It's fair to say it's been a tough 18 months for musicians.
Shortly after I moved to London in 2019, Westminster Council banned busking, cutting off my main source of income - shortly after that, the pandemic hit, and all gigs and festivals were cancelled, cutting off the rest :-(
Tuition fees and accommodation fees still had to be paid, despite all lessons going online. Like many students, I have lost a full year of education but have still had to pay for it.
My original plan had been to book a studio in London in Spring 2020, record this album, and then tour UK & EU to promote and fund the project. Of course this was all now impossible.
During lockdown I tried busking online by live streaming, it was OK, and thanks to a few very generous loyal fans I was able to earn a little from it - but not enough - unfortunately in the digital age, most people expect online video content to be free.
I decided to invest what savings I had in a new computer and some professional recording equipment, and record the album at home. I spent around 6 months working on it - and I am delighted to say it is now finished. I did absolutely everything myself, recording, mixing, mastering and of course I played all of the music!
And so here it finally is "Back Street Kid"
I feel this album is by far my best work to date, it features 12 classical arrangements of classic rock songs, I'm now ready to release it, hopefully with a little help from some of you guys.
Scroll to the bottom to see my arrangement of Alice Cooper's POISON!
I need to pay PRS for licensing the tracks, copyright fees, printing costs, CD duplication costs, and I also need to try to recover some of the money I spent on the recording equipment. And after all that I need to try to make an honest living from being a full time musician.
In normal times I would have been able to fund this from busking and gigging. But these of course are not normal times.
I am offering various rewards in return for pledges, all pledges can be made in any currency by credit card - for my friends in the USA $ - European friends € no problem £ etc :-)
Rewards can be shipped worldwide and include...
- One of the very first copies of the new CD.
- Triple CD bundles including copies of all my released music.
- Custom Wooden USB Sticks (super cool!) updated 2021 version, containing all of my recorded work (covers and original compositions) along with HD videos of performances, interviews etc.
- Personal online video performances!
- The chance to buy 2 of my guitars!
If you have ever enjoyed watching one of my online videos, then please consider helping - people often do not realise the amount of hours that go into producing them, not to mention the many years of practise that have made them possible at all.
This is an all or nothing project, so I must achieve my target within 8 weeks, or I will receive nothing, and the pledges will be refunded. I will start to ship CDs etc immediately if my initial project target of £2500 is reached.
I know not everyone has a CD player in 2021, but please do consider the USB and CD bundles, they are great value for money and would make really cool Christmas presents.
None of these new recordings will be released onto streaming platforms until after the crowdfunder campaign is finished, so this is the only way to get your hands on these new tracks until 2022!
CD and USB Bundles! The new CD features my classical arrangements of tracks by Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, Metallica, Pink Floyd, The Foo Fighters, Magnum, Ozzy Osbourne, Annihilator, Iron Maiden, Dio & Led Zeppelin.
My 6 track QUEEN EP "On With The Show" features my arrangements of Radio Gaga, Don't Stop Me Now, Love of My Life, The Show Must Go On, We are the Champions and Bohemian Rhapsody.
My 13 track Riversong CD features 3 original tracks, plus arrangements of songs by The Beatles, Dire Straits, Eric Clapton, Mason Williams, Mike Oldfield & more.
One of the guitars up for grabs, my Washburn Rover travel guitar, in action here at Edinburgh Fringe 2014.
And here's my Granados Classical Guitar, signed by the man himself Tommy Emmanuel! This is the guitar I played in the viral busking video of Bohemian Rhapsody!
Thanks for reading, I am sure you guys are going to love this new CD!
Here's one of the new tracks! My own arrangement of Alice Cooper's "Poison"