We have been working for the last 3+ years on a monumental music project
for which, we, for the first time, are asking for some financial support.
Emy & I both grew up in a time when popular music was one of the most important cultural resources that you could experience. In the 60s, the music coming out of New York, Detroit, Memphis, England and California, changed people's lives. New ideas and sounds brought people together and galvanized political movements.
Everyone our age has favorite songs that transport them into a place and a time of possibility, romance, danger, social commitment, and altitude. How lucky we were to have time in our lives to experience music that way.
Anyway, we have completed our first collection of Sixties music
. Because of the iconic nature of this stuff, and the fact that it has been 50 YEARS
since much of this music got written, we now think of it as folk music… even though we’ll be paying lots of well-deserved publishing royalties.
Much of that music has shaped most of our generations since then, and that period established a collection of music styles that artists still create in.
That’s why we’re calling the project
We are using our unique viewpoints and skills to re-create these songs in the New Acoustic
style that has become a huge pillar of what people now call Americana
As many of you know, I’m not unfamiliar with projects like this. I’ve done panoramic sonic overviews of fiddling, and released a folk music album of highly arranged material called “Heritage” featuring Wille Nelson, Mavis Staples, Bela Fleck, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Tim O’Brien, Paul McCandless, David Lindley, Edgar Meyer, Victor Wooten, etc. And my Republic Of Strings project recorded a number of songs from this era.
This project is very much a home project, where we cogitate musically about the essence of the song and our experiences with it. Then we evolve an acoustic arrangement with all that in mind— and we get to work with some of our favorite musicians in this rich wonderful Northeast community. Many of these folks were not alive yet when this music was created! —but they are so brilliant, and contributed so much to these songs.
As with any art, the concept grows and changes in the process of the making.
On every song, we explored & added ideas that expanded the song’s meaning, and we learned more about them … these songs are great art, which continually reveals and opens up new facets.
This entire project was recorded piece by piece in our attic, sometimes with up to three people at once, sometimes with live vocals, but mostly painstakingly built up from a rocking basic track of guitar and octave mandolin with bass. My home recording studio combines legacy gear from 40 years ago with the most recent digital technology, and is quirky; but the best tool is a tool you know how to use, and I have made a dozen albums on this system, gradually upgrading and changing out gear. I know exactly how I want it to sound, and I can make it happen… for not a lot of expense, generally. We did pay the other musicians about twice the going recording rate, which is still not that much. And we haven’t paid ourselves a cent, of course.
As music moves farther and farther away from being a physical medium, sort of like back to the REALLY old days of ALL live music,
we now can release individual songs on the web- or smaller sets of music, with very little financial investment; but many of us still miss the physicality of holding an object in our hands, of reading the lyrics on paper, of studying the art that may illuminate the music, and vice versa.
For the cover, we were inspired by the work of Sister Corita Kent
. She was a Catholic nun who did wonderful prints with written spiritual meditations inserted into images of commercial products. She was sort of like the Ecumenical Andy Warhol, with more content. Her ideas inspired our cover, We’ll feature a timeline on the inside with the other information, giving dates of birth for both the songs and all the players.
After all this self-sufficient production, we have gotten to the point where we finally have a budget crunch. We have spent about $6000 of our own money in musicians’ fees and two important gear upgrades.
In order to do the super-nice packaging probably a booklet, manufacture the CDs, and !@#$%^&^ promote
this thing so that people our age can find out about it, we figure we’ll need about 9500 dollars.
That also includes the publishing royalties, which get paid in advance, and the taxes we’ll pay on the money you give us. Nice.
We are all giving to various tax-deductible and other Non-Governmental Organizations now, in these outrageous times.But this music has already seen us through a time of great discord and upheaval and maintains its integrity and relevance right now.So. We’re asking you to make an additional investment in yourself: In your daily happiness and the relief that great music can bring…
this gift that keeps on giving.Any amount is appreciated! Anything in the neighborhood of $25 will obviously get you your CD signed sealed & delivered, its yours…
For those of you who can give more, we can figure out stuff such as the usual platter of musically-oriented exchange bonuses, etc etc.
Higher-rez files of the music, our secret recipes, extra songs, possible vinyl copies if we get extra money.
CONTACT US at darolfmu (at) gmail(dot)com.
We will record your voice on our answering machine.
T-shirts, free hikes in the woods, meet you for coffee in Glocca Morra, Bora Bora, The Roman Agora.
Whatever. Tell us what you need. We’ll figure it out.