Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Prairie Christmas

We are one week into Advent. Last night the sleet almost turned to snow. And I swear, this week, we will get a tree...we will. To help me (and you!) really get into the season I thought I'd post a video of my Christmas song, Prairie Christmas. It's an oldie but a goodie. An ode to Nebraska almost as much as an ode to Christmas. Enjoy!

Thanks to everyone who has helped with my recording project so far. Please pass this link or the video onto friends who you think might be interested!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Emily Dunbar Plays for 800 Farmers

It's true! I played a gig last week for 800+ farmers at the Adam's County Fairgrounds. What a hoot! It was the Chamber of Commerce Ag BBQ and Robin Harrell, Carey McGehee & I provided the entertainment. They say it was the largest crowd they'd had in the 31 year history of the event. I like to think it was because we were on the program (really, it had been raining for days so the farmers couldn't harvest--see how much I've learned living in Nebraska?!). I can't imagine when I'll have an audience that big again. It was an honor to be a part and really fun to play with my pals.

My next up-coming gig is December 20 at the Blue Moon in Hastings for a suicide prevention benefit. It's a great lineup of local talent including Robin Harrell, Todd Brown, Jay Bayles & Trey Hamik. Good stuff!

In the meantime I've been working hard getting through my school work. When I finish this semester I'll be at the halfway point--a year and a half to go until I receive my master's degree and teaching certificate.

Pre-sales are going well. I've raised HALF my recording costs, which is awesome, but I still have a long way to go to cover art & manufacturing. I'm starting phase III of pre-sales today. Phase I was local sales at shows. Phase II was launching the blog and putting up video on facebook (I hope to have another video up next week--check back!). Phase III is sending out a mass email and hoping friends who haven't yet respond and forward it on to other interested parties.

Thanks to you all for your encouragement and support!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Doing My Homework

The pre-sales are well underway and I am feeling overwhelmed by not only the financial generosity, but the encouragement and enthusiasm for the project my friends have shown. I think anyone who creates art of any sort walks a fine line between pride and doubt. I love writing songs and making music and think I have a great catalogue of tunes--until I put it out there for others to hear -- and then I suddenly think I have been kidding myself. So having you all back me in this endeavor not only ensures the album can be recorded, it gives me affirmation that this is what I should be doing--so I thank you!

Pre-sales are not the only preparation I have to do before I go into the studio. I have plenty of homework to do -- and I'm not even talking grad school--that's a whole other ball game! I thought I would share a few details about the project and what, specifically, I am working on.

I'll be recording with Tom Prasada-Rao and Cary Cooper at their studio, The Wildwood Tofu Bar, in Dallas. I have known Tom and Cary for sometime. They play quite regularly at The Listening Room, they taught a songwriting workshop at The Flatwater Folk Festival here in Hastings last summer which I attended, and then we got to hang out in Lyons, CO this summer at Planet Blugrass's The Song School and the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival. I love their music. I know they are fantastic at what they do. I trust them. I figure if I am going to do it, I may as well go all out and do it right.

Right now, I am working on finalizing what songs I want to record. I have six years worth of tunes to sift through--many have stood the test of time and there are many new-ish songs I want to include too. Keeping it to ten tracks will be difficult. Many of you have already weighed in on what you want and I will do my best to fulfill your requests, but something has got to give!

I am practicing the songs I know will go on the CD with a metronome. I like to call it my metro-gnome, but I'm an idiot :) In the studio I'll play with a click track--which is essentially, a digital metro-gnome. This will assure that I keep my rhythm steady throughout the song. We'll record the guitar track first with the click track and THEN record drums and all the other instruments. The click track ensures that all the parts line up. It seems like a simple thing...I would say I have a good sense of rhythm...but the metro-gnome is hard! That infernal clicking in my ear! So it's practice, practice, practice. The more prepared I am to play my songs a) flawlessly and b) with the click track, the smoother and faster (and therefor cheaper) things will go in the studio. So, most evenings you can find me sitting on the piano bench in my living room with an earbud in my left ear plugged into the metro-gnome, tapping my foot, playing a song over and over again and trying not to curse :)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Who wants a studio-recorded version of this song?!

Here is a slightly nerdy video of me standing in my kitchen playing Catch It When You Can. My friend Susan suggested that I put some songs up so people who haven't heard me play can get on board with the recording project. Very smart, Susan! But I don't have quality recordings of my songs--hence the need for the album. But I made Paul record me with the video camera so you can get a taste of what I do.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Launch Night

The Listening Room gig was fantastic. It was a thrill to open for Amy Speace and Jagoda who put on a great show. I played a bunch of new tunes plus an Aretha Franklin cover with the help of Carey and Robin, my back-up divas.

I also launched the pre-sale and made about $200. That will buy (approximately) the recording time for one song. Woo hoo! Thank you to everyone who bought a CD. Thank you to everyone who bought two! Thank you to everyone who bought a CD and then threw in a little extra cash!

It's a long road ahead, though. Recording costs alone will be $2000+. This does not include manufacturing the discs, artwork or mastering--so every pre-sale counts! Either tonight or tomorrow I will send out a note on facebook, myspace and email with a link to this blog and launch my on-line sales. I'm excited to see what happens!


Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Big Launch

Okay, folks. There is no turning back now. Tonight I open for Amy Speace at the Listening Room and launch the pre-sales for my album. Once I start...once people give me their money in faith that next spring I will give them a cd...there is no stopping. I am now in the cd business.

Early next week I will have a paypal link up and running so that those of you who are in far-flung places and pre-order your cd that way.

Thank you for all of your encouragement and support ALREADY! I'll keep you posted.