A Report from the Studio!

Hello Folks

We just got home from Austin, TX and a long day at the studio finishing up the base tracks for the CD.  This was the final session with Rick Richards on drums and David Carroll on bass.  It has been an absolute pleasure and a life event playing with these two pros.  I’ve learned so much and I had such a great time.  You will be amazed when you hear the final product.  These guys are amazing.

Aug 3,4, and 5 we will be back in the studio finishing up.  On the 3rd we will continue with overdubs of harmonies and various instruments.  Marvin Dykhuis is the slave driver…um…I mean producer who is driving that train and he plays almost every instrument except the drums and bass.  I had no idea my songs could sound this cool.  It’s always been just me strumming a guitar and singing.  With this band my songs sound amazing.  I really can’t wait for you to hear them.

Once we finish mixing we will send them out to a studio in Colorado to be mastered.  That might take a while, but once we get the masters back we will be ready to print copies and ship them out.

Ok, well I’m exhausted but it’s a good exhaustion.  I’ll keep you up to date on the progress of the CD, so stay tuned!

Thanks

Richard “Grumpy Puppy” Howard

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You Did It!

Hello Friends

We made it!  Woo Hoo!  It was down to the wire but y’all pulled out a victory for us.  Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

Oh did I forget to say thank you?  THANK YOU!

Man I’m glad that part is over.  Fundraising is very stressful!  I want to give one special thank you to two special friends who, in the midst of their own fundraising campaign, took the time to help us by teaching us how to do it.  It is not as simple as signing up with Kickstarter and putting it on the internet.  It is actually a lot of hard work.  I had no idea going in how much work it was, but special thanks to Sue Young and Rusty Nelson of Young & Rusty for teaching us, cheering us on, and supporting us in this endeavor.  I can honestly say that without your intervention we would not have reached our goal.  Thank you so much!

I also must thank my beautiful wife Maggie.  She is the one who took Young & Rusty’s advice and put it into action.  She contacted everyone we know and got them to spread the word to their friends etc.  Maggie was the drive behind the train and she got this thing done.  I thank God every day for Maggie.  It’s about time I thank her directly.  THANK YOU MAGGIE!

Now it’s time to get down to business.  Marvin Dykhuis told me the other evening that we are about one third of the way through this process, so we still have lots of work to do.  Tomorrow I’ll be in Austin for the final preproduction meeting where we decide the final four songs.  Then we go into the studio on the 28th to lay down the base tracks for those.  The 3rd, 4th, and 5th we go back in the studio to complete overdubs and start mixing.  Hopefully we can get it all mixed by the 5th.  After that (if all goes well) it goes out to a Mastering studio to be mastered.  That can take a while, but while that is going on we will be working on the CD cover, one-sheets, promotional items (depends on budget) and the rest so that when we get the Masters back we can send it out to have the first copies made.  As soon as I get those in my hot little hands I’ll be signing yours and mailing them out to you.

I’ll keep all of you up to date as we reach these milestones.

One more time, THANKS to all of you who made this happen.  Here are the final backers:

Frankie Magee from Alamo Title bought TWO copies!  Thanks Frankie, I’m looking forward to getting those to you!

Sue Young, Jan Fullenwider, Phil Greer and Gary Kochan all went back in and bought more copies of the CD.  Thank you all so much for that.  That is a whole lot of support and I so appreciate you for that.

Eddie Dunn and his lovely wife Marilynn bought a copy of the CD.  Thanks coach!  I can’t wait for you to hear it.

And finally one anonymous donor who pushed us over the top.  Thanks you-know-who.  I promised I wouldn’t use your name, but I want you to know how much I appreciate your support.

Ok friends, I’m so excited that this is really happening.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Thanks again!

Richard “Grumpy Puppy” Howard

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Last Day!

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Hello Friends

Today is the last full day to pre-order your copy of my debut CD.  We are just two house concerts away from our goal, so I know we are going to get this done.  Check out the perks on my kickstarter page and purchase one or more advance copies of this terrific CD.  You’ll be glad you did!

Today I want to thank my newest backers.  First is Vicki Whitesel an accomplished recording artist herself.  We met her father, Harmonica Bob, up at Canyon Lake and he turned us on to Vicki’s gospel music CD.  It is divine.  Thank you so much Vicki for supporting me on this!

