"Songs for the Hangman's Daughter"
Thanks for taking time to even look at this.
Nearly two years after I released my debut solo CD 'Southern Discomfort," I have recently completed a new solo effort "Songs for the Hangman's Daughter." It's a real "solo" release, with just me singing my song accompanied all by myself on either guitar, banjo or mandolin. There's 11 original tunes, a great new tune written for me by Shinyribs (aka Kevin Russell) Many of the tunes are very timely given the recent changes in America, along with a traditional number and an old Bad Livers tune. It's the most raw and naked record I've ever been involved with and I am very proud of it. Matt Smith produced at the 6 String Ranch Studio in Austin.
I put it all on the credit card thusfar and as of today it is mixed and mastered. (The later thanks to an Angel investor, bless you.) But that's it, sadly. We are stalled only due to finances. The origninal plan is to release a companion book with essays that relate to the music, along with poems and prose, to be illustrated by my artist partner Howard Rains. Should we collect the goal, then we have a shot at producing that as well. The more humble plan is to simply get the CD produced and available.
To that point, anyone who releases recordings today is well aware that without hiring radio and press publicists you might as well not bother releasing at all. Sad, but it's our reality today. A very large chunk of the goal, nearly half, is to fund that. The good news is that much like the studio, the artist, the CD designer, and even the pressing plant, these expenses will go into the pockets of people I know, love and respect, creating a virtuous circle of economic support within the Arts community.
To be totally open about, I will share the lyrics of the tunes on the CD. Some of my ideas are very personal and you may not want to support them. I entirely understand and respect that, so I'm posting these lyrics so that you can be aware and make your own decision.
Rewards? Let's talk and come up with something that makes a win-win deal for everybody. Any donation over $25 will get a hard copy CD and download code. Donate more, and I'll add another recording or two that I have produced over ther years, (going all the way back to Bad Liver 12" vinyl EP's.)
No foolin, getting this recording released and distributed will represent a major accomplishment for me. I hope the messages contained in it will resonate with others as well.
Thanks again for even reading through this. If you are unable to contribute, please consider sharing this on your social media as I have abandoned it for my mental well being;-)
This site won't let me post this long update, so I posted it here:
Thanks so much again for your continued support!
It appears I have sent you a bad link to listen/download the recording. My apologies for the hassle!
Try this, which is a public folder:
Thanks again for believing in my project. It's a brand new direction for me and I feel better about going out on this limb knowing you're there to support me.
Last week I attended, as a bass instructor and not a performing artist, the Folk Alliance International annual Conference. I have attended or showcased every year since 2006 and in that time I have seen such changes in the performing folk community that I could have never imagined. It's a strange and confusing world for us artists today and it was more than evident among all my friends and peers.
I learned quite a bit about the As you all may have noted, we're not even close to the goal to release a CD and have it promoted well in the currently deep field of folks trying to get attention to their music.
As of today, I haven't even begun to pay back the expenses already incurred so I need to look into alternatives for distribution. Thus I have come up with a novel idea: feel very strongly about my message and unique point of view. I'm convinced that the tunes are very timely and need to be added to the voices of dissent and resistance. To do this my plan is to simply give the recording away to anyone who wants to hear it. Free, no cost. I do plan on eventually making a physical product, but more like an analog LP or novelty key chains with a thumb drive attached.
My plan is to devote 2 weeks of the month to touring outside my homebase in NOLA. I'm not particular about the venue: house concerts, synagogue social halls, coffee shops, whatever. If I can pay for my gas, have a place to crash and enough left over for a couple tacos I will be well satisfied. It's this project that I devote the rest of my career to, so it deserves my best work
I will have more expenses involved in hiring a promotions firm to spread the word, and all my funds after bills are going to funs that. I could surely use some help in that direction, so please share my appeal to your friends who might be interested in helping.
Soon, you all will be receiving an email from Dropbox inviting you to a folder where the who recording resides. Feel free to listen and download the whole thing. In many ways you are all responsible for it and I'd like to hear what you think about it. Tell your friends as well, because it's your buzz that allows me to come to your town and preform for you.
Before I spring my distribution idea however, I do need to consult with my publicist about when to drop that hammer;-) So for the meantime, let this be our little secret, ok?
And also I think its important to share with you a continuing health crisis I've been dealing with. I have inherited sharp osteoarthritis in my shoulders which over has torn through the tendons of the left rotator cuff. Some of you may remember 10 years ago when I had surgery for the right arm. But as the surgeon noted as I woke up after the successful surgery "They come in pairs, see in you 2 years or so." Given that information and seeing that those very tendons hold my arm up to playing position on a string bass, I have babied that shoulder ever since. But it was not to last and for the last 2 years playing bass, my greatest source of income, have been hard. About 4 months ago it became untenable and I had to finally seek treatment. The good news is that being legally indigent, I am covered by Medicaid (thanks to a wonderful governors decision to extend Medicaid to our state. ) So no nobody worry, I'm in the good hands of the NOLA Musicians Clinic. The issue about being a charity case is that you don't get to the head of the line however. It's been 4 months of PT, xrays and finally last week an MRI through the system at no coast to me. Once he sees the MRI and reads the PT report, I'm certain he will schedule the surgery. But what that means that I will be entirely out of action for 3-4 months. I'm not worried because the Clinic has a full time social worker an she's confident my bill can be covered while I recover. This will push back the "release" date thanks to that. I think given your support, you should know.
But I am of good spirits and my ability to play other instruments gives me heart. In fact, I returned from the FA conference just in time to grab a sousaphone and march in the Morpheous parade last night with the Panorama Brass Band. Four more parades to go up to Mardi Gras!
Bon Carnival and truly all the best to you all!
Please check out Mark and support him. His unique blend of songwriting craft, musicianship and humour should not go unheard. You might have enjoyed the Bad Livers unique blend of Klezmer, Americana with some nods to Frank Zappa (lyrically and this is my interpretation) and other styles. How many bands had a tuba and a banjo. I caught Mark's show at Ashkenaz and bought Southern Discomfort on the spot (don't regret that one as it is a great LP)