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Join Me in Completing “Greening the Dark”

Duke Levine on banjo

I am very excited to announce that I am currently working on another recording with Dave “DM” Mattacks (Fairport Convention, XTC, Richard Thompson among others). The songs that we have chosen have been enhanced and given our own interpretation through DM’s fine arrangement

It had been on my mind in the last few years to do a second recording with Dave and in 2016, I said to myself “I NEED to do this again.”

We started over a year ago with one song. It’s called “Bones and Feathers” and was written by a very talented singer and songwriter, Emily Portman. Here is a short clip of the song.

 

Bass player Richard Gates and DM in the studio

Working with Dave has been one of the high points of my career. He has taught me so much about what it takes to make an excellent recording. He says, “You get the best people: engineers, musicians and facilities and you plan for every minute in the studio.” His almost 50 years in music has informed his work and he has passed many of those lessons on to me.

 

Track List

Bones and Feathers (Emily Portman)

Hills of Greenmore (trad)

The Old Changing Way (Richard Thompson)

Anna Dixie (Lal Waterson)

Polly on the Shore (Lester Simpson)

Scarecrow (John Tams)

 

Budget

Costs have increased quite a bit in the ten years since I released “Fond Desire Farewell” and I am looking at a budget of about $40,000 tops from start to finish. I know that using a producer and arranger is expensive, but I also know that one gets what one pays for.  Musicians, studio time, DM’s fee, licensing, graphics and promotion are all a huge part of the expenses that come with doing a recording of this caliber. I have a more detailed breakdown of the budget below the Pre-Order levels.

Pre-Order Levels

Here are the levels for contributions. You can, of course contribute any amount that you wish above $8. If you wish to specify an amount other than what is listed fill in the “Your Price” box with desired amount. You will receive all the benefits of that level.

  • If you use the buttons below,  they will either link to PayPal or Manual Check-out ONLY. Click on the button level you choose below for which you would like to contribute. All amounts will be in US dollars. 

All contributions will receive a very special E-Thank You.

1) $8-a digital download of the entire CD with graphics and notes when the files become available

2) $20-a digital download (level 1) and an autographed copy of the signed (by me) CD

3) $50-levels 1, 2 and two autographed copies of the new recording, one signed by Dave Mattacks.

4) $110-Sponsor a Song! $110 is the amount it costs for me to pay for a Mechanical License that permits me to sell a recording commercially. You can choose which song you would like to sponsor, or I’ll choose one for you. You also receive all of the above levels in addition.

5) $1000-all of the above levels  and your name listed as “Executive Producer” on the CD (Shipping Included to all parts of the world)

6) $2000 and up-YOU NAME IT (within reason, of course; sorry, new Teslas or Beverly Hills mansions are not part of the plan). With this level I am eternally grateful that you would invest in this project. Let’s talk!

All pre-orders include shipping and postage fees to the Continental USA. 

Here are the ways you can pay:

  • PATREON: become my Patron on Patreon at the $12/month or above level. This gives you a signed copy of the CD and all the additional benefits at that level. In addition, I’ll be posting lots of updates with videos and audio on Patreon and this is one of the best ways to see how the recording process works.

Become a Patron!

  • SquareCash (aka the “CashApp”). If you want to use the Cash App, let me know as they give a $ incentive to you and me when I invite you to the app. If you already have the Cash App on your device, I am $DebraCowanMusic. Please be sure to include a note along with your payment.
  • CHECK OR MONEY ORDER IN US $: If you would like to send a check in US $$, you can use the buttons above and in the drop-down menu choose MANUAL. This will take you to a form on the webpage for you to fill out.
  • CREDIT CARD VIA PHONE: Call me at (508) 662-9746, leave me a message with your phone number and I’ll return your call and take your credit card over the phone. For your security, please do not leave this information in a voice mail; besides I’d rather hear your voice.

If you wish to do this the olde-fashioned way, you can download, print out THIS FORM and follow the instructions.

Outside of the USA: shipping costs are $15 per parcel. I apologize but the US Postal service has raised the International shipping rates quite a lot in the last few years. If you do order Internationally, please be sure to indicate that in the drop-down menu in the shopping cart.

 

Now For the Painful Part: How Much Will This Cost?

For “Fond Desire Farewell”, I raised about $8000 of the total amount I needed and had to make a very serious decision about where the rest of the money would come from. I wrote a blog post a while back about that and I am still amazed at how that turned out.

I know that using a producer and arranger is expensive, but I also know that one gets what one pays for. Here’s a more detailed breakdown of approximately what I’ll be spending. All of these amounts are what I am budgeting for and not in stone:

  • Recording the Music: This includes the engineers (recording, mixing, mastering), musicians and DM’s producing and arranging fee: $15,000-$17,000
  • Radio Promotion: $3,000 – $5,000
  • Graphics and Manufacturing: $2,500 – $3,000
  • Licensing Composed Songs: $800 – $1,200 (depending on the number of composed songs recorded)
  • Web and Media promotion: $3,000 – $5,000
  • Postage: $500 – $1,000

A bit of history: In 2006, I cold-called Dave and asked him if he would be interested in producing my third recording. We started from scratch and two years later the finished product was my third recording, “Fond Desire Farewell”. Having Dave arrange the songs and serve as the “Boss” was one of the best decisions I ever made: I gained a whole bunch of new fans, got some very nice airplay around the world and we even made the first ballot of the 2009 BBC Folk Awards.As you can see, it’s a really expensive undertaking to make and promote a high-quality recording and I just have to point out “Fond Desire Farewell” as the Gold Standard of what has been achieved in my career. This song from “Fond Desire Farewell” has become the most downloaded and streamed songs out of my entire catalogue.