WHAT DOES KICKSTARTER MEAN TO ME?
Here is what I learned over 4 years ago from my last Kickstarter…
It wasn’t about the money. It was about the support.
Which is perfect, because nobody I know plays music just for money. They do it because, as my father has said to me on many occasions,“Patrick, there clearly is no plan B for you”, nope Dad, there is not.
Yes, Kickstarter support is so much more than just some cash in exchange for some music. I found that the meaningful longtime relationships and heartfelt stories of how PMB music has affected your life surpassed the financial offerings. It acted as one hell of a motivating factor when in the studio and on the road night after night away from my other job…a very busy stay at home dad of 4 kids.
The way this music was woven into so many of your lives is beyond humbling. I’ve heard of couples that met at our shows at their colleges, friends who still get together nearly 20 years later and relive those wild nights. I’ve heard tales of marriages across continents strengthened by a shared love of PMB. I’ve heard of a long lost love was rekindled while reflecting on what was once there while attending our concerts in the 90’s.
I’ve been told that kids and parents are bonding over our music, although, I’m guessing this is parents forcing their PMB playlists on their children. I’ve heard many soldiers in the armed forces whom keep their bond solid sharing mixes of PMB. I’ve heard people who have lost a loved one find strength and support in our music. I’ve even been told that when a loved one is passing on, they requested to hear PMB’s Shine album in their final moments on earth. All these testimonials are something I think about every day and behind every note written for this new album…
WHY YOU SHOULD GIVE TO THIS CAMPAIGN?
Because we whole heartedly believe in this music and if you found your way to this page, you must have some level of interest as well! So, come be a part of this exciting release with us. This is so much cooler than when we were on major record labels, because this feels like a true partnership with fans, a connection like never previously available.
Plus, you’ll get the music within weeks, perhaps days of this Kickstarter being sucessfuly funded! Just in time for Summer!
THE BAND IS BACK TOGETHER!
I am so proud to announce that we have reunited the original Pat McGee Band and recorded a full length album. I was beyond humbled by your involvement in the last album and I can’t wait to share that feeling with these guys on this one.
Since the last campaign, I’ve traveled to the Middle East and Africa, TWICE to support the troops, we were able to do several tours of not only the East Coast and Mid West but also the West Coast. Returned to play The Rock Boat and Train Cruise 3 times, planned and produced 5 more Down The Hatch getaways as well as 5 Ocean State of Mind festivals in Rhode Island, both these events have brought so much joy to so many and it’s all because I just want to share stuff I find to be life changing levels of awesome.
As I came out of the clouds from my last dream project with all those legendary players, who taught me so much, and are somehow now people I call friends (which, will always blow my mind), I got back to writing again.
Which is a challenge when you’re a stay at home dad AND a touring professional musician. We’re a special breed. The last album I wrote when Jack was literally laying in a bean bag as a newborn baby, now he’s slightly more active than those lazy days, and my daughters were not yet taller than me and now, soon off to college!
The lyrical content on this album is deeply personal. I write about life as a parent, a son, and a husband in “Bookends”. In “When You’re Leaving Home” I think back on what going off to college was like for me, for my brother and sister and what that might feel like when I send my own kids off. (cue the fetal position sobbing)
But don’t worry it’s not ALL parent rock themes, there are classic PMB subjects: romance and relationships in “Broken Heart” “Upgrade” & “Matador” & “Not Meant To Live Life Alone”, Thoughts on life’s lasting friendship’s in “Ring Us Out Again” and even a straight up party song in “Feels Like It’s On Tonight”.
These songs I was coming up with were rooted in that undeniable PMB vibe, flavor and feel from the start. I was pumped to collaborate with the band and write a bunch of them with Jonathan. It felt like we were really in the groove and banging out some killer tunes over the course of 2018.
From the get go, these tunes just called out for soaring 3 part harmonies & upbeat percussion. I could already hear the melodic bass lines and a deep pocket in the drums with all kinds of creative arrangements that would give it that unique PMB stamp. And it definitely was going to need acoustic guitars, a whole bunch of ‘em.
These were the musical elements I sought out when I went hunting for band members back in 1995, solidifying the official lineup in March of ’96 after our first gig with Chris “CW” Williams on drums. Honestly, it was after the very first song we played that night.
