Updates

Woohoo… The album is finished

Hey there friends, fans and family.

Great news!… (take a big breath)… yes we finally finished our great opus, the Rhythm Gospel & Blues album entitled “You Got Wings”.

Hugs, kisses and a big thank you to all those who shared in this labor of love. We are so grateful for all your generous gifts of time, talents, prayers, encouraging words and of course, your financial investments into our dreams… which are now becoming a reality.

Before we officially launch the album to the wider public and make the songs available to the digital stores of iTunes, Spotify and so on, we are doing a private album release, a kind of ‘back stage pass’ if you will, sending out the high quality Digital and CD versions of the album to all of our crowd funding patrons as a small gesture of thanks for all the support!

If you were expecting a pre-release digital download of the album as part of a reward, you should have already received a code to download the album.  We have discovered that some emails have been lost in cyber space and you may want to check your spam or junk folders. Please contact us if you have any problems.

As for the CD’s, they are being manufactured and, along with any other type of physical and or digital reward, will be shipped out to you in the coming weeks. Please note, we will be shipping to the address you signed up with on the Rhythm Gospel &Blues website. If there has been a change of address please advise immediately.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to join the RG&B crowd funding team… there is still time. We require a little bit more help in order to reach our project goal and will keep the campaign open until we officially launch the album. Please check out our Rewards page for an updated view of all available rewards.
Here’s a sneak preview of album for your listening pleasure.

More news to come soon… thanks always,

Chris

Prosperity of a Different Kind

 

There is an old Jewish proverb that reads:

“Blind is the man who trusts in his own strength, he will be like a bush in the wasteland and he will not see (recognize) prosperity when it comes.”

There have been many generous contributors and helping hands along this album journey of ours, however I must confess, to carrying too much of the weight upon my own shoulders, especially in terms of managing all of the creative people involved (and their chaotic schedules) and making sure that the funds at our disposal (at any given time) covered all of the project expenses.

I had tried desperately to complete the album for Christmas and when that was deemed improbable, then at least for the beginning of the new year. When I was offered time with one of my favorite studio engineers a few days before Christmas, I anticipated a quick and joyful resolve and fully expected to have the album out within a week.

However, during the second day in the studio with Hank Linderman (Engineer for Eagles, Beach Boys, Keb Mo, Mick Jagger), he paused a moment to say that the project was much bigger than he had realized and too good to rush (not quite what I wanted to hear) and suggested we take a week to enjoy the festive season (no, no, no) and perhaps another week to allow some space for my own musical objectivity. I was not a happy camper that day, but I had run out of options… and I had no strength to go any further on my own.

It was a few days later, on Christmas morning that I read the proverb and considered for a moment that a prosperity of a different kind was being offered to me by Hank. One that in my own stubborn blindness I was at first unable to see… but during the (enforced) rest period… my eyes gradually opened and… now I am able to wholeheartedly accept and appreciate this wisdom source as a beautiful gift. We have since entered a process (too slow for me at times) of mixing and listening together, and allowing the feedback of other noted producers to help us shape the sound.

And…we are edging closer and closer to the finishing line as you can hear in this teaser mix above.

I have also decided, upon the wisdom of Hank to have the album mastered at yet another high end studio that specializes in the sound we are after. This may add another week or so, just to get a booking, but again, I sense this as part of the prosperity that the blind man could not see (or hear).

As for the funding, we are keeping the campaign open until the album is released. We have been able to pay all of the invoices thus far and remain hopeful of reaching our funding goal so that we can complete this last stage of the project debt free.

This crowd funding and community project has been extremely life enriching for me and I am most thankful for your patience and generous support,

Cheers

Chris

Great Expectations

As with all ‘great expectations’ things don’t ever really go to plan. The day we pressed the ‘go button’ on the album project, after many months of preparation and scheduling, we discovered that one of our much loved singers had a life threatening disease that required urgent medical attention and, a considerable ‘timeout’. As you well know, in times like these, people, family and friends become, all of a sudden, much more important than making a record.

But after a few days hesitation, and with some mixed feelings, we were soon back on some kind of track and in the studio, plucking strings, tickling the ivories, hitting (perhaps harder than usual) inanimate objects and singing our hearts out… always with an eye on the door, hoping our friend would make a grand entrance and belt out that high C.

