My name is Gaelynn Lea, and I am a musician from Duluth, Minnesota. I am also a public speaker and disability advocate . I have been playing violin for over 20 years and started writing and singing my own songs back in 2011. In March 2016, I was chosen as the winner of NPR Music’s second-annual Tiny Desk Contest for my original song, "Someday We'll Linger in the Sun":
Since then, life has been a busy but delightful whirlwind! This Fall my husband Paul & I sold our home and started touring full-time in our 2002 Ford Econoline. I have performed 150 shows since October 2016 and we've traveled to 37 states so far! I've played in a wide variety of venues: from coffee shops to the House of Blues... from elementary schools to the Kennedy Center! And thanks to your previous generosity on GoFundMe, my husband and I were even able to tour in Europe this past December!
I created this new GoFundMe campaign to raise money for my third full-length album that will be coming out in 2018. The album is going to be a collection of highly personal songs covering themes such as life, death, anger, grace, love and disability rights. This music is a bold new statement straight from my heart and I am so excited to share it with you!
This album is extra special to me because some pretty awesome Minnesota artists are making musical contributions: Al Church, Dave Mehling, Martin Dosh, Andrew Foreman and Alan Sparhawk! Their amazing talents not only fill out the sound, but each player adds a creative energy that is exciting and unique.
To help spread the word about the new album, I released two brand new tracks this November… These songs are only available online and on a *LIMITED EDITION* 7” vinyl until the full-length album comes out next year. Everyone who donates $25 or more will receive a copy of the limited edition vinyl… And each vinyl will be hand-signed by yours truly and all the band members! Don’t have a record player? Fear not, there are other fun gifts for all donation levels!
Better yet, if you donate $25 or more, I will also automatically pre-order the full-length album for you and I will send it to you once it is released! Your support now is crucial to the creation of my next full-length album in 2018 and I want you to be among the fist to experience the result of your contributions!
WHY I AM DOING A GoFundMe CAMPAIGN: I am an independent artist, meaning I do not have the financial support of a label to produce and promote my albums. Putting an album out properly is pretty expensive indeed! While I save up as much as I can to self-release these labors of love, your contributions are what ultimately make my albums possible…. So thank you for your support!
WHAT I NEED TO RAISE: $30,000
WHAT THE MONEY WILL BE USED FOR: The money raised from this GoFundMe will be put towards the release of my full-length album in mid-2018, plus an early bonus gift of two new tracks on a limited-edition 7” vinyl and download card.
· Recording, Editing and Mixing: $13,000
· Mastering the Tracks: $1,100
· Uploading to iTunes & Other Platforms: $200
· Paying the Band for their Studio Time: $5,000
· Paying the Graphic Designer for Cover Art: $1,000
· Pressing 500 Limited Edition 7" Vinyl Records: $2,000
· Pressing 1,000 Full-Length Vinyl Records: $4,600
· Printing 1,000 Full-Length Albums on CD: $1,000
· Postage for GoFundMe Orders & Misc. Fees: $2,100
P.S. I also hired a publicist for this album project, which totalled $10,000 for a full year of PR, but this was covered through a grant from the Courage Kenney Foundation's Judd Jacobson Award. I was chosen as a recipient of this $10,000 award in October 2017.
MORE ABOUT THE MUSIC:
This past year has been quite the ride, and the train just keeps on rolling! In addition to touring, I have been playing music with a couple of new friends...
A little over a year ago, I played with Al Church for the first time. By happenstance we were booked for the same night at the 331 in Minneapolis, MN. I knew he was a pretty rad musician from the band BBGUN (and we actually went to high school together in Duluth!) so I asked him to sit in with me for a song. Well, one song turned into half a set and half a set turned into two albums! We connected instantly with music and our love of tacos – it’s been so much fun playing with him!
Then one day back in September 2016 I had a gig that required a guitar player and Al wasn’t available. So I racked my brain for someone to fill in… and Dave Mehling came to mind. Dave is also a Duluth-born, Minneapolis-based musician who I’ve been following for years. His band, The Fontanelles, is one of my all-time favorites. Luckily he was available so we had one rehearsal together and played at House of Mercy Church. Again, it was an instant musical brain meld – so much fun!
Anyway, in October I had an epiphany… How cool would it be to join forces with Al Church AND Dave Mehling?!? Lucky for me, they were both on board with the idea! We played our first gig all together at Duluth Homegrown Music Festival this May. This was one of the most special shows of my whole life to date. Alan Sparhawk sat in with us for the performance... He has been a musical mentor to me for the past 6 years in our band The Murder of Crows, and it was a very full-circle moment for me to have him join us. Here's an excerpt from that epic evening:
NEW MUSIC, NEW RECORD!
This year I’ve been on the road a lot, but nonetheless I have managed to write several new songs. My goal became releasing a new full-length album in September 2018. I knew that I wanted to play with Al and Dave on the new recordings, but Dave suggested we try finding a bass player and a drummer as well to fill out the sound.
So Dave asked his friend Andrew Foreman to play bass on the tracks with us. Andrew has done a ton of music over the years, but you may recognize his name from playing in Davina and the Vagabonds (who are amazing, by the way). Then Al Church connected me with Marty Dosh – they’ve done some projects together, such as the Ambassadors of Culture. Marty has also played with the likes of Andrew Bird and also does rad solo sets under his name, dosh.
I am also including three tracks with Alan Sparhawk on the new album... He is a dear friend and a very special part of my musical journey because he introduced me to the looping pedal back in 2011 and played alongside me as I performed my first-ever original song. I am so excited that he will be part of this collaborative album!
The band and I recently finished recording the album at The Pearl Recording Studio in Minneapolis, and it was truly magical. We played, talked, laughed and ate tacos together… and we worked our tails off! Two of the tracks were released on the 7” vinyl this November, and the rest will be included on the full-length album.
Zachary Hollander is the owner of The Pearl Recording Studio and he is the recording engineer for this album. He also he did my last EP, The Songs We Sing Along the Way … He is super fun, talented and very professional, so it was a delight to be back in the studio with him!
It’s hard for me to explain the gratitude and joy I feel about creating this album with such incredibly talented and creative people. Each collaborator is helping me craft the songs in a way that just won’t be possible without them. I am so excited to finish and share this new album with you!
THE NEXT STEPS
All of the songs for this album have been recorded already, but there is still a lot left to do! Next up is editing, mixing, and mastering, then working with a publicist, then pressing the records, printing the CDs and uploading the tracks to iTunes… and then FINALLY the new full-length album can be released into the world in September 2018. In the meantime, I'm touring solo all over the US... hopefully once the full-length album is released there will be more traveling together as a full band! As always, I list all of my upcoming shows here.
Anyway, thank you for all your amazing support over the years! It means so much to me and it allows me to keep moving along on this wild and wonderful musical journey… I will keep you posted as new developments unfold! Take care and keep in touch!