHARE THIS MUSIC AND BOOK WITH CHILDREN EVERYWHERE! They really believe this would bring joy and delight to all kids (and parents, and aunts and uncles, and grandmas and grandpas...) and hope to share it with as many people as possible.
  • STRETCH GOAL #5: $21,000: an ANIMATED VIDEO of a second song. (Really, they’d love to animate ALL the songs!)
  • REALLY BIG DREAM GOAL: $25,000 would give them the resources to print “Ellen’s Ride” as an additional book!

>>>>>>>>>>>>>But What Is Their Main Goal Going to Cover?

FUNDS FROM THEIR $7500 GOAL COVER THE FOLLOWING: $600 Music mastering (professional finishing of the songs); $350 Album artwork and formatting; $950 Printing and pressing of physical CDs; $600 Kickstarter rewards fulfillment; $2000 Book artwork; $3000 Book printing 

Goal Broken Down / Total Costs (Including Those Paid by the Natolis)
Goal Broken Down / Total Costs (Including Those Paid by the Natolis)

Chrissie and Jimmy Joe have worked hard to get this far, spending $3600 out-of-pocket on production costs, as well as hours spent in their home studio (and purchasing and learning how to use recording equipment and software).  They know the value of hard work and money and take every pledge and bit of help with deep gratitude and thanks!

 AND NOW, THE STORY:

This Illustration is by Darrin Kobetich, as is the album cover art
This Illustration is by Darrin Kobetich, as is the album cover art

 Every morning during the school year, Jimmy Joe gets up in the wee hours, climbs on a big yellow bus, and begins picking up the children for school. For years he’s been telling silly stories, sharing wacky jokes, and writing impromptu songs with the kids. Past riders seek him out at his weekly farmers market gig to request old favorite songs or share stories of his musical influence on their lives. Parents of current riders adore him. Everyone agrees that they wish they had a bus driver just like him. And while it’s not possible to fit that many people on one bus, it IS possible to spread his delightful humor and joy through the mediums of recorded music and an illustrated book.

Jimmy Joe and Chrissie call themselves “Mr Bus Driver Man Sir and Her” when they are playing children’s music. (You can learn more about WHY Jimmy Joe goes by this name, and read adorable stories about his adventures on the bus, at his blog, www.schoolbusnews.com. Even if you read no further here, your day will be brightened if you do. Guaranteed!)  

For over 7 years, they have DREAMED OF CREATING A CHILDREN’S ALBUM of Jimmy Joe’s songs (and a few of Chrissie’s, too).  The album is now a reality and just needs a little help to get out there in time for THE HOLIDAYS.

As they recorded the album, they kept seeing images in their minds that went along with the songs. They realized that the music would be greatly complemented by an ILLUSTRATED CHILDREN'S BOOK to bring the songs to life, and to give children and parents an engaging, multi-media experience.

WHY THESE RECORDINGS ARE SO AWESOME:

  • Great Instrumentation, Outstanding Players: With their studio experience, their trusted engineer and co-producer Tommy Byrd of Byrd House Studio, and the amazingly talented musical community in Austin, TX, they have completed what they feel is their BEST ALBUM YET!  
These are some of the great Austin players, and various instruments, on the album
These are some of the great Austin players, and various instruments, on the album
  • Fun Instrumentals: Two instrumentals (NOT written by the Natolis) are also on the album. “Yakety Axe” and “Teddy Bear’s Picnic” showcase their outstanding guitar work AND are fun, danceable favorites. 
  • Great Vocal Harmonies by Austin's beloved Shawnee Kilgore, Alison Lumley from Chrissie's girl duo Avenue Elle, and Ren and Andi Renfree of 2-Bit Palomino
  • Extra Special Musical Guests:   “Doctor Sick” plays the saw (actually from the hardware store!), which has a spooky sound and is a treat for the ears. And Ellen plays cello. From kindergarten to second grade, she was Jimmy Joe’s only rider on the bus.To pass the time, they imagined wild adventures on the way to school, which ended up in a song, of course!   Ellen is in middle school now. Having her perform on her song was a really magical experience.
  • Children Participation: No children’s album would be complete without some CHILDREN singing. And John Howell, high school trombone student and family friend, made his debut studio appearance for this project (and everyone is pretty sure it won't be his last!)  And there are lots of other silly surprises that will make both kids AND parents laugh and smile! (Like chicken singers?!)
Berkeley / Madison / John / Harlan and Olivia
Berkeley / Madison / John / Harlan and Olivia

WHAT WILL THE BOOK BE?

