Fighting Epilepsy Through Music

Talk about humbled. Today – nine days ahead of our deadline – we hit (and then surpassed) our Kickstarter goal. As this blog is being typed, you’ve helped us raise $7,620 for Joey’s Song. Your money is going to help us cover our manufacturing costs so that every single cent raised selling the Joey’s Song albums can go directly to the Epilepsy Foundation. Your amazing support means so much.

That sounds like a reason to celebrate, which brings us to the business at hand – the Joey’s Song release party! The party is slated for January 21, 2011, at Pinstripes in Chicago, IL, so mark your calendars now. This isn’t your father’s release party. Instead, this party is a true choose-your-own-adventure affair with fun for the whole family on tap. Music, courtesy of  The Retro Specz, Freedy Johnston, Ralph Covert and Michael Mcdermott. Bocce. Bowling. Prizes. Auctions. Food. We’re talking two floors of good times for all here. We’re going to be releasing more details over the coming weeks, so watch this space.

Please come out in January to help us celebrate Joey, celebrate the release of the first installments of Joey’s Song and celebrate all of you who have pitched in and help us reach this exciting goal. You can purchase tickets on our webpage – www.joeyssong.org. Here’s the nitty gritty:

Joey’s Song CD Release Party:

Date and Time : January 21, 2011 – party kicks off at 7 PM

Location: Pinstripes

Address: 100 W Higgins  Rd, South Barrington ,IL

Phone: (847) 844-9300

We’ve been talking a lot about the pretty cool rewards you can get for backing our Kickstarter campaign (I mean, hello, a trip to Disney!?!!?), and now April Smith and The Great Picture Show have come along to make things just a little bit cooler. How does a Joey’s Song CD and limited edition t-shirt plus a handwritten thank-you note from April Smith sound? Or – how does a Joey’s Song CD, limited edition t-shirt and a phone call from April sound? Yeah, sounds good, right? The toughest choice is choosing between the note and the call. The call gets you a live conversation, but the note last longer…decisions, decisions.

To net your April Smith goodness, make a pledge of $75 or more to our Kickstarter campaign.

Speaking of Kickstarter, we’re over halfway to our goal. To date, 63 very kind people have pledged $4, 470. We need to get that number up to $7,500 before December 16 if we’re going to see any of the pledge money, so while we’re making excellent progress, we’ve still got a ways to go.

If you haven’t made a pledge yet, please visit the Kickstarter page, read more about Joey’s Song, browse our rewards, and consider pitching in. If you have already pledged, we can’t say thank you enough (though we’ll say it often).

If you’ve already pledged – or even if pledging just isn’t possible for you right now – you can still help us out by spreading the word. Consider sending one person to our Kickstarter page today.

By the way, we will be adding new pledge rewards up until the deadline date, so stay tuned for updates.

As you might imagine, Epilepsy Awareness Month is close to our hearts here at Joey’s Song. Fighting epilepsy through music is our aim and increasing awareness and understanding about epilepsy is crucial in reaching our goal. This month, we’re asking for all hands on deck. There are so many things you can do to help us help the Epilepsy Foundation in their fight against seizure disorders. Here are five ideas to get you started:

1. Make a pledge to our Kickstarter campaign. Our goal is to raise $7,500 by December 16. In fact, if we don’t raise that much by that date, we don’t see a penny of the pledge money. That’s right – Kickstarter is an all or nothing funding platform, so even if we raise $7,499, we won’t get any of it without that last penny. That is why we need your help even if you have already made a pledge. Please consider sending your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and anyone else you can think of to our page. The minimum donation is $1, and every single donation in every single amount is gratefully received.

Remember, the money raised in our Kickstarter campaign is earmarked for production costs. Your donations will allow us to funnel every bit of the money raised through the sales of the Joey’s Song CDs to the Epilepsy Foundation, so please consider making a pledge yourself and helping up spread the word.

2. Get social with us. Come find us on Twitter and Facebook. That is where you will get breaking Joey’s Song news, like when new artists come on board. You can also use your own social networking pages to help us spread the word. Retweet us. Like us on Facebook. Post a link to our website. Tell your friends that you’ve made a pledge.

3. Join our mailing list. These newsletters bring you up to date on where exactly we are in the Joey’s Song project and new opportunities for you to get involved. You can sign up on our website.

4. Write about us. Do you have a blog/website? Consider sharing our story. We’re available to answer your questions and provide you with images and whatever else you need, any time. Cover our fundraising goals, cover the incredible music line-up we’ve put together or cover a little bit of everything. We’re here to help with your story any way we can.

5. Tell one person about Joey’s Song today. Just one. Mention us to a friend over coffee, your son or daughter as you’re driving them to school, the co-worker at the next desk, the clerk at your local record store – anyone. Not sure what to say? Visit our website to find out our story and browse the list of musicians involved in the Joey’s Song project.

Announcing…Mark Bryan!

We’re thrilled to welcome a new member to the Joey’s Song family – Mark Bryan! Mark is a founding member and lead guitarist with Hootie and The Blowfish and an accomplished solo artist in his own right. He also runs Chucktown Music Group, an artist management, production and consultancy group, and teaches the ins and outs of the music biz to College of Charleston students. A packed schedule indeed, and we’re excited he added Joey’s Song to his to-do list. Thank you, Mark!