And I wrote about that exact spark (more like an explosion) of an evening on this new album in “Life Like A Kid”. It was a gig in a Northern Virginia strip mall just a few miles up the road from the studio I had recently cut From The Wood at and where PMB would find ourselves recording Revel later that year. That night Jonathan Williams, Al Walsh, John Small, Chardy McEwan and Chris Williams backed me up like nobody had ever done prior and I instantly felt like I was riding a 100 foot wave, one that I’m somehow still on.
CW & “NACHOS!”
As many of you know, we lost CW back in 2006 and not many days go by when I don’t think about him and smile. He was always there and honestly it feels like he still is, especially these days (more on that later).
I will share with you, that when I had my first real uninterrupted listen through to all the songs in a row (to get an idea of what order we may put these suckers in) it really hit me hard. I sat in my living room and had a solid cry. Something about the sound of these musicians together again, it just felt like CW was with us and that he was damn proud of what we had accomplished. Our longtime drummer Chew is really the star of this album (more on that later).
Back to the whole PMB recorded vibe thing…it’s just so effortless for us. Back in the day, we never practiced because we hated rehearsals. Chardy and I always had a “safe word”, the minute the band attempted to focus on actual nit-picking of songs, ones that we had played 1000 times over, we would yell “NACHOS!”, which meant practice is over, lets’ go eat something. We ate “nacho’s” often.
PMB rarely played the same thing the same way twice. That’s the hippie in me I suppose. I was always a fan of just figuring it out live and in the moment, whatever you felt, you had the freedom to play it. I know that likely caused some quiet stress and anxiety for some in the band, not knowing where a song might be going next, but hey, that’s what became our thing and still is. We were always being true to ourselves.
THE STUDIO, NOVA & THE CRASH PAD
So fast forward to Jan 1, 2019 and PMB roll’s into 38 North Studios in Falls Church, VA. This space, now beautifully reconfigured, was the exact room we cut Revel in. I hardly recognized it, having not been there in 23 years, but it felt just like home to us. This studio was legendary, so to be a small part of it’s musical history is an honor.
Across the street from 38 North is where I had my first show ever. It was 1989 and it was The Falls Church Community Center for a local “Battle of the Bands”, no shocker, that I had organized so that my group, (R.O.C. Reverse Oyster Cult), could get out of my parent’s basement and play in front of actual humans.
It was us and one other band, Damage Inc. (a Metallica tribute) that seek and destroyed (see what I did there?) us with their speed, volume and sheer conviction. Oh, and, I went to high school, right down the street and had after school band practices just around the corner. So needless to say, Northern Virginia is home to me and it’s where I paid witnessed to live music in the local scene that clearly was the inspiration to get a guitar and get strummin’.
We even sent my parents on a mini-vacation, the equivalent of a lame trip they could win to the Poccoono’s on Name That Tune, so that we could stay at their house with no parental supervision, I mean we’re not exactly Motely Crue but we do like to enjoy ourselves.
My folk’s house in Annandale, the same place we would crash every time PMB rocked the NOVA/DC area, which as you can imagine were lots and lots over the career of this band.
Whoa, those late night hangouts after countless Bayou & Wolf Trap shows, with my parents sleeping upstairs, we owe them so much more than just a mini-vacation! One night I recall CW being so “excited” after a raucous 9:30 Club show, that he leapt for joy and split his head open on a support beam in the basement. Fechino thought it would help to pour alcohol (that they were holding at the time) straight into the large cut. I can still hear CW screaming “Stop pouring vodka into my wound!”
Lynne and Hugh McGee are saints I tell ya!
Having my childhood home to ourselves really gave us a chance to reconnect and laugh like old times, making the sessions at 38 North casual, fun and pure bliss. I wanted to stay there the entire winter and track 5 albums.
I reached out to each member of PMB and we all agreed, there is only one drummer who could deliver the goods and have the connection to our beloved brother Chris Williams. That man was Matt Calvarese, also known as “Chew Calvin” or “Chew’”. Matt was introduced to us when he was about 12 years old. It was in the Outer Banks of NC at one of our wild shows at Port O Call. He was Chris’s friend, and CW’s only drum student. Little did we know that one day we’d need him to man the PMB drum throne. It means more to us than he’ll ever know to have him on this album. To all our drummer friends out there on all levels of stardom, I can’t wait for you to hear what Chew laid down.
One goal of mine for this album: LET THE MUSICIAN’S SHINE AND BE THEMSELVES. Don’t second guess what comes naturally to PMB:
Small’s amazing bass playing, let him do him and encourage him to push the envelope. His parts on this album are like their own song.
Chardy’s raw and infectiously groovy, sometimes straight up bombastic percussion stylings are featured more on this album than any previous OMB album.