Mr School Bus Driver Man Sir and Her are excited to work with the very talented Darrin Kobetich for illustrations.  Darrin has done an exemplary job creating the artwork for the CD.  As a guitarist, Darrin has the unique perspective to take in the songs as a musician and bring them to life as a visual artist.

http://www.darrinkobetich.com/

Pictures will include images from the songs: Frizzle Bantam chickens, a big slobbery Golden Retriever, crawdaddies, teddy bears on a picnic, ladybugs, zoo animals, and the fantastical creatures from Ellen’s Ride (such as the one-horned one-striped flying zebracorn and the rhinocepotamus). 

The book will be a visual adventure on its own, and coupled with the CD, will complete a wonderful package of art and music! 

REWARDS!!

  • The CD The CD, either sent to the backer OR gift-wrapped and sent directly to the child with a card from Mr Bus Driver Man Sir and Her (and LaLa the Ladybug)
  • The Book The book will follow within the next year.  Darrin has already started on some of the images and Chrissie and Jimmy Joe have been doing some research on printing books.  They will offer to send it as a holiday gift for 2016, or a birthday gift throughout the year (once it is complete) or just when it's finished.
  • Custom Sculpture Jimmy Joe has been sculpting figures for a long time.  He is offering a limited number of his creations as rewards. Pick your favorite character from the CD, or some other crazy creature you dream up, and within the next 8 weeks, Jimmy Joe will sculpt it with a special plaque to thank you. 
  •  Custom Song They would love to write a song especially for YOU or your child. It could be a lullaby or a birthday present, or an idea you’ve always had.  They've really enjoyed crafting songs for and with kids in the past, and have some of those songs available to hear at http://www.songsmiths.net/children.html.  Your children will light up when they hear their own personal song, and Jimmy Joe and Chrissie will delight in getting to know you and your family a little more.  
  • Kids Party!  You can choose to have them share the joy in person with a private kids party! Experience the fun and laughter live, watch your kiddos dance and sing along, and give a CD to every child as a favor, too. (Limited to folks in the Austin area or pre-determined stop on their summer tour route.) For an even more special experience, have Chrissie and Jimmy Joe come and make shakers and other little instruments and then perform with your children playing along with their very own creations!
  • Book Credits/Dedication And, with incredible gratitude, Mr Bus Driver Man Sir and Her, would be honored to give credit or add a dedication in the book for anyone able to make a substantial donation toward their goals. 

EVERY DONATION large and small will be received with gratitude. and will help these songs and illustrations get into the world. 

(If you have any questions about rewards, or if there is a reward you think is missing (They tried to think of every combination of rewards possible, honest!), please feel free to contact Chrissie.)

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP and GET FUN PRESENTS FOR YOUR KIDS (AND YOURSELF)?? 

DONATE NOW! LOOK TO THE RIGHT AND PICK THE REWARDS THAT MOST APPEAL TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY ====> 

Kickstarter makes it easy to donate and helps keep the rewards organized. 

*****IF MR BUS DRIVER MAN SIR AND HER DON’T MEET THEIR GOAL, THEY DON’T RECEIVE ANY OF THE FUNDING. ***** 

Your credit card is only charged at the end of a successful campaign. There is a strict deadline.  If you want to be sure your kids get their CDs for the holidays, PLEASE CLICK ON YOUR REWARD NOW!

ONLY KICKSTARTER SUPPORTERS are being given a promise of CDs in time for the holidays, so it is important not to wait if you’d like to give these as gifts. 

Chrissie and Jimmy Joe say: “This is our best project yet, extra special because it comes from experiences with real kids, and even includes some of those kids in the music. The response we’ve had to playing our children’s music live has been overwhelmingly positive.  The world will be a more joyful place with these songs and pictures in it. There’s lots of bad news and struggles, and we can’t think of a higher purpose than bringing joy to children and families (and everyone!) We offer this to you with love and imagination straight from our hearts, and sincerely appreciate every act of support and love you give back. THANK YOU!

PS Thank you to Randy and Julia Sulsar of Creekbottom Music for making our video, and thanks to Launch & Release for all the amazing advice!  And thanks to the friends who helped us pull this campaign together.  You know who you are, and we love you.

