Friends and Heroes is Tom Hampton's new album project that pays tribute to the musicians he's shared the stage with over the course of his career as a sideman, as well as those who shaped his musical path. It's an ambitious undertaking - a double CD of songs both by musical heroes and influences, and songs written by the artists Tom has collaborated with musically over the years - folks like Craig Bickhardt, Poco, Jonathan Edwards, Don Henry, Robert Hazard, Craig Fuller of Pure Prairie League, Nathan Bell, Dan May, and many others.
"I've been incredibly lucky over the years, to be able to work with so many amazing artists and writers," he says - "and frankly, some of these songs are at risk of vanishing...there's a Robert Hazard song on this album called Summerland, and Robert passed away before he could record it. We played it together during a radio interview just a few months before he died, and luckily a fan taped the broadcast - otherwise, the song wouldn't even exist in any tangible form. So that one was a priority for this project."
There are also songs like Call it a Loan, the only song credited to both Jackson Browne AND David Lindley as writers. "That song has such a great instrumental hook, and the lyrics should connect with just about anybody whos' ever been teetering on the ledge of a relationship with misgivings about jumping." Another song included on the record is Outta This Town by Nashville songwriter Chuck Cannon. "If you want to get to the bottom of why that song resonates with me, all you have to do is drive slowly through Savannah, Tennessee."
Among all the obvious reasons for starting a crowdfunding campaign is the fact that it's very important that the songwriters whose material is covered on this album be properly compensated - or, in the case of some of the writers who are no longer with us, that their families and estates be compensated. These songs are important to us, and at this point in time - this becomes as much a journal as a recorded version of some great songs.
We gave a lot of thought to the Reward Levels listed below - one of the reasons for the amount we've set the goal at is to ensure that we can bring them to you without adversely affecting the project, and we certainly hope you find something among the various levels that's attractive to you.
As of September 2012, the album is about one-third completed. I'm hoping to have the entire album done before the end of the year, with your help. Recording these songs has become something of an obsession - for me, truly a labor of love. Certainly, I could continue to record them in my basement and hand out copies to my friends, but this collection of songs has taken on a life of its own. They deserve to be exhibited to the public, and I hope you'll join me in my quest to do just that.
Thanks so much for taking the time to visit, and to consider this project.
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