It's great to be back on the South Shore after 6 weeks on the road. It was a fabulous tour with a couple of conferences, many new friends, invitations to come back and play again. One of my favourite comments from a host after my performance, "That was absolutely great. This is why I host house concerts."
But that was then and this is now. The life of an independent musician comprises so much more than the time on stage. I had a conversation at the NERFA conference with someone who is not a musician and she asked if I did music full-time. I said, "The short answer is Yes. The long answer is that I'm a small-business entrepreneur whose product is music, so I do booking, rehearsals, recording, bookkeeping, sales, purchasing, etc, etc, etc."
The next project is the completion of Craftsman, the new album. The CD will comprise 11 instrumental pieces. Three of them are guitar solos and the other eight have other instrumentation on them to complement the guitar sound. There will also be a bonus track, which will be a guitar-only version of one of the eight. The album is being produced by David Findlay at Otitis Media in Lunenburg, NS. The recording is more or less complete and we still have final mixing and mastering to do which will take place over the next couple of weeks.
To help with the cost of production and marketing, we're going to be launching a crowd-funding campaign in January. Details are still being worked out but the campaign will allow you to pre-purchase CDs and downloads of the music - you'll get your copy in advance of the official release. You will also be able to arrange a house concert - I will come to where you are and play for you and your friends or you will be able to book a two-hour instructional workshop with your humble correspondent and learn some of the techniques and tips and tricks of finger-style guitar.
In addition to finalizing the CD, I'm booking some tour dates in the spring to coincide with the official release. The current target date is the beginning of April and I already have a couple of dates lined up. The spring tour may also tie in to a collaborative project with another South Shore musician. Watch this space for more details.
Finally, a huge Thank You to all the people who supported me along the Finger-Style and Fall Colours Tour. Meeting house concert hosts and becoming friends, sharing a stage with other musicians, just hanging out at conferences listening to others play and seeing places in the world I've never been before - these are some of the reasons I became a musician.
Best wishes for the holiday season - Happy Hannukah, Merry Christmas, Happy Solstice - whatever your reason to celebrate, we wish you a happy time.
Visit the website at bobardern.ca