Next is Richard Schendel from Austin, TX.  Richard bought FOUR copies of the CD and will be named a co-producer of the project.  Thank you Richard!

Next is Kristen Bratton, another dear friend here in San Antonio.  She bought TWO copies of the CD and will have her name on the CD jacket!  Thanks so much Kristen!

And last but not least, Debbie Barnes purchased her copy of the CD.  Thanks Debbie!  I can’t wait to get this out to you.

Ok, well we still need a few more purchases to get this done.  The campaign ends tomorrow morning at 10:00 AM, and it is ALL-OR-NOTHING!  We either reach our goal or we give all the money back.  So if you meant to buy one or more copies now is the time to do it.  If you don’t like using Kickstarter for whatever reason, go to my webpage at grumpypuppymusic.com and use the PayPal button.  I’ve already processed a few purchases through that method.  Some folks just don’t want to start a kickstarter account.  And if you want to pay cash, just email me or message me on Facebook.  We’ll figure something out.

Thanks friends!

Richard “Grumpy Puppy” Howard

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48 Hours!

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Hello friends

Well, this is it.  Only two days to go before the Kickstarter campaign ends and we are so close to the finish line.  We are about 75% funded, so I know we are going to get this done!

Today I want to thank the following backers for supporting me:

Rick Cates is one of my biggest supporters on Facebook.  He is also having a birthday this weekend.  Happy birthday Rick and thanks for the Birthday present!

Mark Lambert is a terrific songwriter here in San Antonio.  Mark bought a copy of the CD.  I can’t wait to get that to you man.  Thanks!

Chris Cernosek, aka Chris Topher bought a copy.  Chris is an amazing songwriter and guitar player who lives in La Grange, TX.  He also looks just like Marvin Dykhuis, so I have to be careful when I say hello!  Thanks Chris, I can’t wait to deliver this one man.

Rocc Nobles, one of the best songwriters I know and my friend here in San Antonio went deep and bought FOUR copies!  I’m proud to put Rocc down on the CD as a co-producer.  Thanks so much bro!

Beth Lee, another awesome songwriter from Austin, TX kicked in.  Beth writes a lot of bluegrass, my favorite music.  She bought THREE copies of the CD! Thank you so much Beth, I can’t wait for you to hear this.  I have a few bluegrass(ish) songs on there you might like.

Last night at the Friday Night open mic at ASG my buddy Stephen McMillan handed me cash to purchase a copy.  Thanks Stephen!

Thanks also to Bob and Gretchen Varga, my dear friends out in Castroville, TX who bought TWO copies using PayPal.

And last but not least, Susan Ramirez bought a copy of the CD using cash.  Thanks Susan!

Ok folks, that’s it for today.  Help us out if you can.  Tell your friends!

Thanks

Richard “Grumpy Puppy” Howard

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72 Hours!

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Hello Friends

We have less than 72 hours left in this campaign.  I’m overwhelmed by the amount of support I’m getting from family, fans and friends.  Almost 50 backers (including cash donors) have kicked in and pre-purchased one or more CDs and right now we stand at 61%.  I just know we are going to reach our goal by Monday morning when this campaign ends.

If you purchased a copy of the CD and you’re thinking that maybe you want to buy a few more to give as Christmas presents, you can go back in and increase your purchase amount.  Your new total will reflect the perks that you receive.  One backer, Monte McWilliams, who is already getting Co-Producer credit, went back in and doubled his pledge!  Now he gets a house concert too!  Thank you so much Monte!

You can also help by spreading the word.  Richard Sanguinetti bought a copy of the CD and then posted a message on FaceBook showing his support for this CD with a link to the Kickstarter page.   Thank you so much Richard!  You rock man!

If you want to kick in, but you do not want it publicized you can message me on Facebook or email me and I’ll be sure to leave your name off of these updates.  Or you can donate anonymously like someone already did.  Whoever “Here’s to your success” is, thank you so much for your pledge!

I’d also like to thank Loretta Marcoux Dunnaway.  I met Loretta at the Symposium this past January and she was such a delight to sit and talk with.  Loretta bought TWO copies of the CD and her name will be listed on the CD cover. Thanks Loretta!  I can’t wait to chat with you again!

