Brian Culbertson was a college student living with three roommates in an apartment that was over a costume shop on a busy street when he recorded the demo tracks that landed him a record deal. The resulting album was “Long Night Out,” was released in 1994 and featured the then 20 year old as producer, writer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist. It was a bright, uptempo, jazzy project that immediately caught the ears of radio programmers and fans and spent several months in the top five on the contemporary jazz charts. One of Culbertson’s long time dreams has been to re-record that set of songs with the skills he has developed since then as a musician and a producer, the technology that is available now, and to play with some of the musicians that he used to admire from afar who are now his peers.
As the 20th anniversary of that album’s release approaches he is in the studio doing just that. He is also doing it the way he wants to do it, as an independent artist, which gives him the freedom to create the music they way he visualizes it without having a record company tell him to change or modify anything. He has 20 years of commercial and artistic success under his belt, and he has 20 years of connecting and communicating with his fans so it’s not just a matter of playing the way he wants to play. He will be able to give his fans what they have told him they want to hear and take them on a little bit deeper in the process. He is veering away from the urban adult contemporary themes that have dominated his recent releases and back into contemporary jazz territory with a dream lineup of heavyhitters that includes Russ Freeman, Eric Marienthal,Candy Dulfer, Toto’s Steve Lukather, Paul Jackson Jr.,Chuck Loeb, Nathan East, Jimmy Haslip, Will Kennedy, Ricky Lawson, Michael Thompson, Lenny Castro, Patches Stewart and a few more surprise guests.
Like a lot of artists these days he is using the crowdfunding process to finance the project. The way it works is that fans can contribute via a crowdfunding hub website and the artist creates tiers of rewards for different levels of contributions. Within this process you can contribute the amount you would normally pay for a CD and know that all of that money goes directly into defraying the cost of making the album rather than some percentage of it going to distributors, label executives and whatnot. As the contribution levels get higher the artists come up with some nice rewards – in this case one of them is a house concert with Culbertson and his band, another is a chance to sit in on rehearsals for the tour, and there are meet and greets at concerts, liner note mentions, and VIP packages for the star studded Napa Valley Jazz Getaway.
To participate in funding the album jump to his page on the indiegogo site: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/brian-culbertson-s-another-long-night-out-album-project. You can read the background information on the project and the perks he is offering for different tiers of contributions. Ten days into the 40 day funding duration he is already over halfway toward his goal, with 76 funders so far. This is the future of funding creative projects. No suits, just fans and artists supporting each other so hit the page and become a part of it. He is also posting Vblogs that give you an inside look at the recording process on his YouTube Channel