Dean's New Next CD Project
Volume 6, Issue 8 - October 10, 2002
I hope everyone's doing well and not feeling discombobulated or out of sorts. I'm glad autumn has finally arrived, along with some cool weather for a change. It's my favorite season - brisk, back-to-school temperatures, long-sleeved shirts, leaves turning color... Now all we've gotta do is keep the squirrels out of the attic.
It was just about this time last year that I sat down, late one night, and nervously composed an email to you all asking for your help in financing my next CD project. Things weren't looking very promising, at the time. I hadn't done a museum project in a long while, there were no record deals in sight and as for my unique, original design for an amphibious, all-terrain, mobile recording studio, powered by compressed air - well, frankly, there we no takers.
As I've mentioned at some of the gigs, my big fear was that everyone was going to write me back and say, 'Dean, get a JOB!!!'. A few of you actually did (mostly relatives). But, many more of you were supportive of the idea and within a few weeks I had enough pre-orders to start building the studio and commence recording. The resulting album was 'The Treehouse Journals', an album I'm particularly proud of, not just because it contains some of my favorite songs in my catalogue (You & Me, Babe; Summer Days, Saddest Girl...; George Washington Slept Here...), but because, for the first time in my 25 year career in the music business, I was able to make a new album financed and made possible solely and exclusively through the efforts and faith of my listening audience. I've said this before, so I'll try not to bore you with too much of it... but, I can't overstate how radical and amazing this was - no record company executive, no manager, no agent, no lawyer with connections, no one but the people for whom the music was intended for - you, the listeners.
Anyway, it worked and I was able to record 'The Treehouse Journals' and the best part of all is that, based on all the emails I've been getting, you all seem to really like it. (sample email reviews follow).
EXCERPTS OF EMAIL REVIEWS of "The Treehouse Journal's:
I just had to write to express my love for your latest album. Since the first time I played the CD it has truly affected me - and I really hoped that I could tell you just how much - it contains some of your best music ever.
There are songs, like You And Me, Babe and Welcome To The World that really connect with Sally's and my life. There are some absolutely beautiful, moving melodies -- The Saddest Girl In The Whole Wide World is one of my favorites --and Picture Postcard Life makes me laugh! I've heard you sing George Washington Slept Here live and it is so good to have this on CD. It will prompt me to look up a book on the man and the history of your country's route to independence.
The Wind Blows, Like A Swan, Summer Days.... I love, love, love this album - sorry, getting carried away! I just think that you must have put in so much work to produce this album - from writing the songs, recording them and physical process of getting the album into our hands - and my wife (Sally) and I just wanted to say THANK YOU.
Your music has been a part of our lives since 1978 - it was such a long gap until we heard Songs For Grownups, which was also a great album - but this one is special, a really special collection. I have discovered something - it is impossible to put into words, the feelings that music creates.
Please know that your music affects people in positive ways. I am very proud to have been one of the sponsors of the album (#1555) and I for one would gladly pledge again for the next NextCD Project!
Just got the new cd! It is quietly powerful and the work of a true, self-assured artist of the highest caliber. Hard to pick a favorite piece, but the final verse of "One Autumn Afternoon" is sublimely beautiful, and a moment of true transcendence. Excellent work again, Dean. And, thanks!
>>> Dear Dean,
I received your CD last Thursday and have listened to it every day since. It is brilliant. I love it to pieces as I expected I would. Keep up the good music. It was worth the wait.
Whew!! Just imagine if everyone thought it sucked!!??
I do appreciate the feedback, gang.
And I'm ready to do it again.
So, if you folks are up for it, here's...
Just as I did, a year ago, with 'The Treehouse Journals', I'm financing the next album by taking advanced orders on 2,500 signed and numbered, 'limited edition' CD's.
Just like last year, based on your feedback, I'll be using a tiered price structure based on the 'numeral' of the signed CD's. The idea is to make the CD offer affordable to everyone interested in supporting the 'New' NextCD project, while providing a modest incentive (Numerical 'bragging rights') to those able and willing to contribute more to this venture. The 'lowest' numbers will be assigned within each tier on a first-come basis. It seemed to work last time and I hope you find this to be a fair and practical approach.
HOW IT WORKS:
Within a few days of placing your order, you will receive an email confirmation, followed, within 4 weeks, by a printed certificate, sent via snail-mail, which will serve to authenticate your CD. The CD will be released by September, 2004. Your signed/numbered copy(s) of the 'limited edition' CD will be mailed to you prior to the general public release of the CD.
And basically that's it. You pay for it in advance and I make a new album. Then, sometime over the next 24 months, a small brown package arrives in the mail. You look at it perplexed. You open it. You laugh and say to yourself, 'Gee, and here I was sure he was gonna run off to some South Pacific Island resort with all the cash!'.
Some people still think this is a crazy idea, and that may be so, but the reality is, if I hadn't come up with a creative way to finance the last album just about a year ago, 'The Treehouse Journals' would not exist. Actually, I think the concept is pretty cool.
One point I do need to make is this: Although it would be terrific if all 4,000 people on my email list ordered a copy today, the reality is that, statistically, that's just not gonna happen. The fact that a significant percentage of you participated last time around is still pretty amazing to me and it was only because you did that I was able to begin recording the album. But it was also the generous contributions, of a handful of individual and corporate 'sponsors', that made up the budget shortfall and enabled me to finish the project in a timely fashion. So, any folks or companies out there that feel like supporting independent music in a serious way, give me a holler.
THE END OF THE 'NEW' NEXTCD PITCH:
Well, I think that's the end of the pitch. Write, if you have any questions about all this or creative suggestions. If you do plan on participating, this time around, you should probably do it now, 'cause, otherwise, you know... you'll probably forget! ;-)
[By the way, if you, somehow, haven't already ordered your copy of 'The Treehouse Journals', it's not too late! (I've still got a few laying around. Just go to the ORDER section of the website).]
Anyway, thanks for being so cool. Be well, have a great autumn, and enjoy the music.
THANKS FOR SUPPORTING INDEPENDENT MUSIC!
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