by Sean Rowe
I’m moving in a new direction, folks, and I hope you come with me.
About this project
The songs are written. I got my guitar and my duct tape and my little pen and dollar all set up (if you’ve seen me live, you know what I’m talking about!). Now, I need you guys to get me to the studio so I can bring this thing to life.
For those of you who don’t know exactly how Kickstarter works, the main thing to remember is that if we don’t raise ALL the money, we don’t get any of it (you aren’t charged until we meet that goal and the campaign closes). It’s the ultimate trust fall.
I started out singing Otis Redding covers in bars while football games were on the big screen above me. When I got signed to a record label in 2009, I thought all my dreams had come true–and they did. Being with Anti- and having them to support the creation of my last 3 records has put me in places that I had long wished to be, and I am beyond grateful for that. But the business is ever-changing, and with that, I’ve been feeling the need to steer the horse in a different direction. So this time around, I’ve decided to go it on my own for this next record…with just you guys to back me. More than ever, I see the importance of building a community, and trusting that if you work your damn hardest and truly believe in what you’re doing, people will rally behind you.
I’ve always been tied to the idea of having each record sound different from the one before it, and there’s no exception with this one. My writing on this one is really reflective of the story that I’ve been living out over the past few years–as a musician, a father, and a human trying to navigate this crazy world. It’s also the stories that we all share: the everyday stuff, and the big stuff. As always, I poured my heart into these songs. When I came across the opportunity to link up with an internationally acclaimed producer who I have long admired, I knew he would be able to add some deep mojo to the recordings.
Matt Ross-Spang (Grammy-Winning engineer of Jason Isbell’s Something More Than Free, one of my favorite records of last year) is a musical Willy Wonka, and his Chocolate Factory is the legendary Sam Phillips Studio in Memphis, TN. This place has an unmatched soul and a vibe that stems from the history of Memphis as a haven for many of my musical heroes. I’m incredibly honored and excited to work with Matt and the team at Sam Phillips to make this next record the best that it can be. With your help, we’ll start recording in July!
This New Album is not yet recorded, so it won’t be released until early next year. To tide you over, though, I’ve got a new EP, All We Can Do, that was produced by my good friend Troy Pohl (producer of my records Magic and Madman). It’s got 3 new tracks and 2 covers (Leonard Cohen’s “Bird on the Wire” and Edwyn Collins’ “Girl Like You”). As soon as this campaign is complete and the goal is met, I’ll start shipping out the CD to those of you who pledge $50 or more (any pledge amount gets you an immediate digital download of the EP). Hopefully, it’ll keep your ears happy til this new one comes out.
Here’s a listen to the title track, “All We Can Do”:
I wanted all the rewards to not only give you guys something for your money, but to also give you a real understanding of how much your support means to the making of this record–it’s everything.
The “Please Pick Me” Pack is the ONE. If we can get 1,000 people to donate at this level or higher, the album is made. Besides physical copies of both the EP and New Album, I had this idea that I wanted you guys to truly be a part of this album — by putting your faces on it. If you send in a photo, it’ll be included on the photo collage poster that is inset into both the Vinyl and CD versions of the New Album.
Some other goodies include a Limited Edition Comic Cover Poster, created by official DC/Marvel comic Don Kramer (who I actually met at a house show!):
And a screen-printed lyric sheet designed and printed by my incredibly good friends atCommonwealth Press in Pittsburgh:
If you live anywhere within driving distance of Troy, NY, the “Exclusive New Album Show” pack is a really special event: For the first time ever, I’ll be playing ALL of the tracks that will be on the New Album. That means you’ll have a chance to hear all the songs, before anyone else, LIVE. And it’ll give me a chance to personally hug each and every damn one of you to thank you for giving my songs life.
There’s other pretty great stuff in there, too, including a copy of my demos from Madman andSalesman and the Shark. These won’t ever be released or sold again, and there’s a limited, numbered set of 200!
Plus, if there’s anything else you want to see as a reward…let me know and I’ll throw it on there (please…take one of my cats. They’re mischievous little bastards).
Every dime you donate is going towards making this record and fulfilling rewards. Here’s where every single dollar goes:
Album Production : including the incredible team at Phillips Studio and the top tier of session musicians: $21,600
Post Production : mixing, mastering, and making it sound worthy of your ears, plus laying out the album art: $4,300
Manufacturing : 1,000 vinyl + 1,000 CDs : $6,500
Fulfilling the Pledges : including designing + printing posters, lyric sheets, and thank you cards, and shipping it all out (shipping cost based on 1,000 shipped vinyl or cds; all shipping is included in your pledge): $5530
Fees : Kickstarter takes 5%, and Amazon takes 3-5% to process the payments : about $4115
Just In Case : because, who the hell knows : $1,455
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge is being met right now, by you guys. After that, I’ll be in studio doing everything I can to make this album the best one yet. I’ll also have an amazing team of friends and family helping me ship out all the rewards to you, including the physical CD of the new EP as soon as that goal is met! And I’ll keep you informed every step of the way, with video and picture updates from the studio, and updates on exactly when we start printing the albums. If there are ever any questions, I’m just an email away.
If putting together this campaign has taught me anything, it’s that the only way that anything in this world can work is if we do it together, support each other, and have faith that people will be there to catch you. I have the ultimate good fortune to have an incredibly supportive booking agent, and a beautiful group of friends, family, and fans who helped make this campaign the best it could be. For that, I will be thankful no matter what.
And so, we’re off. Thank you guys, from the bottom of my little bearded heart.