With a crowdsource campaign that has seen nearly 200% of her goal reached in the first month, singer Billie Ray Martin has cooked up something a bit different from the angular yet soulful dance music that she normally offers. It bears repeating that I never thought I could actually love house music until I heard her first band, Electribe 101. Of course, she is first and foremost, a talented singer who do whatever she likes and succeed at it. This, after all, was the woman who wanted to create a fusion of “Dusty In Memphis” and Kraftwerk and did it. So when on February 1st, she announced the pledge campaign for a release of soul/R+B sessions she recorded with Jon Tiven a decade ago, the market responded… wildly. She had nearly 100% of her goal within 48 hours. When Billie Ray Martin wants to record an Al Green/Ann Peebles influenced album of new material [and a select few covers], I’m there for it. I have not pledged yet, but certainly will.
The fast response has meant that the CD has already been manufactured [one imagines that the LP will take longer… much longer] and the cover is shown above. The level of support that Ms. Martin has seen from her fans means that she can get more ambitious with the level of quid pro quo. Once the pledge campaign reaches 300%, she will offer all pledgers a DL of the ambient session that I wrote about last year. It happened of course, and she will share it with all pledgers after reaching 300%. That’s pretty sweet! Of course, there are many levels of investment beyond the DL/LP/CD.
The signed CD is gone, daddy, gone, but there are 48 LPs still with her and your name on it. Signed sheet music is still available, but things get interesting once you near [and pass] three figures. Just €80 [$88] gets you admission to her next recording session at Hackney Road Studios. For those with the cash to burn, you can get a BRM DJ set [€1000/$1102] or better still, a full unplugged or electronic concert for €2500/$2756 at a location of your choice [travel and accommodation not included]. Those are flights of fancy, though. There are plenty of affordable package variations of “The Soul Tapes” and with her modest goal achieved, Ms. Martin has set her sights on other targets. For instance, she has said that if she goes over the top on this campaign, she will be recording a new album of house music, for a roots check.
In addition, she has already been shopping tracks around for remixes and these have begun to return home. One can even pledge for a CD-R single of the album’s first single, “Strongheaded Woman” in three mixes. She will be thinking about making videos to promote the album and she has already assembled a band to take this on the road. Sure, sure. I probably won’t get the pleasure in The States, but that doesn’t mean that any British or European fans reading this might not get a BRM-led soul review coming to your town in the near future. Pledge here and know that the campaign is set to close on August 1st. Pledge here if you’ve an interest. If you’ve read this far, you should.
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