As we neared the final days of recording, the album was sounding soooo good… better even than I had first imagined it could be, but on a particular song… the one earmarked for our friend to lead… there just seemed to be missing something.

Now… I know it reads like a Hollywood Movie, but on the actual final day of recording, this beautiful soul turned up at the studio, and pushing through the pain barrier and the effects of the medication… sang the song for us. I am not sure if ‘sang’ is even the right word, for a story was shared that surpassed the lyrics I had once written. The song has a whole new meaning to me now.

We are now mixing the album and finalizing the artwork. In truth we are a bit behind schedule and concerning our budget we will be able to get across that finishing line because of several gracious ‘IOU’s’.

I wish you all could hear the album now… but you’ll have to wait another week or so… as it in parts like a dissembled engine, waiting for the master mechanic to put it all together.

Many thanks for sharing this journey with us,

Cheers,

Chris

The Great Big Singalong

Ahoy there friends, fans and family… we are in the final stages of recording, working on lead vocals and little fixes before going into mix-mode. Land is in sight.

The video in this link is of a rehearsal for the anthem ‘Who’s Gonna Stand’. We sent this video out to all those who had volunteered (or were they shanghaied?) for the RG&B Global Gospel Choir. We have since recorded our local LA choir (throwing everyone within arms reach behind the microphone) and now, with the extra special vocals parts coming in from around the world… ‘Who’s Gonna Stand’ is going to sound huge… and be all that I imagined when I first wrote the song.

Thanks for the continued stream of encouragement and support,

Chris

Laying Down the Grease

Hey there Friends… yesterday, working on some of the background vocals with Linda, Angie and Vonne was just too much fun. I wish you all could experience a day of listening to these fine ladies sing. David Raven (engineer) and I were spoilt rotten for sure.

But for now… make sure you click this link to see the short video and get a little taste of the rhythm gospel and blues sound… made all the more special by these gifted and very soulful singers.

And… a big thanks to all those who blew some mighty wind into our sails yesterday.

At 89.98% of our initial target… we are picking up the pace and racing towards the finishing line.

Cheers,

Chris

 

In The Studio

Dear friends, my apologies for the tardy correspondence. We have been working hard in the Honky Abby studio these past two weeks (I have the tan to prove it) .

We have tracked most of the instrumental parts and starting tomorrow, Linda McCrary and the gang begin to lay down the smokin’ gospel background vocals. I can’t wait.

We probably have about two and a half weeks of recording and editing before we go into the mix mode of the process.

In a few days I will send out a video and some additional information for all those who have generously volunteered to sing in our world wide gospel choir. There’s still time to sign up for this… just go to our website and click on the “Sing on Our Album” button.

Thanks again for continuing to blow the wind into our sails. We are moving forward and gathering pace…

Cheers,

Chris

P.S. The video above is of David Raven laying down the drums on “River Child” and new song of ours about Redemption and identity… in the style of Robbie Robertson… this is a very rough mix with final vocals to come.

 

Sailing On

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Breaking News:

We just passed the 30 day deadline of our Crowd Funding Campaign reaching 80% of our initial target. However with lots of continued interest we are keeping the Rewards Campaign open throughout the recording process. For yes… we are sailing on because we have more than enough provisions (stowed away) to start work on the album… and call me crazy, but I just have the sense that we will have all that we need… when we need it.

The day I pressed the send button to commence the crowd funding campaign I had this picture in my mind of me, pushing a small skiff off a sandy beach onto the ocean waters to begin an uncharted voyage. There wasn’t any wind to speak of but I had this sense that the wind would begin to blow, when I was out at sea… where I belonged.

As for the campaign itself, I didn’t know what to expect… was there anyone out there who would blow a little wind into our sails… would we just drift aimlessly for 30 days before the PayPal coast guard came to our rescue or would we make some headway towards our intended destination.

I shared this picture that first morning with my friend Don Kappauf, mentioning that I had imagined myself, once I had the boat on the water, hoisting every sail (in faith) and looking out at what I felt was a new horizon. This is part of Don’s response:

“You mention that you are on a new journey and you are raising every sail. When on a boat, if you look as far as you can across the ocean, what you see is what we call the horizon. Horizon literally means no boundaries. So know that with God there are no boundaries. No boundaries to his love, no boundaries to his grace, no boundaries to his creativity, no boundaries to where he may lead you. Enjoy the sail, enjoy the ride!”

