Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Florida Blues Singer Turns to Fans to Help Fund First CD

#JazzBluesFlorida #jazz #blues #Florida #Concerts #Festivals #Clubs


Loretta Lynne James asks fans to help her make a CD of original blues and soul music. Supporters of The Loretta James Band (LJB) can donate at different levels from “LJB Fan” to “LJB VIP” and the tongue-in-cheek level, “LJB VVIP.” In return, donors receive gifts ranging from advance digital downloads to a chance to play on the CD and a personal house concert anywhere in North America. Secure donations are accepted with PayPal on the band's web site: http://www.lorettajamesband.com

Bradenton, Florida - 28, August, 2009 – Loretta Lynne James has been singing for only two years, but she's ready to make a CD of original blues and soul music. Since recording contracts are hard to come by—even for veteran musicians—Ms. James is taking matters into her own hands. She started a fundraising campaign that allows fans of her music to donate at different levels in return for various gifts ranging from advance access to the CD, credit on the liner notes and a personal house concert. Donations are already coming in through the band's web site, but she's a long way from her goal. The singer estimates she'll need to raise at least $7,500 to cover the cost of recording, mixing, mastering, packaging and marketing the CD.

“I'm calling the CD “Undefeated” because the lyrics are about love, loss, betrayal and heartbreak, but the music underneath is pure power, strength and superhuman resilience. And triumph,” James says. While the lyrics come from the pages of the singer's own life, the music itself grew out of a trip to Memphis, which she says was more a pilgrimage than a vacation. “For me, The Memphis Sound is where it's at. That music lives at the crossroads of the heart. It's where Blues meets Deep Soul meets Rock & Roll,” the singer says. “Even Jazz goes to Blues City when it needs to wail for a while,” she adds, smiling.

“I can only describe Memphis as a religious experience. I visited Willie Mitchell's Royal Studio and stood in the very spot where some of my favorite singers have stood. I was awed. I was inspired.” Upon her return to Florida, in a burst of creativity, she wrote eleven songs without stopping even to eat. “I sat on a hard barstool at my kitchen counter and I wrote for hours and hours. My head was literally pounding with pain. I could feel every heartbeat in my skull. It hurt like hell, but I couldn't stop. The music just kept coming.” After the songwriting session, which she describes as “a gift,” James knew she had to find a way to record the CD.

So she looked at what other artists had done—successfully—to fund their efforts and decided to “mix and match” what she had seen.

• Instead of pre-selling the CD, she would ask for donations so people could give less than the cost of producing a physical disc.

• In addition to autographing and giving advance copies of the CDs, she would offer donors a chance to see their names on the liner notes.

• Instead of giving out tickets to shows, she'd give VIP passes to a recording wrap party where the band will play a concert for the donors—in the studio.

• And for people—musicians and non-musicians—who have always wanted to sing or play on a CD, she'd give them the chance to make their dream come true.

To get the word out, she's using her own money to advertise. She's running print ads in blues magazines like the Suncoast Blues Society's 12-Bar Rag, advertising on web sites like Jazz & Blues Florida, Where Will We Go Tonight, Sarasota Music and Bars and doing radio interviews on community radio stations like WSLR 96.5. The singer says she's surprised at the outpouring of support from the media, “Some people aren't even charging me for my ads.” James also plans to stage a fundraising concert in December, a month before going into the studio. The concert will feature her band and other local musicians, who are donating their time and talent to help the new singer make her first CD. “It's going to be a big night,” she says. “I'm still shopping for the right venue.” Early support has already allowed the singer to put a deposit on the studio and schedule recording sessions. “I'm so grateful to those who have donated so far,” she says. “I'm really touched by everyone's generosity.”

Supporters can donate securely with PayPal at the band's web site:



ABOUT THE CD: Loretta Lynne James will record “Undefeated” January 13-24, 2010 at The Spirit Ranch with five-time grammy nominated engineer Bud Snyder and award-winning producer John “Dash” Dixon. Snyder has four gold records to his credit and is best known for his work with The Allman Brothers. Dixon owns D Music Service in Tampa and has produced artists like Lester Freeman and 2009 Jus' Blues “Legendary Blues & Soul” Award winner, Betty Padgett. The CD will be released in early April.

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