Johnny A Driven
pledge news

Crowded Market
By Alex Prezzano | Published: July 7, 2014

Crowdfunding Helped Make Two Local CD Releases a Reality
In today’s Internet-driven, instant-access world, where music is widely assumed to be free, artists are continuously innovating and discovering new ways to earn a living. Simultaneously, the rise of social media has enabled musicians to interact with and grow their fan base in ways that were unavailable to their predecessors. The relatively new concept of “crowdfunding” is a union of both of these modern developments. It has allowed for the creation of new works by many musicians, filmmakers and artists. Recently, two Merrimack Valley performers took to the Web and obtained financial support from their followers to assist in the release of new music.

“Driven” Johnny A.
Aglaophone Records l June 2014

Johnny A. has spent more than three decades honing his unique instrumental sound, while touring and recording with some of music’s biggest names (see our July/August 2009 cover story on Somewhere among rock, jazz, blues and country, Johnny A. has a home. After two critically acclaimed solo releases in 1999 and 2004, and almost 10 years of relentless touring, the seasoned guitarist and composer spent 18 months in his Merrimack Valley home studio creating a solo album of 10 original songs and one cover song. “My goal was to make a really lyrical album that would stay with people,” A. says.

“Driven” is a new take on A.’s sound. “Ghost,” the dirty, bluesy opener, attacks at full force with the signature sound of the Gibson hollow body electric guitar created with his help and bearing his name. The entire musical spectrum of color, tone and texture are explored as the album continues. “From a Dark Place” showcases A.’s dive into the 21st century with the use of synthesizers to back the infectious lead-line melody. “The Arizona Man” is a slower paced, mysterious tune whose imagery conjures up a classic Western flick. The lone cover song on the album is A.’s slow-groove take on “To Love Somebody,” a Bee Gees classic.

Johnny A. wrote, arranged, performed, engineered, produced and mixed the album, but the lack of major label support (it was released on Aglaophone Records, his own label) created promotion and marketing challenges. A. turned to the crowdfunding website to help raise money and spread awareness. Pledging packages on the site offer perks from copies of the album and T-shirts to guitar lessons and in-home concerts, depending on the amount of the donation. This modern approach to the creation and marketing of music has guaranteed a successful start for “Driven” and provided fans of Johnny A. with the next chapter of his musical journey.

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