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It's all about the songs. I believe this collection of songs will be among the best I've ever recorded. From my first album, On the Border, to my 14th release, For the Love of Western Swing, which included the 2020 Western Swing Song of the Year, awarded by the Academy of Western Artists, I've always poured my soul into every track. So when I say this release, my 15th album, could quickly become a fan favorite, I mean it. You, the fans, the friends, the general public, are the record label in today's music business. You are and have been the difference in my career. Your faith in me has allowed me to succeed as a recording artist and a singer-songwriter. I humbly thank you for that support. It will be needed to make this recording, Three White Spanish Horses, a success.
From the Sixth Street clubs in my birthplace of Austin, Texas to the Alpine festivals in Switzerland, from music venues in Paris, France to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, I've shared my hand-penned songs on stages all over. While the pandemic and the Ukrainian crisis have postponed my European tours until 2023, I'm still among the fortunate few that can make a living doing what they love, "I write, record, and perform songs. And, in doing so, I bare my soul, meet new souls, and see the world."
This campaign is in support of my 15th album of original music. My career includes national and international success stories like "The River of Love," co-written with Stephanie Urbina Jones and Yvonna Martinez, and "Home Made of Stone," co-written with Ande Rasmussen and Steve Seskin, from the album Lone Starry Night. My journey as a recording artist also features "Tennessee Left Texas," co-written with Rick Bussey, from You Play My Heart, and "Utopia," by John M. Greenberg and Bill Cummings, from Purgatory Road. Both were recognized by the Texas Music Awards, with Record of the Year nominations ("Utopia" won the coveted award in 2010), and both were featured prominently on Texas/Red Dirt radio. My first album, On the Border, mentioned above, wound up in the hands of a Swiss Radio DJ, Irene Schmidt, who now serves as my European Booking Agent and Tour Coordinator. Rodeo Night, distributed by Universal & AGR-TV Records included “Rio Grande Rodeo Night,” was a European radio success and it led to subsequent touring of Germany, Austria, France, and Switzerland. We know how to make records. Check my website for the complete biography at www.johnarthurmartinez.net.
It's All About the Songs
This campaign, in support of my 15th album, Three White Spanish Horses, will contain new material and never before released songs--much of it written or rewritten during the current pandemic. One of my favorite new songs, "The Phone Call," I co-wrote with fiction writer Jan Grape. Like her mystery books, it's set in Austin and it includes references to the many shows that shaped me as an artist. Alex Harvey, the legendary songwriter who wrote "Reuben James" and "Delta Dawn", helped me write "Take the Time to Love," in my living room! Yvonna Martinez and I co-wrote two songs together, "Once Upon a Pawn Shop Ring," which I plan to record with the Grammy-winning Los Texmaniacs, and "Port Aransas Standard Time," which was conceived the moment my wife asked me to roll the windows down on the truck as we drove across the causeway from Corpus Christi into Port Aransas, Texas. The title track, "Three White Spanish Horses," was co-written with Rick Bussey, a Kerrville New Folk Winner. My previous crowdfunding campaigns resulted in three co-writes that made the album, "I Make Her Laugh," "Adios My Friends," both with Keith MacDonnell, and "Holding Hands," with Robert Foster. I co-wrote "The Man That I Am" with Vip Vipperman in Nashville shortly after my appearance on the USA Network's Nashville Star, but I never recorded it--my daughters are happy I'm finally releasing that one! The Indiegogo campaign will give you an opportunity to record your vocals on the chorus of "A Little More Cowbell Please," a playful track featuring the boys in the band. I've also included a song called "Sacred Lands," that was born out of two sonnets I had written about the spirituality of my many travels into Arizona. The Project will also include one older song, "No One," a favorite of a Hollywood producer I met in Tucson, which was written before I married, but never recorded or released.