The combination of Al Walsh and Jonathan Williams’ pristine harmonies are the cornerstone of that classic PMB sound. On this record Jonathan really showed his ability to arrange mind-blowing vocal parts and Al crushed it.
And Johnny’s beautiful keyboard work on piano, Hammond Organ and Wurlitzer is the glue that keeps this music rooted in strong melodies. His touch and feel are so important to this sound.
My goal with guitars is to always make it feel like it did when I first wrote the song. I want that acoustic to be front and center and really inspire the band to keep proper time (as in, I suck at time, so they need to keep me in line), so I can play with the passion I had at 16 when I learned the energy of Pinball Wizard. And the electric offerings, all I can say is, thank you for letting me play guitar for a living. I don’t take it lightly and hope you like what I put down.
Matt’s drumming, as you’ll hear for yourself, is the driving force of this album. It’s perfectly Matt and encompasses the vibe of PMB like nobody else could. I know CW was smiling down on this session.
In fact, if I may share with you a story, one that you can do what you want with…
Well, typically when you finish a take of a song in the studio, the last downbeat, strum, note held, you don’t move an inch and let it ring out without interruption. You don’t say a word that you don’t want on tape. So, after the very first take of the song titled “Life Like A Kid”, which I wrote about CW, we all hit the last downbeat together, patiently waiting to ring out that big ole E chord…
then BOOM! CRASH! BAM!, Chardy’s percussion room mics are clearly distorted and overdriven. We all say to him, “WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!”
To which he answers, “oh nothing, just the refrigerator door opening, on. it’s. own. and a coke flying across the room slamming into the wall and spraying soda everywhere. Mind you, the last time we were all in that room recording together, CW was there. So, yeah, we’d like to think he was hangin out again.
This is my 11th album, I can’t believe I even made it past the first one. It’s all because I’ve surrounded myself with extrordinarly talented individuals that exude inspiration. This PMB album marks the first time I’ve gone back to the well on the producer side of things. I wanted to work with a team that totally gets what we were after. Basically, someone who was a fan of early PMB and understood that whole scene, but they had to be exceptional at what they do in the studio.
That team is Kit Karlson and Chip Johnson. I already can’t wait to make another next album together, we had THAT much fun. They both bring something so unique to the table and got the best performances out of each of us. Did I mention the laughter, cracking up was an hourly occurrance. Chardy said to me, “this is the most fun I have ever had recording music in this band”. I agree dude.
This casual schedule ended up working to our advantage, both creatively and on the efficiency end. We crushed the entire thing in about 4 days, which afforded us time to really sit back and listen to fine tune the icing on the cake stuff. Not to mention for the first time ever, we recorded the band LIVE! What a crazy idea, right? PMB live?
When we cut the Revel and Shine records, ADAT and Pro Tools were just invented and it meant, bye bye live bands. Everyone play separate and we’ll piece it all together. Well, not anymore, a trick I learned from my last album... playing live is the only way for band like us. And you can hear it in the music. The energy is up and you can just feel the positivity, just like a live show!
With this project, I had one “rule”. Keep it in the family. The original guys would do the bulk of the work but just like the early albums, we would bring in some extra spice to the stew. Patrick McAloon is laying down vocals as we speak.
Michael Ghegan is crushing the saxophone parts, bringing in a few secret friends to really take the horn sections over the top. I can't WAIT to hear this stuff! We have so much history together, we had to have Ghegan on this album between his incredibly busy schedule touring with all kinds of famous people. Check him out currently with Roger Hodgson of Supertramp
Mike Meadows rocks the cello, mandolin and banjo on this album. Mike was touring with PMB in later part of 2000 somethin'. He went on to be in Taylor Swift's band...because he kicks ass at every instrument and is one of the best hangs ever. Catch him on tour with T Swift in a Enormodome near you. Oh, good luck getting tickets ;)
Brian Fechino is stepping in to join me on acoustic guitar for “Life Like a Kid”, our tribute to CW. Techno as you all know rocked the country far and wide with PMB for a decade. A better guitar player, there is none on planet earth. We had to have him on here to lend his masterful skills, especially for this tune for CW. Those two were inseparable. Brian is busy writing, producing, engineering and playing on all kinds of amazing projects in Nashville and works closely with Sixthman out of Atlanta.
