It’s been five years since I made my last record. I have a bunch of new songs and some wonderful musicians on board to bring them to life. I can’t wait to share what we're working on with you.
Now, all I need to make it happen is you. So I'm reaching out (nervously but excitedly!) to ask for your help.
I have just 29 days to raise $10K to cover the cost of this record. I admit that feels like a big number, but all together I think we can do it!
This Kickstarter campaign is all or nothing. If I don't raise the funds by January 31st, this album will only exist in my head, and you won't get to hear it.
Let's not let that happen! Will you let me know you're behind me and contribute today?
When you back this project, don't forget to let me know what you want as a thank you perk! You can get:
- "I Love Trans Folks With All My Being" T-Shirt
- Handwritten Song Lyrics
- A Personalized Poem on a Postcard
- Early Digital Download of the Music
- Signed CD
- A Personalized Cover Video
- Even some Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies!
The Back Story
I’m calling this album “Making Something New,” but as you might know, there was a time when I didn’t know if I would be able to continue making music at all.
Three years ago I started setting up my life so I could fulfill a longtime dream and spend more of my time performing.
Suddenly I had to stop playing guitar almost entirely.
I did my best to put on a good face, but in truth I was distraught. I had to cancel shows and turn down new offers. If I couldn’t play guitar, who was I?
I took long hikes in the hills, singing out loud as I went. That’s where the song “I Don’t Wanna Hurt Anymore” emerged:
I play guitar and feel the sharp wave coming
Soon my hands are humming with this ache
I go right on because these songs are not a choice
If I don’t use my voice I might just break
And so I keep on muscling through and I ignore
That every minute that I spend leaves me more sore
Ache is an ongoing theme on this record. Uncertainty and grief also come up again and again. But that song actually contained a clue to where my path would lead.
As I rested my wrists, something surprising happened. Even without the guitar, the music kept coming through. I started writing songs a cappella, like the call and response chant We Will Show Up. My friend Talia Cooper and I wrote it together, inspired by participating in the Black Lives Matter uprisings of 2020:
We feel the pain, we feel the rage
We will not numb ourselves, we will not look away
We will show up (We will show up)
We will not hide (We will not hide)
We will show up cause we’ve got justice on our minds
Each of these new songs felt like gifts, buoying me along at a time when I thought my days as a songwriter might be over. I taught them to my queer singing classes and other people picked them up, telling me they sang them in the streets and as they drifted off to sleep.
Now I’m returning to Tiny Telephone Studios in Oakland with some wonderful collaborators:
- Producer and sound engineer Maryam Qudus
- Conrad Sisk on cello
- Joel Price on mandolin, violin, and harmonies
- Briget Boyle on harmonies
- Jesse Loren Strickman on percussion
- Jimmy Touzel on upright bass
Each time we reach a $1000 mark, I'll post a fun video on Instagram and Facebook. Please give today to help me reach the goal!
A big thank you from the bottom of my heart.