Hello Lightnin’ Bug Family!
As most of you know, I’ve been playing my brand of Good Music For Good People full-time for thirty-seven years now, and have been spreading a cheerful earful of American Roots Music through five decades and seven CDs.
Back in the good old days, in 2019 B.C. (Before Covid!), I was busy playing about fifteen shows per month, and recording my eighth album. Our plan was to release “Three Chords and the Truth” in the summer of 2020. But of course, covid interrupted all that, proving once again the immortal words of Robert Burns that the best-laid schemes of mice and men often go awry! But we’ve persevered, remaining focused and optimistic. We’ve not stopped working on this album since it all started in July of 2019, constantly adding new material and recording new songs, many of which are very relevant to these upside-down times we’re living in. And as usual, my wife and musical partner Beth has been my greatest ally and supporter, always reminding me to keep my eyes on the prize, to stay in the race, and get this record out.
We have recorded and mixed about half the album, and I am coming to you now—my beloved Lightnin’ Bugs—to ask for your help in getting “Three Chords and the Truth” across the finish line.
By pre-ordering “Three Chords and the Truth”, and checking out some of the cool rewards tiers we’ve created, you all will literally be the executive producers of this album, and together we can bring all of it to life, creating what will forever be our record…yours and mine!
We’ve got ear candy…and man, it’s a dandy! We’re so excited to announce the release of our first single! Click these links to download “Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues” now at iTunes, amazon, cdbaby, or spotify, and hear what I believe is the best vocal sound I’ve ever gotten in my life. An achingly beautiful ballad, “Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues” is a real good indicator of what we’ve been doing on the album, and shows the importance of what remains to be done.
During the quarantine, I wrote five new songs, and finished two old ones. Some are in a familiar vein to me musically, and others are surprisingly very different from anything I’ve ever recorded. But I think you are going to love them as much as we do, and believe they will resonate strongly with you all.
Since it’s only proper to introduce you to the original songs you’ll be producing, I put together a little description of each—what they’re about, how I came to write them, etc. Click HERE to read “The Songs”, and get acquainted with our beautiful new babies!
I named this record “Three Chords and the Truth”, after Harlan Howard’s brilliant definition of country music, although this is not at all a purely country record. “Three Chords and the Truth” does feature some traditional country music, but is much more of an “Americana” album, exploring more of a singer-songwriter vein than my past records, and has—as usual for me—a very eclectic mix of music. The covers we’ve already recorded are gems from Elvis, the Louvin Brothers, Marty Robbins, Big Joe Turner, the Everly Brothers, and Ray Price. We have everything from a one-hundred year old Spanish folk song to a coffee song by the Ink Spots! Just good music for good people!
To understand why we’re giddy over the results we’re getting, read the article titled “The Sound”. Some of the biggest hit records of the pop era—and some of my favorite records ever—was produced on some of the same gear that we’re using on “Three Chords and the Truth”! It’s the original gear from Studio A at United Western Recorders in Hollywood, where more hits were made than any other studio in history. The sound I’m talking about can be heard on songs like “Twisting The Night Away” by Sam Cooke, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” by the Righteous Brothers, “Good Vibrations” by The Beach Boys, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel, “Travelin’ Man” by Ricky Nelson, “I Can’t Stop Loving You” by Ray Charles, and “If I Can Dream” by Elvis. That sound!
And now “Three Chords and the Truth” is being produced on some of the same audio gear as those?!? Please, nobody pinch me—’cause if this is a dream, I don’t wanna wake up! Click HERE to read all about it!
The Rest of the Story
The backstory of how all this happened, of how we started this unimaginable journey in July 2019, is too long and winding a road for me to tell here, but the article titled “The Rest of the Story”, tells…well…the rest of the story! Click HERE to read ”The Rest of the Story”.
“None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful.” – Mother Teresa
The Silver Lining
The relationships we’ve made with you Lightnin’ Bugs over the last fifteen months are the beautiful silver lining to the cloud of covid for Beth and I. You all have become so much more than fans—you have truly become family to us. When my live concerts stopped, we turned to you. When we were scared and confused and felt alone, we turned to you. We started doing our “Live From Lightnin’ Land” livestream shows on Facebook in March of 2020, just to connect and to play music with you, to try and get through the madness together. We had no idea how these shows, from our house to yours, would grow to become lifesavers for Beth and I, and how our relationships with you would grow to us calling you ”family“ in the truest sense of the word.
We appreciate all of your support, your love, your encouragement, and how you let us into your homes and hearts through these terribly tough times. Words cannot express the love we feel for you, and what that true fellowship with you has meant to us.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” – African Proverb
Through this Kickstarter campaign, you will literally take the place of what a record label would do, and be the executive producers of our album.
Check out the rewards tiers. You’ll see the different ways you can help us reach our goal and participate in the creative process. We are committed to keeping you all updated constantly throughout the four-week campaign, and are stoked about the opportunity to do something great together that will last a lifetime!
Kickstarter’s funding model is an all-or-nothing platform, which means that no money changes hands until we reach our goal, and if we don’t reach our goal, nobody gets charged for their pledge. So we set our budget and our goal very carefully, so that we are positive that if we make our goal—we make our record. Any overages will go towards printing and production costs of the CD, as well as publicity and distribution after its release, to put this angel of an album into as many hands as possible.
Moving forward, we are committed to engaging with you personally, our family of Lightnin’ Bugs, throughout the campaign and afterwards, via project updates, social media interaction, and more. We will be posting cool videos of some of the musicians who play on the record, and even some live, behind the scenes peeks from inside the studio with our partners in Ontario, Trevor Titian at Woz Music Ltd. and Joe “Mountain Man” Clark from Doghouse Studio (who doubles as my brother-in-law!)
In closing, remember this, because this is straight from my heart to yours: your donation and participation makes you co-producers of this very special album, and makes you just as much a part of this fantastic story as we are. But if you are not in a position to help financially right now, that’s ok…we still love and appreciate you, and you can help us by simply sharing this page with your friends on social media and elsewhere. Because who doesn’t like good music?
Well, that’s my story! Three Chords and the Truth has been a wonderful experience for me so far, but the best is yet to come, and we are so excited about sharing all of it with you. Thanks for being a part of it, Lightnin’ Bugs, and for carrying us across the finish line.
Now let’s make beautiful music together!
Thank you all! We love you. We really do!