My Fundraising Goals
Two of my previous albums each cost close to $60,000, recorded in Nashville and Willie's Nelson's studio. That didn't include any money for promotion, marketing, and advertising. But, we can create a comparable recording in my own recording studio, thanks to today's technology, and in the studios of my project team, for much less. I'd like to raise $9,000 to $12,000 so that I can pay the musicians, mixing and mastering engineers fairly. If we raise more I can effectively promote it to radio. If we raise less then I'll do all of the project in-house using the boys in the band--they've proven to be pretty good pickers. A smaller budget will mean it will be more acoustic.
A Song About Your Life (or the love of your life) I'll get together with you, either in person or via zoom, and together we'll craft a song about something that has moved you in your life or about your wife, husband, child, friend, or the love of your life. You share the details, traits, anecdotes, and stories and together we'll weave it into a song! Afterward I'll record it, acoustically with lead vocals, guitar and harmony, or we’ll do a full blown production with my band. You decide.
Sing on the Record So you've never sung on a record? No problem. No experience necessary. You'll sing along with the pros like Mike Blakely, Pauline Reese, and John M. Greenberg on the chorus of "A Little More Cowbell Please,” an autobiographical account of the shows and sound experiences we’ve encountered, from a field in Southern France to the Spring Ho in Lampasas. If you can’t make it to my studio you can record your parts on your laptap or at your friend's studio. Did I already say today’s technology is amazing?
I'm Down with That If the current times have made it tough to give much you can download the completed album before it's available to the general public for just $15. Or, you can simply help me get the word out for the next two months. I'm down with that! Indiegogo provide many tools to make sharing easy.
Executive Producers Two executive producers will be allowed access to the recording project during the tracking and early mixing stages--now ain't that cool! Moreover, you'll be rewarded with a private dinner, prepared by me and my wife Yvonna, at our home, overlooking the Texas Hill Country, followed by private concert for each executive producer, JAMBackerers Especiales, and 5 more of their friends.
Help Feed the Bass Player In this perk package you help pay B.B. Morse, Mark Epstein, or any of the other session musicians, like Kurt Baumer, Luiz Coutinho, Will Owen Gage, Rex Schnelle, or James Mitchell, who did all of the cool, critically-acclaimed, guitar parts on my Purgatory Road CD, and who recently worked with Cole Swindell, Willie Nelson and Chris Stapelton. Hopefully someone will step up and Sponsor the Piano parts by Matt Rollings of Lyle Lovett's Band, who produced my Lone Starry Night album. We'll arrange for you to be present, or via Zoom, when they are tracking at my studio if possible (some prefer to track privately). Following two plus years of fewer gigs, let me tell you, your contribution will be greatly appreciated by the player.
A Concert in Your Home Yes, we'll perform a two hour concert on your patio, porch or deck, in your barn, airplane hanger, or on your lawn, veranda or rooftop (we've played them all before!). The folks who've hosted them in the past in New Hampshire, Florida, Montana, California, Switzerland, and the Texas Hill Country have all said this was one of their favorite life experiences--period.
Every contribution will be thanked individually and on social media. Every contribution will be appreciated as will every effort to share the project. But, for those who can give at the $100 level and above you'll be invited to a special album release party in the Texas Hill Country (or via Zoom if you can’t be present) and you'll be thanked in the album credits too!
Don't Underestimate the Impact
There are many risks involved in the music industry, and there are risks involving today's supply chain (to minimize that we’ll keep as much of this close to home as possible). However we have the track record to overcome the obstacles and challenges (no, I didn’t initially intend that pun, but when I recognized it I put it in italics). We have our own recording studios and via Zoom we can deliver the perks we can’t deliver in person.
Please don't underestimate the impact your contribution will have on the recording project, and, therefore, the world. The invitations to festivals, concerts, radio appearances expand exponentially when you release a new recording. When we released For the Love of Western Swing in 2019/2020 it resulted in our first invitation to perform in Spain! As I mentioned, we'll tour to promote Three White Spanish Horses in 2023; we have appearances scheduled in Switzerland, Spain, Germany, Austria, and possibly France. Check out www.johnarthurmartinez.net for forthcoming details. You are contributing to all of that and we invite you to make plans to join us at one of the concerts abroad--wouldn't that be cool! Let’s make it happen.