Risks and challenges

The biggest challenge we face with this project is getting the CDs to everyone on time for holiday gift-giving! The good news is, the CD is finished! The biggest challenge will be getting them mailed immediately after funding. To help overcome this, we plan to reach out to people as they pledge to ensure we have addresses and names ready to go so the moment the campaign ends, we can start signing and wrapping. We also have several friends who have committed to helping with this step. We end the campaign on December 7. The post office has established December 15 to be the last day to mail a package and deliver it by December 24. Chrissie’s schedule is clear Dec 8, 9, and 10th, so she will get everything in the mail by the 10th at the latest, but really should be able to mail everything on the 8th.

Another challenge will simply be entering the unknown world of making a children’s book. We knew little about making CDs 4 years ago when we started that process, and now, on our third CD, we did a lot of the recording in our very own home studio. So we are ready to learn something new and have proven we can rise to that challenge! We are lucky to be personal friends with several kids book authors who have already shared great advice and resources. We also have several outstanding illustrators, including Darrin Kobetich, who did an amazing job with the CD art, and who we already know is easy to work with, talented and flexible. We’ve given ourselves a year to complete the book. We hope it will take less time than that, but feel like a year is realistic. So we could conceivably be sending the book as a Christmas present for 2016. Or, if finished early it could be a birthday present.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $2 or more About $2.00

    Digital Single of Song of Your Choice from Playing in the Dirt!

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    Eye Foot Man Sculpture

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    Pledge $12 or more About $12

    Digital Download of the entire album, "Playing in the Dirt"

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    CD SENT TO BACKER:
    Autographed CD sent directly to the backer in time for the holidays! (CDs delivered outside of the US CANNOT be guaranteed for holidays gift giving because of customs, although we will do the best we can on our part!)

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    CHILD'S GIFT CD Sent Directly to Child's Home:
    CD Signed and Gift Wrapped with a Card (signed by us with a message from YOU) and carefully packaged for incognito delivery to your favorite child's home in time for the holidays! (We'll package it so parents receive it and can hide it away for the big day, or if you'd prefer, we can address it directly to the child so they get a surprise in the mail!) (CDs delivered outside of the US CANNOT be guaranteed for holidays gift giving because of customs, although we will do the best we can on our part!)

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    2 CDs SENT TO BACKER:
    Two Autographed CDs sent directly to the backer in time for the holidays! (CDs delivered outside of the US CANNOT be guaranteed for holidays gift giving because of customs, although we will do the best we can on our part!)

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    CD + BOOK SENT TO BACKER:
    Autographed CD sent directly to the backer in time for the holidays! (CDs delivered outside of the US CANNOT be guaranteed for holidays gift giving because of customs, although we will do the best we can on our part!) The BOOK will be delivered, also to the backer, upon completion, by the end of 2016 but possibly sooner.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    3 CDs SENT TO BACKER:
    Three Autographed CDs sent directly to the backer in time for the holidays! (CDs delivered outside of the US CANNOT be guaranteed for holidays gift giving because of customs, although we will do the best we can on our part!)

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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    CHILDREN'S CD GIFT + BOOK Sent Directly to Child's Home:
    A CD Signed and Gift Wrapped with Card (signed by us with a message from YOU) and carefully packaged for incognito delivery to your favorite child's home in time for the holidays! (We'll package it so parents receive it and can hide it away for the big day, or if you'd prefer, we can address it directly to the child so they get a surprise in the mail!)
    A Book will also be delivered wrapped as a gift with a card UPON COMPLETION (or optionally in time for birthdays or next year's holidays). (CDs delivered outside of the US CANNOT be guaranteed for holidays gift giving because of customs, although we will do the best we can on our part!)

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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    TWO CHILDREN'S GIFT CDs Sent Directly to Children's Homes:
    A CD Signed and Gift Wrapped with a Card (signed by us with a message from YOU) and carefully packaged for incognito delivery to each of two of your favorite children's homes in time for the holidays! (We'll package them so parents receive them and can hide them away for the big day, or if you'd prefer, we can address them directly to the children so they get a surprise in the mail!) (CDs delivered outside of the US CANNOT be guaranteed for holidays gift giving because of customs, although we will do the best we can on our part!)

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    4 CDs SENT TO BACKER:
    Four Autographed CDs sent directly to the backer in time for the holidays! (CDs delivered outside of the US CANNOT be guaranteed for holidays gift giving because of customs, although we will do the best we can on our part!)

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    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    2 CDs + 2 BOOKS SENT TO BACKERS:
    Two Autographed CDs sent directly to the backer in time for the holidays! Two BOOKS will be delivered, also to the backer, upon completion, by the end of 2016 but possibly sooner. (CDs delivered outside of the US CANNOT be guaranteed for holidays gift giving because of customs, although we will do the best we can on our part!)

