Jon Weisberger knows a thing or two about songwriting—he was IBMA’s first songwriter of the year in 2012. And he knows a lot about IBMA—he’s chairman of the organization’s board.
In his first role, he was looking to put together a new collection of songs he wrote or co-wrote. In the second, he’s always on the prowl for new ways to raise money for bluegrass music’s professional organization.
The result of a melding of the two roles is a 13-song collection, called I’ve Been Mostly Awake—a play on IBMA that’s popular with annual IBMA conference attendees. The CD release party will be held at World of Bluegrass this fall in Raleigh, and proceeds from all CD sales and digital downloads, after expenses, go to IBMA.
To help lower expenses—and put more money in IBMA’s treasury—Weisberger is running an IndieGoGo crowdsourcing campaign. As of Thursday night, with 14 days left before the fund drive ends on July 25, donors had kicked in $1,590 of the $11,000 goal. Contributors can earn premiums, from copies of the CD to a songwriting or music publishing consultation ($1,000 each) or having your name featured in one of the songs ($5,000).
The project was drummed up by Weisberger and Dan Keen, who recently joined forces to form a music publishing company. The list of co-writers with material on the CD reads like a who’s who of bluegrass and country music, including the Gibson Brothers, Dale Ann Bradley, Claire Lynch, Tim O’Brien, Chris Jones, Jim Lauderdale, Stephen Mougin, Sierra Hull, Jeremy Garrett, Pam Tillis and more. The co-writers will sing on their respective songs.
The instrumental tracks were laid down last month by The Lonesome Heirs – Weisberger, Garrett, Jesse Brock, Andy Falco and Ned Luberecki. Compass Records donated two days of studio time at its Nashville studio. That’s not a lot of time to track 13 songs, but Weisberger and his pals did manage to have some fun in the process. For proof, check out the Jim Lauderdale video recorded as the two-day recording sprint was winding down. It’s called The Birth of Brograss.