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Join Me in Finishing “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.



Bones and Feathers ( Emily Portman)

Hills of Greenmore (trad-Roud 2883)

The Old Changing Way ( Richard Thompson)

Anna Dixie ( Lal Waterson)

Polly on the Shore ( Lester Simpson)

Scarecrow ( John Tams)



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, including promotional expenses. 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.


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: $17,000 – $20,000
  • Union Pension and Fees: $1,200
  • Radio Promotion: $3,000 – $5,000
  • Graphics and Manufacturing: $1,800 – $3,000
  • Licensing Composed Songs: $500
  • 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.

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