Swing by Mark Bryan’s website and the home page of Chucktown Music Group to check out some of Mark’s music and see what he’s up to now. You can see our entire artist list (to date) on the Joey’s Song website, and don’t forget to find us on Twitter and Facebook. Remember, you don’t have to wait until January to help Joey’s Song. Visit our Kickstarter campaign page to find out how to get involved right now (and how to land some super duper swag while doing so!).

Ever wondered how something like Joey’s Song goes from idea to nice, spiffy CD (or download)? The specifics of the album release process can vary from label to label, especially between independent (indie) and major labels, but the general idea is the same. You need the songs, you need some manufacturing (if you’re going to have physical product, anyway) and you need some kind of distribution. If you want people to know about the release, you need some kind of promotion, too.

Joey’s Song is a series of compilation releases, which work a little differently than ye olde standard single act release. Compilation – “comps,” if you want to sound really cool – can often take a lot of time, phone calls and negotiation to put together because of the licensing involved. The nitty gritty of all that stuff gets a little boring, and we certainly don’t want to bore you – so suffice it to say that depending on the circumstances, several people may need to give the thumbs up (and maybe even get paid) before a typical comp comes to be. Thanks to the gracious musicians involved with Joey’s Song, we get to bypass that whole part of things. These musicians are donating their tracks – often unreleased tracks – to us, which allows us to devote more time and money to helping kids like Joey and their families. The generosity of the artists is absolutely crucial in making Joey’s Song work, and they are really showing up in droves.

With that sticky part of the way, next comes manufacturing, and that is where the Kickstarter campaign comes into the picture. We can keep our manufacturing costs down, with the kind help of our manufacturers, but we can’t make them vanish completely. We’re hoping that we can cover most of those manufacturing costs via our Kickstarter campaign (which has gotten off to a great start). When those costs are met before we even release the CD, every single penny of each sale can go to The Epilepsy Foundation. Pretty cool, huh?

Want to help us get it done? Visit our Kickstarter page. There’s a video there that tells you our story, as well as the tracklistings for our very first releases (remember, we’ve got one adult CD and one kid CD). No donation is too small, and we’ve got some pretty awesome thank-you gifts on offer.

So, that covers how we’re pulling the songs together for the comp and our manufacturing situation. We’ll save distribution and promotion for another time. In the meantime, visit us on our website, Twitter, Facebook and of course, Kickstarter.

We are stunned, awed, amazed, and humbled at the response to our barely two day old Kickstarter campaign to raise money to cover the production costs for Joey’s Song. Thanks to you all, we’ve come out of the gate strong, with 26 backers already making a pledge (and earning some pretty cool prizes while doing so). We wanted to take a moment out to let everyone know how much your involvement means, and we can’t wait to make good on our promise of awesome music for an awesome cause.

Our aim with Joey’s Song is to deliver as much money to the Epilepsy Foundation as we can. Your Kickstarter pledges will be used to cover the cost of production of the CDs. With those costs met, we can divert every penny generated by sales of the CDs to our charities, which translates into more money to help kids like Joey and their families.

If you haven’t checked out the Kickstarter campaign yet, please drop in and see what we’re up to when you have a minute. View our video that explains the campaign in detail, browse the tracklisting for our inaugural releases, and learn more about how you can get involved. Your donation can also net you some nice Joey’s Song swag, ranging from t-shirts to autographs to private concerts.

A big, big thank you once again to everyone who came out early to put the kick in our Kickstarter campaign, and a thank you in advance to everyone with designs on getting involved in the future. Remember, you can always track us down online on our website, Facebook, or Twitter, as well as here, so reach out with any questions you may have.

Hello There!

Welcome to the new Joey’s Song blog! Over the coming months, we’ll use these pages to keep you up to date on all of the breaking news about the Joey’s Song project and give you some insight into the musicians who are generously pitching in to make this project a reality.

But wait – what is Joey’s Song? We’re glad you asked. Joey’s Song is a series of CD releases launched by the Joseph Gomoll Foundation to raise money for the The Epilepsy Foundation. The Foundation – and the albums – were created in memory of Joseph Gomoll. Joey passed away in March, 2010, at age four, after battling a rare form of epilepsy called Dravet’s Syndrome. Joey loved music, so the Joey’s Song releases are both a tribute to him and a tool to raise money to help other kids like him get the help they deserve.

Joey’s story has certainly touched many hearts in the music community. A long list of artists has already joined the cause, many of whom are donating unreleased tracks for the albums.  Some of the musicians slated for a Joey’s Song release include Crash Test Dummies, Duncan Sheik and Raul Malo, but please visit the Joey’s Song website to view the full,  ever expanding list of musicians on board.

The first Joey’s Song release date is January 25, 2011, but you don’t have to wait until then to help. We’re running a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to cover production costs so that even more of the money generated from the sales of Joey’s Song releases can go directly to the charities we support. Note that production is our only expense – after those costs are met, 100% of the money from sales of the albums goes to our cause. Visit our Kickstarter campaign page to see a track listing for our first releases, a video explaining more about Joey’s Song and tons of amazing thank-you prizes you can earn through your contributions, including private concerts, a trip to Disney and much more.

That’s all from us for now, but bookmark this page because we’ll be updating this blog frequently with news, artist profiles and interviews. In the meantime, find us online on our website, Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, and of course, Kickstarter.

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