It gives me great pleasure to announce that Uncarved :: Live at Mellstock is now officially a thing. It represents a small step for mankind, but a huge step for me in crowd-funding. The entire production has been financed on goodwill and donations. I neither have a day job, trust fund or savings, nor do I claim benefits. I survive literally on what I earn from music, every month I struggle to pay the bills … I’m not complaining, it’s a good life, but it does get tricky when you need to come up with chunks of money all at once.
I’ve been particularly inspired by Amanda Palmer on the “Art of Asking” and although I don’t have anything like the fan-base she has built up, I thought I’d give it a go. What I have learned is that there are a lot more people than I had imagined who are prepared to support my music. If that wasn’t amazing enough, along with financial support came heartfelt messages, constructive advice and feedback. By asking for help I have got a really strong message back that you lot want me to keep on writing, playing and recording music.
So this album was recorded at a little festival in Mells. Mells is the ‘plum’ that Jack Horner pulled out of the pie, so the album was recorded in the church that Jack built. The festival was put on in order to raise money for Help in Action and the whole thing was recorded by Sam Welbourne. Sam persuaded me that the recording was releasable and in the final analysis I decided to release the whole performance, nothing added or taken away, as the set had a really nice coherence to it. I had wanted to put out something that represented me busking and for my birthday last year, Earl Bramley-Howard had given me a wonderful pencil drawing of me performing on the street, which seemed the perfect piece of artwork to use for he cover. All the pieces came together really smoothly once I decided to do it.
Sam has given his time and expertise largely on trust, and this is now the third album he has facilitated in this way. I put out a cry for help in August and was overwhelmed with the responses, pulling in enough to keep the website running and produce an initial run of CDs in just two days! Despite all this support it is still slow, going. It’s taken me two months to get round to updating the site. Hi Dad. And I still have a few pre-orders to dispatch. This is partly because I’m an ultra-distractable creative person, I have just completed a series of maps showing language families and dialect continuums across the world and I’m writing a comedy screenplay, oh and the book … , partly because I’m working with such a limited cash-flow and I’m also just really rubbish at posting things. In an ideal world I would have someone do deal with the mail order. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait for me as you can now download it from Bandcamp. So thank you all for your patience, I hope it has been worth the wait!
So here is Uncarved. I really couldn’t have done this without you.