Last but not least I’d like to thank two friends, Gary Kochan and Teresa Neal for buying my CD.  I can’t wait to get this out to you.  If you liked hearing these songs live just wait until you hear them with the full band!

Alright folks, well time is ticking away so I better post this update.  I hope you find the time to get on Kickstarter and pledge.  If you don’t have the means to do that, then please share this with your friends on Facebook.  I am confident that we will meet our goal by Monday.

Thanks!

Richard “Grumpy Puppy” Howard

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Late Update

Valerie Picture with citation

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Hello friends,

I just got back from Austin, TX where we finished up the overdubs on the first six songs of the CD.  Tuesday is the production meeting to determine which songs we will record on the 28th when I go back into the studio with Rick Richards and David Carroll to finish up the rhythm section.  After that we have three days scheduled in August to finish overdubs and begin mixing.

I am very grateful for all of you who have continued to support me in making my debut CD.  I’ve never heard my songs sound like this.  It’s always been just me sitting here at home recording my own stuff.  Now, with professional musicians in a real recording studio, they are just coming to life!  And this is just the rough cuts.  Mixing these tracks really brings them to life and then Mastering puts the finishing touches on them making them ready to play on the radio.  Those are the tracks you will be getting on the CD.  I cannot wait to hear the finished product myself!

But to get to that point I’m going to need a little more help.  We have until Monday morning at 10:00 AM to meet our modest goal of only $5000.00  That is a shoestring budget to make a CD but I have people in the Texas music business that are helping me get it done for that price.  They are cutting me some real breaks and doing twice the work for half the pay.  Let’s not let this all go to waste.  Please head over to my kickstarter page and kick in a few dollars.  It’s not charity.  You will just be pre-ordering the CD and I can use those funds to pay for the production of it.

If we don’t reach our goal, Kickstarter refunds everyone who pre-ordered and we get nothing.  It is only all-or-nothing.  So please help us get this done.  I really appreciate it.

Now, my favorite part of these updates, new backers!

First up is my dear Aunt Fay.  She bought her a copy of the CD and I can’t wait to ship it out to her in Denham Springs, LA.  Thank you so much Aunt Fay!

Next up is Steve Snyder, one of the best left-handed guitar players this side of Jimi Hendrix.  Thanks Steve, I really appreciate it man.

Louise Kirchen bought a copy!  Thanks Louise, I can’t wait to get this to you. You are going to love it!

Phil Bentley (of Phil Bentley and the Potholes) bought a copy.  Thanks so much Phil!

And Christy Moore bought her a copy too!  Thanks Christy, I can’t wait to get this over to you.

Ok folks, well that’s the schedule and I’m hoping we can stick to it.  Please tell your friends.  Heck, tell your enemies!  Tell everyone!  I know we can get this done.

Thanks,

Richard “Grumpy Puppy” Howard

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Overdubs!

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Hello Friends,

I spent all of yesterday up in Austin at the studio with Marvin Dykhuis recording overdubs.  I’m telling you, that Marvin is a genius!  He added different types of licks like electric guitar, acoustic leads, and mandolin.  He also added some harmonies and even some special effects like the egg and the bean.  What’s a bean you ask?  Well, it’s a gigantic dried bean pod with the seeds still inside that you shake and it makes a deep, eerie rattle. It sounds amazing on the song Nightmare.  I can’t wait for you to hear it.

Today I have a slew of new backers to introduce so let me get to it. I am overwhelmed by the support I am receiving for this project.  Again, I will go in the order on the Kickstarter page:

First off is Matthew Lopez.  Matthew lives here in San Antonio.  He bought an advance copy of the CD and I can’t wait to personally deliver it to him!

Alyse Black bought an advance copy.  Alyse is a singer/songwriter and she also is running a Kickstart campaign to produce her newest album, “The Love & Laughter Project”.

Phil Greer bought an advance copy.  I met Phil at the Songwriters Symposium this past January.  He was also a Publisher’s Pick at that event and got up on stage to sing a song.  He is an amazing singer/songwriter and I expect to see and support his Kickstart campaign soon.

