But we had a full album’s worth of new material, a rare window of time to make the recording – and no funds to make it with. In the past we’ve taken out loans to pay for our albums, but with our recent move to Vermont, we just weren’t in a position to do that. Yet, this album wanted to be made. Sue and I are in the midst of great change in our lives, and this music captures that. The timing had to be now.
So just after New Years rolled around, I started to talk to people with some experience and know-how in the realm of crowd sourcing. I screwed up my nerve and began to conceptualize a campaign. Sue and I made a video. It was nothing slick, but it wasn’t entirely embarrassing either. I rather enjoyed the process of learning iMovie on my MacBook. Then there was a day with some lovely snow falling on a stone wall out our back door, and I captured it with the video on my phone. We had begun.
My initial jitteriness with the whole process was quickly calmed by the outpouring of support and enthusiasm expressed by our early donors. We received many messages like this. I was encouraged…
“Hi Dana, Thanks for reaching out. I’m glad you’re doing this and I know there are a lot of people like me grateful for an opportunity to help make your next album happen. Your analog/vintage mic approach is beautiful. I’ll share your link now. Looking forward!”
As the days ticked by, and contributions came in, the overwhelming sense was one of reunion. People we have met at concerts, folks whose homes we’ve stayed in, ate meals with, laughed and shared stories with, and many names we didn’t know, folks that know our music from the radio or Pandora and the like – all contributed. There were people from all over the country, and in fact, from all over the world – that have now given a part of themselves to help bring this new music into the world.
We started off wishing to record an album, but we’ve come away with so much more. To feel so many people rooting us on with love and enthusiasm is beautiful, profound, and deeply humbling. This experience has felt something like a barn raising. It has been quite literally a cooperative act of creation!
One particularly lovely moment occurred when Pete Sutherland was recording a fiddle part on “The River Flows On.” We were having a pause to listen to the takes, when I glanced at my phone to find that a contribution had come in. It was from the very folks whose cabin (in Indiana) we had stayed in when I wrote the song! They had no idea we were even in the studio much less working on “their” song. Goosebumps. We are indeed all connected…
Happily, with ten days to spare, we have reached our goal. This wondrous fact ushers us into Phase II of this campaign, which Indiegogo calls “In Demand.” The truth is we’ve gone over our original budget, due to additional time needed in the studio, so we will be continuing to gratefully accept contributions. The additional funds will pay for that added studio time, plus projects to promote The Angel’s Share. Details of our amended budget can be found at: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/dana-and-susan-robinson-the-angel-s-share/x/7981278#/story
I honestly feel like this will be the best album from beginning to end that we’ve ever made. As we were recording the album, as we were singing and playing our tracks, as we have been listening to mixes and making editing choices, we have had all our contributors with us, on our side. The lift of your generosity and support beneath our wings has given us stamina through the long days of creating The Angel’s Share.
This album is dedicated to you.
With love and deepest gratitude,
Dana & Sue