Eddie “From Ohio” Hartness was there for us as he always has been for me since day 1. He was the first musician to hear “Rebecca” and “Haven’t Seen For A While", helping me arrange and play all the drums on my From The Wood CD. Eddie, in addition to being a part of our CW drum circle, provided all the percussion for Chardy to bang on.
It’s pretty much like the menu at The Cheesecake Factory, there are just so many tasty treats to choose from, but with this one, I promise you, each one is 5 star on YELP.
At this point, most people hear Kickstarter and they scroll on by, understandably so, but I’m trying to bring back the feeling you had when one of your favorite bands released an album and the aniticipation nearly killed ya. I was that way with Bruce Springsteen's box set, and Born in The U.S.A. which was the first vinyl of my own that I picked out (my brother and sister had such a massive selection I hardly needed to get much of anything). The Scorpions World Wide Live, Livng Colour’s Vivid, U2’s Under A Blood Red Sky, B-52’s Whammy Kiss, sigh, I remember riding my bike to Springfield Mall (a very dangerous excursion for a 10 year old), going home and just being consumed by the music.
I know lives are busy, many of you have children, multiple in most families and life is “crazy”. Making time for actual music listening seems like a luxury! Well, hopefully you can take the time to put this new PMB music into your rotation and make some new memories.
I've worked hard at coming up with rewards that really bring the music and the people together in unique ways. I always think of what I would dig doing with a band that I was super into. I’m excited to again get down in the trenches with the you guys and help bring this incredibly fun project to life and to your ears and into your hands.
There is so much left to do, many songs to finish recording, and bills, a bunch of bills to pay in a time when “people don’t pay for music anymore”. Well I don’t believe that. To know we can count on our fans to help carry us is way cooler than any record label deal ever was.
The good news is you’ll get music WAY sooner than most other projects. Yes we are nearing the finish line on actual tracking of music, but that is step #1.
But really, I JUST WANT YOU TO HEAR THIS. So I really hope we can move as many $25 rewards as possible. Find that friend that you used to go see PMB with back in the day and their 10 friends, let’s get this sucker spread far and wide. The big donors are bad ass, and super appreciated and crucial to taking the project across the finishing line but I would rather reach more ears. I know those fans out there and I truly believe this album will help remind them what they liked about PMB music so much.
If we do not reach $50,000, the project will not be funded (your credit card will not be charged) and no rewards will be sent out. Only with your help will this project go forward, so let's do this!
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Check out the Rewards & pick your favorite! --> Choose from some seriously ransom signed guitars, private concerts, personalized songs, album collections, golf outings, limited edition packages and more.
HELP SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THIS CAMPAIGN through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Mom blogs, Dad blogs (it’s a thing!), MySpace (its gone?), trucker bathroom walls, CC email, snail mail, Evites, texts, pings, phone calls, postcards, chain letters, polite trolling, pop up ads, those dancing sign people, smoke signals, sky writers, beepers, just whatever works for ya. Your support is gold in making this dream session a reality.
ALL BACKERS GET EXCLUSIVE BEHIND THE SCENE STUDIO VIDEO UPDATES AND ALL EXCITING OPPORTUNITIES THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER.
If by chance we raise MORE than our goal, the extra money will go toward further promotion, radio opportunities, touring all stuff that goes into making an independent record release a success.
Trust me, it is much needed and would be used smartly to ensure a successful. campaign
I have never been so excited to go and record music!
THANK YOU SO MUCH!
PAT MCGEE BAND
A BIG shout out to all the amazing photographers who have shot the band over the years;
David Bergman, Daniel Glass, Michael Massa, Michelle Wacker, Cathy Williams and if I miss you, my apologies. We truly appreciate your art.
Risks and challenges
RISKS AND CHALLENGES
I have been writing and recording music professionally since 1993 and in that time I have experienced the highs and lows of this crazy business. I certainly understand the potential pitfalls and obstacles that can come at any point in this process.
But, this project is unique, because we are basically almost finished.
The bottom line is that I have an amazing support structure that starts with my family. My parents, however un-rock star it might sound, are still the cornerstones to the success of my music career and they are still there cheering me on, remember, NO PLAN B.
My wife and children drive me to succeed and there is no prouder moment than when I will sit them all down for the family listening party, even if they say, “haven't we heard this already” ;)
On the crucial business front, I’ve continued to make contacts over the years that I have already reached out and felt the love…seems PMB reuniting is a pretty exciting thing for all kinds of people! But without your support all of this is just a fun and very expensive hobby.
PMB has YOU, the fans to spread the word, just like we did when I sold my very first CD door to doors.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)