My Audio Engineering mentor and good friend Marius Perron bought a copy of the CD!  Thanks Marius, you are da bomb!

Philip Wildman is another songwriter I met at the Songwriters Symposium.  He also bought a copy of my CD.  Thanks Philip, I can’t wait to ship that out to you man.

Timothy Williams bought an advance copy.  Thanks Tim!  I met Tim and his wife at the Symposium.  They were also selected as a Publisher’s Pick, but they were the only ones that got picked twice!  They have amazing talent that you are sure to hear on the radio soon.

Debbie Yates bought TWO copies!  She lives here in San Antonio, so I can’t wait to deliver those to her.  Thanks Debbie, and be sure to look for your name on the CD cover!

Kianna Chauntis Design is a web design firm in Austin.  They purchased THREE copies of the CD so they will be listed on the CD cover AND receive a handwritten thank-you from me.

Amberdawn Volkmann is one of my biggest fans.  She and her husband live in San Antonio, so I can’t wait to deliver their copy of my CD. Thanks so much Amber!

Angela Lawrence bought a CD!  She is one of my oldest friends and she helped me pick out and buy Maggie’s engagement/wedding ring set when I was in Iraq.  Thanks Angela, I can’t wait to bring you a CD!

And finally Alan Kirkhart, one of Maggie’s oldest friends.  Alan catered our wedding!  Thanks Alan!  Alan bought TWO copies of the CD so his name will be on the CD cover as well.

Whew!  That is a lot of support!  Thank you all so much!  We only have 5 more days to reach our goal, but I am confident that we will do it.  If you want to help get this CD made so we can get “Fishing Hole” on the radio, please head over to my Kickstarter page and kick in a few bucks.  I really do appreciate all of you.

Thanks

Richard “Grumpy Puppy” Howard

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Kickin’ It!

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CLICK THE PIC TO GO TO MY KICKSTARTER PAGE!

Hello Friends,

Tomorrow I’m headed up to Austin to work on overdubs with Marvin Dykhuis.  Man, I can’t wait!  This is where the songs start to come alive with the leads and the harmonies added.  Once we get everything tracked and all the overdubs finished, that’s when Mixing begins.

That’s where you come in.  For everyone who has pre-ordered your copy of my debut CD, THANK YOU!  We are well on our way to achieving our goal of $5000.00 which we need to Mix, Master, and Distribute/Promote the CD.

If you have been meaning to do it, but have forgotten or just put it off, there are still six days left before the cutoff, so it is NOT too late.  Don’t let this opportunity pass!

A few of you let me know that you tried to participate but had trouble with Kickstarter’s website.  If that happens to you, you can make your purchase here using my PayPal button on the right side of the page.  I’ll put the money into the Kickstarter campaign for you and you will get the exact same perks and guarantees that you get if you donate on Kickstarter.  I have a few cash-backers that I’ve done that for already.

Today I get to thank a lot of new backers.  Thank you so much for supporting me!  I’m going to do this in the order listed on Kickstarter, so first up is my sister-in-law Jan Fullenwider.  Jan is one of my biggest fans.  She has been rooting for me since the day I officially became a songwriter.  Thank you Jan!

Next is “Magic” Jack McCabe.  Magic Jack is one of my friends from the Austin Songwriters Group. He is an incredibly talented songwriter and guitar player.  Thank you so much Jack for your support in this.

Then my nephew Walter Samayoa and his beautiful wife Sandy both purchased a copy.  They live in Gulfport Mississippi, so I can’t wait to ship those out to them.  Thanks y’all!  Hug those kids for Uncle Richard!

Then my Sister, Donna Diehl bought THREE copies! Donna gets her name on the CD jacket and a hand-written thank you note which she might actually be able to read because she has experience with my handwriting.  Thanks Sis!!

Next up is Lynda Morgensen.  Lynda grew up in the Deep South, lived for a while in Indonesia, and now lives in Colorado.  She combines artistic influences from all three into a beautiful and interesting style.

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CLICK THIS PICTURE TO SEE MORE OF LYNDA’S ART

Lynda has blown me away with her generous donation.  She has purchased TEN copies of my debut CD.  In addition to being named as a co-producer she will get a hand written thank-you note, but I will take considerable effort to write slowly and neatly so that she might be able to actually read it.  She also gets a house concert, but we will have to work that out being as she lives in Colorado.  Perhaps I can talk her into a visit to Texas.  Thank you so much Lynda!

