11-14-15 One More Record … and a Cool Kickstarter Campaign and Video
I'm firing up a Kickstarter Campaign, doing a huge music giveaway and preparing to do One More Record. Find out more at my Kickstarter Page and watch the 5 minute movie created by Heather Lynn Sparrow.
I have a home studio setup now so I'm producing and recording more music than ever, but the process of making a complete album of songs is becoming more challenging and in some ways obsolete, but thanks to the prodding of my friends David Clemmer (chemist and songwriter extraordinaire) and Don Richmond (national musical treasure and southwestern icon extraordinaire) I've assembled a crack band and am heading back into the studio the first week of February with an eye on a June of 2015 release. It’s been fourteen years since my last full blown studio release, although my friend Patrick Turnmire helped me spit out a valiant effort in 2009 to help pay down uninsured medical expenses when I shattered my left femur. What a guy. I will revisit and reinvent some earlier songs on this new project that will now have a chance to be heard by thousands more people and will add some new material to the mix. Expect string sections, woodwinds, horns, lots of voices… things I couldn't manage in the past, but that the songs asked for. The core of the record will be recorded in Alamosa, CO in our beloved Beautiful Valley where I also previously recorded The Other Side and Drink Another Round with the ever awesome Don Richmond at Howling Dog Records. My long time pals John Michel and Michael Jude, from the band Brother's Keeper and the John Oates’s Band will join me as the rhythm section to assemble the backbone of the record. The amazing and world renowned Paul Buckmaster whose work you've all heard on Elton John's records as well as David Bowie, Harry Nilsson, Train, The Rolling Stones and many more has agreed to do some orchestrations if the stars align. Getting to know Paul has been one of the true highlights of my career (and life). There is no one on the planet quite like Paul Buckmaster and I hold him, his work and his ideas in the highest regard. Other parts of the record will be recorded with the legendary producer/player buddy Lloyd Maines in Austin (Dixie Chicks, Terri Hendrix), with renowned jazz buddy Mike McGinnis in New York City, rock/jazz/singer-songwriter buddy Bill Kahler in Atlanta and Nashville string player hotshot buddy Tim Lorsch (Kris Kristofferson, Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban).
I'll be doing a lot of the work myself at my home project studio affectionately known as ‘Studio 13' altho on a day riddled with tech problems, and there are MANY, it's also known as "The Torture Chamber". Doing this level of work has forced me into the 21st century and required a full immersion into the ridiculously complex and problematic world of digital audio and it's been three difficult years learning how to record, mix, edit and master with little more than a desk, a laptop and a keyboard. I can thank good friend Abe Guthrie for getting me past the first soul crushing roadblocks and later Glenn Harvitz in Abuiqui, NM. Also large thanks to Ellis Paul, Dustin Overbeek and SONiA for trusting me with my first professional long distance session gigs. I started out in Cubase then migrated to Pro Tools and sometimes work in Logic, all very impressive recording environments, but I've found true love and a happy home recording in Studio One V2 Pro and I have the kind and brilliant folks at PreSonus to thank. They generously gifted me with Studio One V2 Pro and their music notation package Notion 5. I also have my music for sale and digitally distributed by their subsidiary, Nimbit. Nimbit hosts my online store here at DonConoscenti.com and also on Facebook. You can listen to and download both High Def WAV files as well as High Res MP3 files. PreSonus founder, musician, inventor and visionary Jim Odom is my hero and so is my friend Rachel Klein who is their Artist Relation guru.
To stream/listen, hear interviews, watch videos, see pics and discover a community of amazing artists I highly recommend the Standing O Project. This is a creative online movement where artists offer their new work and special insights, directly connecting to their audiences and actually getting paid for their work, which is becoming increasingly rare in the corporate world of digitally streaming content where the artists are the last in line to be paid…if they get paid at all:
Standin O Project
I've asked some of my famous friends to jump into the fray, but being famous can really restrict your movements and it's unsure who will actually be able to jump in when the time comes. So far I have 'Yes"s from Ellis Paul, Bill Miller, Eliza Gilkyson, Kevin Welch, Abe (and hopefully Arlo) Guthrie, SONiA, Jimmy LaFave and am in the process of reaching out to Keb Mo and Robert Mirabal. Taos boasts some serious badasses from around the planet and I'll be recruiting my friends Jimmy Stadler, Bob Andrews (Graham Parker and the Rumour), K Bolan (The Damn Band/Don Conoscenti Band), Mina Tank (The Damn Band/Vanilla Rawk), Patrick Turnmire (Don Conoscenti Band), Greg Thum (Proximal Distally//Vanilla Rawk/Vanilla Pop) and Jennifer Peterson (Jennifer Peterson Band). The last touches of the project will probably be done in Los Angeles. To do a Grammy worthy record (a guy can dream, right?) is costly and so it’s off to Kickstarter for me. My amazing friend Heather Sparrow has applied her immense (and beautifully twisted) talents to a 5 minute plus silent movie for the Kickstarter campaign and her amazing still images will grace the CD cover and subsequent promotional materials. I feel a T-Shirt coming on. Believe it or not there have only been three or less Don Conoscenti T-Shirts made in the almost 40 years I've been at this. Heather lives about a mile from me here in Taos and the Rio Grande Gorge is one of the primary characters in the movie. If making the record is as fun as working with Heather I have some good times ahead.
The music business has changed so dramatically since my last major release and without a booking agent and support team there's no way I can tour like I used to. I won't be able to take advantage of that process to spread the word from town to town so I'll need to hire radio promotion and publicity experts. I'm looking at a $25,000 to $30,000 price tag for that stuff alone. Add a little over that much again to actually make the record plus the video and extraneous costs and you can see the size of the rock as well as the mountain I plan to push it up. I hope you can help spread the love … and the word. It would be greatly appreciated. Meanwhile I have a pesky little issue with Hepatitis C to contend with. Apparently it has tagged along laying dormant in my system since the late 70's. I did have my fun back in those formative years of my rock and roll journey. Luckily the new treatments can cure it completely within three months. I've suffered worse than this for longer stretches, but I'm not going to say that it's been a whole lot of fun… especially the dental side effects. I do have to say out loud that thanks to the Affordable Care Act I have medical coverage for the first time in my adult life and it has removed bankruptcy from the table while I get through these next several months of dental surgeries and Hep C treatments. By summer of 2015 I'll have a new album and a new lease on life. Now back to you. Peace and Love. Taos NM