There are some people that come into your life that make you remember why you do what you do. Jeff Berkley is that for me. When I first decided to do music, it was 2005, and I was working with KOOL 99.3 in San Diego. (Oldies station) I was doing a promo for 3 Dog Night who was playing at 4th and B in downtown San Diego. They had a local opener named Berkley Hart, and I remember thinking, “Those guys’ songs sound kinda like mine, I wonder if that’s something I could do.” I signed up on their mailing list, and went with one of my friends to watch an open mic the next day.
Jeff has a pretty amazing past full of music. Of his many San Diego Music Awards and other accomplishments, I think one of the coolest things is that he was the drummer for Jackson Browne, who is one of my ultimate favorite singer/songwriters. If you’ve never heard his voice, you’re in for a treat, as he’s my absolute favorite singer in San Diego. He’s got a smokey, mountain-grown style that I find extremely relaxing. (His band’s NEW album just dropped, and you should definitely get it!!! (Click here for their website——-> BERKLEY HART)
But on top of that, I never hear him say a negative thing, and he is always respectful and thoughtful. When we hung out in February for the San Diego Troubadour article, we recorded the interview in his studio. I had mentioned a few issues I was having with recording, and Jeff talked to me about working on my next album. Jeff said he’d check out my stuff and we’d talk.
I showed up to his studio yesterday and we laid down some tracks. I let Jeff know that I had close to 50 songs ready. He laughed, but after I started playing, I think he realized I was serious. I ended up only doing 29 of the songs, because I didn’t like some of the other ones, or they weren’t ready. The next step in the process is Jeff getting familiar with the songs, and then we will talk about cutting it down more.
The other thing that we have to do is raise money for the album. In order for this to be successful, I need to not only make the CD, but print, market, and support it. See, I don’t think you can just put out good music and expect it to cut through all the other thousands of CD’s out there. I think you need to tour, get good distribution, and ultimately find the people who like my type of music so they can find me!
Kickstarter.com is a website that allows artists, like me, to raise funds in order to follow their dreams. My goal is to raise between $10,000 and $30,000 dollars to help kick off my business. I’ve been interviewing managers, PR peeps, and booking agents to utilize the funds the best way possible, in hoping to launch to the next level in my career. (Obviously I can raise more than that amount, and every dollar can really help.)
We’ll be starting to raise the funds on August 1st. And I’m hoping you’ll help me to stay excited about this. I’m not the kind of guy who likes asking for money, but it’s been obvious that there’s not a ton of labels looking to sign a singer-songwriter who only has an acoustic album out. While I feel like I’ve done a lot in the last couple years, I still have a ways to go to prove myself in this industry. I’m looking forward to proving it with this upcoming album!
Love you guys, and I look forward to starting this project with ya!