And last but in no way least is my friend Peggy Wright from the Austin Songwriters Group.  Peggy is an amazing songwriter who needs to start her own kickstarter campaign and get into the studio so she can share her gift with the rest of the world (hint hint).  Thanks for your support Peggy, I truly appreciate it.

Well that’s today’s update.  Thanks for caring folks.  Be sure to get over to my Kickstarter page and purchase your copies of my Debut CD featuring the songs “Fishing Hole”, “Daddy’s Little Girl” and many others.  And if you are strapped for cash but you really want to help then please spread the word to your friends and family.  I really do appreciate all of your support.

Thanks,

Richard “Grumpy Puppy” Howard

 

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Big Push!

Hello Friends,

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I like to thank everyone who has helped me with this project, but today I want to give a special shout out to Sue Young and Rusty Nelson.  They are two of my biggest supporters and they have been helping me these last couple of days to learn about how “Crowdfunding” works.

Like most things in life, it is more complicated than I thought.  Instead of just tossing my project out there on the internet and hoping it catches on; I have to take a more direct approach.  So Maggie and I will be reaching out to let y’all know our plans for the future of Grumpy Puppy Music.  We have big plans and we would like to personally invite you all to be part of it.  We have eight days left to reach our goal, so we will be pushing hard this week to bring this project to fruition.

Today I am happy to announce our two newest backers, Richard Fullenwider and Lynn Bekken.  Richard gets two autographed copies of the CD and his name on the CD jacket.  Lynn gets THREE autographed copies of the CD, her name on the CD jacket, and a handwritten note from me that I’ll probably have to read aloud for her because nobody can read my handwriting, but I promise it will say how much I love and appreciate you.

Ok, we are now officially 31.5% funded!  Let’s make that final push and get this CD made!

Thanks everyone!

Richard “Grumpy Puppy” Howard

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Whose Little Girl?

Hello Friends,

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Another song on the CD we are working on is called Daddy’s Little Girl. Whenever I perform that song live, invariably someone will come up to me after the show and ask if it is a true story. As a storyteller, I am sometimes tempted to make up an answer about some tragedy, perhaps a friend of mine’s daughter or something. But the truth is I just made that story up from thin air.

I belong to a songwriter’s group in Austin, TX called (wait for it…) The Austin Songwriters Group.  This is the most proactive group of songwriters I’ve ever heard of. We don’t just meet once a week and commiserate about how tough the music industry is; this group meets all during the week for activities such as song critiques (Tuesday and Sunday) co-writing sessions (Wednesday) and Friday Nights for concerts or open mics followed by a picking circle. I live in San Antonio, but it is well worth the drive to go to at least one of these events every week.

Besides the weekly schedule there are special events spaced out during the year, including workshops, publisher pitches, a songwriting contest, a symposium and every month on the first Sunday there is a potluck/picking circle.

You never know who is going to show up to one of these things. I’ve met David Halley, Marvin Dykhuis, Will Sexton, Louie Ortega, Austin Cunningham, Chuck Cannon, Gabe Rhodes, Will Massey, Will Callery and so many other great songwriters at these events.

One month Maggie and I went up there for the Sunday pot-luck/picking circle and Joe Manual (guitar player for Merle Haggard, George Strait and Lee Ann Womak) was there. We only had a few people that day, so the picking circle was going around pretty fast and I got to play three or four songs. During a break Joe Manual came up to me and said, “Richard I just love your songs.  They are all so happy and upbeat!” I was thrilled to hear Joe Manual say he liked my songs, but when I thought about what he had said I realized he was right. All of my songs were happy and upbeat. I’d never written a truly sad song. What kind of songwriter was I if I’d never written a sad song?

So I wrote Daddy’s Little Girl. It’s the first sad song I ever wrote.

Well that’s it for this update. If you enjoy Daddy’s Little Girl, or any of my songs, head on over to my Kickstart page and kick in. There are lots of perks you can purchase and you’ll be helping us get this CD launched.

Y’all take care,

Richard “Grumpy Puppy” Howard

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