Chris Doud is getting by with a little help from your friends, and few random strangers.
The Oakdale musician, known as one of the founding members of the long-running local country-Americana band the Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit, is working on a solo album with the help of a crowdfunding campaign. The singer-songwriter has launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to help fund and finish his latest project. The fund drive ends Sunday, May 1, but has already surpassed its $3,125 goal.
Doud decided to embark on the solo project, his third solo release to date, because his full band is on a short hiatus. So to fill the time, and make use of some of his old and new unreleased songs, Doud began putting together his two-disc project. The working titles for the complimentary set are “The Flat,” which will feature new original recordings, and the other is “The Cut,” which will feature the songs that didn’t make the main cut. Both discs will feature 10 or 11 songs each.
The last Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit album, “Old Excuses,” came out in early 2013. Doud, who has made a pledge to write at least one song a week, said having all that surplus music coupled with the break made this a perfect time to branch out.
“I’m a continual songwriter, so I try to keep writing constantly,” he said.
Picking songs for his solo work, instead of the full band, he said is an inexact science. He said songs with less instrumentation – which don’t need full drums, electric pedal steel, banjos and the like – work better on a small-scale project. He has played most of the instruments on the album. Also, unlike the Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit, which follows the more country, bluegrass and folk genres, his solo work can be more outside the box, incorporating all those plus jazz and whatever else strikes him.
His solo projects follow fellow band founder Willy Tea Taylor, who released a solo album last year on the newly formed Blackwing Music label. Doud’s effort is more low-key than that, getting a release the group’s self-produced label Heckabad Records.
But Doud still needed a little help to finance the project. While he already has recorded the songs in his studio, the mixing and mastering will be done by other local producers. For that, he needed some funds, so he turned to the Internet.
Doud and Taylor had used the platform before to raise funds for their 2013 children’s album. This time out Doud said he didn’t want to trade on the Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit’s popularity alone for his personal project. So he reached out on his Facebook page and to his friends primarily.
“I’ve met most of the people on the list; most aren’t strangers. A lot of people are people I’ve met because they also do music,” he said. “I was nervous, because I’ve had friends who have done these things and they didn’t work out. But I’m very pleased.”
As with many crowdfunding projects, Doud’s Kickstarter offers its backers perks – like pre-orders of the album, signed copies and even customized songs. In May he will go back into the studio for the mixing and mastering. Then he hopes to have the project released in June.
The full band will be on break until September, when it has its next live show booked. So Doud said he expects to book some solo tour dates for the summer throughout California and the West Coast. He also hopes to have a CD release party at his home turf of the Cow Track in Oakdale.
Elsewhere around the Scene:
Shakespeare meets the Wild West in the annual outdoor production from California State University, Stanislaus.
The university’s seventh annual Shakespeare Under the Stars will present the play “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” with action set in the American West. The all-ages, outdoor performances will be Tuesday-Sunday, May 3-8, at the amphitheater with admission and parking free.
For more information, visit www.csustan.edu/shakespeare.