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    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    3 CDs + 3 BOOKS SENT TO BACKERS:
    Three Autographed CDs sent directly to the backer in time for the holidays! Three BOOKS will be delivered, also to the backer, upon completion, by the end of 2016 but possibly sooner. (CDs delivered outside of the US CANNOT be guaranteed for holidays gift giving because of customs, although we will do the best we can on our part!)

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    4 CDs + 4 BOOKS SENT TO BACKERS:
    Four Autographed CDs sent directly to the backer in time for the holidays! Four BOOKS will be delivered, also to the backer, upon completion, by the end of 2016 but possibly sooner. (CDs delivered outside of the US CANNOT be guaranteed for holidays gift giving because of customs, although we will do the best we can on our part!)

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    2 CHILDREN'S CD GIFTS + 2 BOOK GIFTS Sent Directly to Children's Homes:
    Two CDs Signed and Gift Wrapped with Cards (signed by us with a message from YOU) and carefully packaged for incognito delivery to your favorite children's homes in time for the holidays! (We'll package them so parents receive them and can hide them away for the big day, or if you'd prefer, we can address them directly to the children so they get a surprise in the mail!)
    Two Books will also be delivered wrapped as gifts UPON COMPLETION (or optionally in time for birthdays or next year's holidays). (CDs delivered outside of the US CANNOT be guaranteed for holidays gift giving because of customs, although we will do the best we can on our part!)

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    GUITAR LESSONS:
    Four children's guitar lessons from Jimmy Joe, starting in January, limited to Austin residents, please

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    Pledge $140 or more About $140

    3 CHILDREN'S CD GIFTS + 3 BOOK GIFTS Sent Directly to Children's Homes:
    Three CDs Signed and Gift Wrapped with Cards (signed by us with a message from YOU) and carefully packaged for incognito delivery to your favorite children's homes in time for the holidays! (We'll package them so parents receive them and can hide them away for the big day, or if you'd prefer, we can address them directly to the children so they get a surprise in the mail!)
    Three Books will also be delivered wrapped as gifts UPON COMPLETION (or optionally in time for birthdays or next year's holidays). (CDs delivered outside of the US CANNOT be guaranteed for holidays gift giving because of customs, although we will do the best we can on our part!)

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    SCULPTURE + CD + BOOK:
    CD sent to backer in time for holidays, book sent to backer upon completion.
    Original Sculpture of Favorite Character from the songs, created by Jimmy Joe and dedicated to recipient with engraved plaque on the base, SCULPTURE TO BE COMPLETED WITHIN 8 WEEKS OF REQUEST, NOT IN TIME FOR THE HOLIDAYS!

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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    4 CHILDREN'S CD GIFTS + 4 BOOK GIFTS Sent Directly to Children's Homes:
    Four CDs Signed and Gift Wrapped with Cards (signed by us with a message from YOU) and carefully packaged for incognito delivery to your favorite children's homes in time for the holidays! (We'll package them so parents receive them and can hide them away for the big day, or if you'd prefer, we can address them directly to the children so they get a surprise in the mail!)
    Four Books will also be delivered wrapped as gifts UPON COMPLETION (or optionally in time for birthdays or next year's holidays). (CDs delivered outside of the US CANNOT be guaranteed for holidays gift giving because of customs, although we will do the best we can on our part!)

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Book credits, plus Book and CD:
    CD Gift in time for holidays
    Have your name or your child's name credited in the Book, sent as Gift UPON COMPLETION (or optionally in time for a birthday)

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    Pledge $325 or more About $325

    Custom Song plus CD Holidays Gift:
    CD Signed, Gift Wrapped and Delivered to your favorite kid in time for the holidays
    Custom song written for or with your child

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    Pledge $450 or more About $450

    Children's Music Party + CD + Book for each child (up to 20):
    Limited to central Texas or predetermined touring locations

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

    "Making Music Concert and Workshop" for a kids party + CD + book for each child (up to 12):
    Mr Bus Driver Man Sir, and Her, will spend a fun afternoon creating percussive instruments with the children, then everyone will make music together! Limited to central Texas or predetermined touring locations

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

    Book dedication, CD for the holidays and, of course, copies of the book:
    A donation of this level will truly make the book possible and so warrants dedication on the dedication page of the book.

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Funding period

- (28 days)