11-1-14 One More Record … and a Cool Kickstarter Campaign and Video
Saturday, November 01, 2014
One More Record … I have a home studio setup now so I'm producing and recording music more than ever but the process of making a complete album of songs is becoming more challenging and obsolete all the time. Thanks to the prodding of my friends David Clemmer (chemist and songwriter extraordinaire) and Don Richmond (national musical treasure and southwestern icon extraordinaire) I've assembled a crack band and am heading back into the recording studio the first week of February with an eye on a June of 2015 release. It’s been fourteen years since my last full blown studio record, although my friend Patrick Turnmire helped me spit out a valiant effort in 2009 to help pay down some massive medical expenses when i shattered my left femur. What a guy. I will revisit some earlier songs that will now have a chance to be heard by thousands more people and will add some new material to the mix. Expect string sections, woodwinds, horns, lots of voices… things I couldn't manage in the past, but that the songs called for. The core of the record will be recorded in Alamosa, CO in our beloved Beautiful Valley where I also previously recorded The Other Side and Drink Another Round with the ever awesome Don Richmond at Howling Dog Records. My long time pals John Michel and Michael Jude, from the band Brother's Keeper and the John Oates’s band will join me as the rhythm section to assemble the backbone of the record. The amazing and world renowned Paul Buckmaster whose work you've all heard on Elton John's records as well as David Bowie, Harry Nilsson, Train, The Rolling Stones and many more has agreed to do some orchestrations if the stars align. Getting to know Paul has been one of the true highlights of my career (and life). There is no one on the planet quite like Paul Buckmaster and I hold him, his work and his ideas in the highest regard. Other parts of the record will be recorded with the legendary producer/player buddy Lloyd Maines in Austin (Dixie Chicks, Terri Hendrix), with reknowned jazz buddy Mike McGinnis in New York City, rock/jazz/singer-songwriter buddy Bill Kahler in Atlanta and Nashville string player hotshot buddy Tim Lorsch (Kris Kristofferson, Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban).
I'll be doing a lot of the work myself at my home project studio affectionately known as ‘Studio 13' altho on a day riddled with tech problems, and there are MANY, it's also known as "The Torture Chamber". Doing this level of work has forced me into the 21st century and full immersion into the ridiculously complex and problematic world of digital audio and it's been three difficult years learning how to record, mix, edit and master with little more than a desk, a laptop and a keyboard. I can thank good friend Abe Guthrie for getting me past the first soul crushing roadblocks and later Glenn Harvitz in Abuiqui, NM. Also large thanks to Ellis Paul, Dustin Overbeek and SONiA for trusting me with my first professional long distance session gigs. I'm might actually be getting close to having half a clue. I started out in Cubase then migrated to Pro Tools and sometimes work in Logic, but I've found a happy home in Studio One Pro and I have the kind and brilliant folks at PreSonus to thank. They generously gifted me with Studio One V2 Pro and their music notation package Notion 5. I also have my music for sale and digitally distributed by their subsidiary, Nimbit. PreSonus founder, musician, inventor and visionary Jim Odom is my hero and so is my friend Rachel Klein who is their Artist Relation guru. For samples of my new work as well as earlier recordings, out takes and instrumental experiments from my archives try these links:
To listen and get free downloads:
To watch live videos and check out the DonCon catalogue
I've asked some of my famous friends to jump into the fray, but being famous can really restrict your movements and it's unsure who will actually be able to jump in when the time comes. So far I have 'Yes"s from Ellis Paul, Bill Miller, Eliza Gilkyson, Kevin Welch, Abe (and hopefully Arlo) Guthrie, SONiA, and am in the process of reaching out to Keb Mo and Robert Mirabal. Taos boasts some serious badasses from around the planet and I'll be recruiting my friends Jimmy Stadler, Bob Andrews (Graham Parker and the Rumour), K Bolan (The Damn Band/Don Conoscenti Band), Mina Tank (The Damn Band/Vanilla Rawk), Patrick Turnmire (Don Conoscenti Band), Greg Thum (Proximal Distally//Vanilla Rawk/Vanilla Pop) and Jennifer Peterson (Jennifer Peterson Band). The last touches of the project will probably be done in Los Angeles with Gary Gray. To do a Grammy worthy record (a guy can dream, right?) is costly and so it’s off to Kickstarter for me. Heather Sparrow has applied her immense (and beautifully twisted) talents to a 3 minute video for the Kickstarter campaign and her amazing still images will grace the CD cover and subsequent promotional materials. I feel a T-Shirt coming on. Believe it or not there has only been three or less Don Conoscenti T-Shirts made in the almost 40 years of my 'career'. Heather lives about a mile from me here in Taos and Taos is one of the primary characters in all the imagery. If making the record is as fun as making the video with Heather I have some good times ahead.
The music business has changed so dramatically since my last major release and without a booking agent and support team there's no way I can tour and won't be able to take advantage of that process to spread the word from town to town so I'll need to hire radio promotion and publicity experts. I'm looking at a $25,000 to $30,000 price tag for that stuff alone. Add about that much again to actually make the record plus video and extraneous costs and you can see the size of the rock as well as the mountain I plan to push it up. I hope you can help spread the love … and the word. It would be greatly appreciated. Meanwhile I have a pesky little issue with Hepatitis C to contend with. apparently it has tagged along laying dormant in my system since the late 70's. I did have my fun back in those "formative" years of my rock and roll journey. Luckily the new treatment can cure it completely within three months. I suffered worse than this for longer stretches, but I'm not going to say that it's been a whole lot of fun. I just have to hold the joyful anticipation of laying down basic tracks with John Michel, Michael Jude and Don Richmond in my mind, which makes me smile. I'll have the Kickstarter Link for you soon and will be sending out a massive one time emailing to everyone I have an address for. In the meantime, back to you. Peace and Love from Taos