It has thus far been a truly adventurous ride and while we still have that destination of $30,000 (and more) in our minds eye, with your permission, we are going for it. We begin the studio-production process tomorrow. I will keep you posted.

Cheers,

Chris

p.s. I am preparing the spinnaker for that big wind that’s about to blow.

 

73% And Counting

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We had such a great response to yesterday’s update that we have spent most of today following everyone up to say thank you… but keep it coming… the feedback and interaction is most encouraging.

After chatting with a few of you guys I discovered a flaw in our campaign site. If you have been trying to follow us on your iPhone, you may not have been able to scroll down to our rewards section, listing the many ways you can support us.

While we have fixed this bug for some, you may want to visit the Rhythm Gospel & Blues site on your PC.

We are now over 73.5% and getting closer and closer to our first target. Thank you for all the support.

More than a few have responded with, “wait for us… we need a few more days”. While the official deadline is tomorrow (October 16 Pacific Coast Time), we have developed this site (with our bare hands) to keep building a community and so we shall work out a way to keep it open for you.

Several people have inquired about a direct transfer to our bank account and if this interests you, please send me an email and I will send you the routing details.

I know some of you in the USA still plan on sending a check towards the project. If so, make it out to Sounds Dangerous LLC (with a note:”RGB Project”), PO Box 48316 Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA.

Cheers,

Chris

Half Glass Full

the end of the tour_2Today is a day of thanks… to be near the 66% mark of our rewards campaign with just a few days to go… makes me extremely thankful.

I can see that the glass is more than half full. Can You?

I am genuinely thankful for all the generous investors of hard earned cash, of the encouraging words, the cheering from both the sidelines and within the paying fields and the relentless social medial blasts out to the four corners of the earth.

Perhaps it is no coincidence that being that the album’s purpose is to ‘go out into the market place’ that most of our support has come from people with at least one foot outside the bounds of the traditional Church. In a strange way… this has been most reassuring.

Also of interest is how many of you chose to work outside the crowd funding website parameters site to help us reach our goals. You are a creative lot.

The many conversations I have had with y’all, the feedback and or interest in the project has helped to shape the album… stirring up new songs from within me… and stimulating our own internal discussions about the sound of the album… and its potential to be better than anything we have produced before.

More To Come

Many of you have said or hinted that you still had something to inject into the campaign and with just two days remaining, now is the time, as Nike would suggest to ‘Just do it!’

For some of you, timing might be an issue so why not send us an email today saying “I can inject ‘this $ much’ by ‘this date’ and then we can add that amount and or your Reward of choice into our Pending ledger. Your promise helps us to move toward our target.

Thanks for sharing the adventure,

Chris

Better than a Thousand Years

The other day, I went sailing in a rain storm out on the pacific ocean and, as I stood at the bow, swaying to the swell of the sea and change of wind, staring at the dark and ominous horizon I was, at the core of my being… happy.

While I was in no real danger, under the care and steady hand of captain Robert and his crew of rain drenched middle aged sailors, there was that thrill of being at the mercy of the great unknown… of not being in control of my destiny… and the strange sense of belonging to the uncharted, the unexplained, the enduring mystery of all things. The few hours out there on the waters were like a thousand elsewhere.

I experience a similar joy when performing to an unknown audience. I am, if you will, at its mercy, and if I do not treat this wave of humanity with love and respect I may well drown in my own selfish musicality. To bare your soul before strangers, to be transparent yet passionate, real yet poetic, a man of the people and yet remain true to yourself… is a challenge for sure. Every night is an unpredictable adventure of its own… a test for both the character and the soul, fraught with pain, rejection, disappointment, acceptance and discovery, at times heart breaking, sometimes joyous… always glorious.

Most singers of the good news rarely experience any of this, preferring to perform in the safer harbor of the local Church. But let me tell you, a few hours performing to a ‘yet to be known’ audience… is more satisfying than singing to the choir for well…. a thousand years.

Earlier this year, a stripped down version of Rhythm Gospel & Blues performed with Dan Hannaford and Isaac Frankham in Australia, the highlight being this gig at The Rails, where we had a kind of Church service in an old country pub in Byron Bay.

Thanks for the continued support in this shared unknown adventure of Rhythm Gospel & Blues.

Cheers,

Chris