NEW RECORD!!

Happy Saturday everyone! I hope this finds you well. Some of you know I've been writing a lot since my last release Chicago in 2015. I'm excited to begin pre-production on some new songs for a full length release. I am anticipating about ten or eleven songs recorded with a full band. Following the release I'll be touring to support the record. 

Making records is not a cheap process. To give you an idea - my last record cost me around $9,000 - and that was only a 6 song record. I am attempting to raise as close to $16,000 for this new project. It's ambitious but I am confident I call pull it off. What makes recording so expensive? Here is a quick breakdown:

-Studio time ($450-850 per day)
-Paying musicians ($200 per day per musician)
-Copyrighting ($45 per song)
-Mixing ($500-$700)
-Mastering ($700-$900)
-CD pressing ($1300 - $1600)
-Graphic design/photography ($500)

...these are just a few of the expenses that go into a project like this. You can see how quickly it adds up. Of course I will play as many instruments as possible, but some instruments will have to be hired out (horn section, pedal steel, drums, string section). I plan to record the record at Traffic Sound Studios in North Carolina or Mission Sound here in NYC. It will come down to where I can get the best deal on studio time.

Producing this record will be my mentor Carey Sims (who produced Chicago) along with my friend John Horne (Electric Lady Studios, NYC). I think their unique expertise will make for a great sounding project!

I write today to ask for your help. If this is a project you might be willing support, please consider investing. Eventually a crowdfunding site may be up and running, but for now I just wanted to send out a query to my friends and supporters. A few of the incentives that are being considered include:

- Executive producer credit
- Access to the recording process (come see your $ in action!)
- Priority copy of the record (get it before anyone else!)
-Private in-home performance (great for a summer BBQ)
-Acoustic demos of the record (will be unreleased material)

These are just a few of the things under consideration and will correspond with donation level. I appreciate any and all support or even guidance on how to make this thing a reality. If you have any questions or would like to discuss this further please e-mail me at rolfewilliam@gmail.com

As always, thanks for the love and support. I'm excited to share this new music with you!
 

-RN

 

 

Me & Mr. Clapton

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The people we idolize when we are young can have such a lasting impact on our lives. Sometime in junior high school I discovered the music of Eric Clapton. This was a pivotal moment in my journey. Clapton was one of the first players I came across that used his guitar as an extension of his voice. I was obsessed with my new found guitar hero, and spent most of my teenage years studying every nuance of his playing and legacy. I've even owned two of his signature Stratocasters.

I quickly identified with Clapton’s persona. He seems a bit introverted and shy, and really lets his music do the talking. His stage shows typically have a pretty simple set up - not a lot of flash, and he is always diplomatic when it comes to sharing the stage. This is something I’ve always tried to embody as a performer. Surrounding yourself with excellent musicians and allowing them space to shine is one the greatest thrills of being on stage.

One of the first Clapton records I got my hands on was a live CD/DVD recording called One More Car, One More Rider. I probably watched that thing hundreds of times. Many members of his live band are some of my favorite players today - Nathan East, Steve Gadd, and Billy Preston - just to name a few. The first time I saw Clapton in concert I remember being overwhelmed to the point of tears.

Whether Clapton is your guitar hero or not, it’s hard to deny his impact on blues and rock music. I think his larger legacy is keeping blues music alive. Clapton has put the spotlight on so many blues artists that may have fallen by the wayside in their later years - B.B. King, Robert Cray, Buddy Guy , JJ Cale - the list goes on and on. He also paved the way for so many younger players from Richie Sambora to John Mayer. Clapton is largely responsible for introducing Bob Marley's music to American audiences as well. 

I imagine our childhood heroes are much like our first boyfriends or girlfriends. Even though we go on to experience other things, they always hold a special place in our hearts. I still find inspiration in Eric’s records today. I saw recently he will be playing two dates this fall at Madison Square Garden. I’ll probably grab a ticket -  it will most likely be my last chance to see my hero. 

Happy New Year!

I wanted to take a minute and wish everyone a Happy New Year! 2017 was a memorable one. Thank you for your continued support. This past year, shipments of my album were sent to Japan, Austria, France and Brasil - not to mention across the United States.  2017 brought some great moments - playing at Buddy Guy's club in Chicago, spending time with friends in Nashville, and of course hanging out at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals. This was also the year I relocated to New York. It's all been a lot to process but I'm loving every minute of it.

I just got back to New York after spending some time with family back home in North Carolina. Over the visit I was able to meet with my producer and go over some new songs for my next project. Looking forward to getting that music recorded in 2018. Everyone stay safe and I hope to see you all in the new year! Cheers!

Pedals

 During my summer in Nashvile I decided to build a pedalboard. Warning: this is going to be a guitar nerd post. For those that aren’t guitar players but are still curious - a guitar pedal is a device that manipulates the sound of your guitar. Pedals can do anything from make your guitar tone distorted, add some reverb, or make it sound like a spaceship. A pedalboard is simply a board with the pedals mounted on it. I'm going to go through the pedals I decided on and provide links to more in depth descriptions.

 My rig

My rig

I’ve never been much of a pedal user, but had increasingly felt the need to have a few basic pedals so I could cover a wide range of material. After picking out my pedals I reached out to a custom builder in Kansas called Pedal Pad. They are fully custom down to the tolex (I opted for "black comet.") I chose to have the input, output, and power input all on the same side for easy set up. They make high quality boards in some unique designs so check them out here

The first pedal on my board is my Polytune tuner. This should be a requirement on everyone's board. Find it here.

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Next we have the Fulltone OCD. I fell in love with this pedal immediately. I’ve always been looking for a way to fatten up the tone of my Telecaster and this pedal does the trick. You can add some subtle dirt to your tone or crank up the drive for some thick overdriven leads. Find more information here.

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After the OCD we have the Boss CE-2W Waza Craft Chorus. This is really a few pedals in one. Most importantly (for me) you can get some of those classic chorus tones (think Prince’s Purple Rain.) It also works quite well with it dialed in at a low level, just to give your clean tones a little something extra. More information here.

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Last but not least - and perhaps my favorite pedal on the board - is a pedal by Hungry Robot called “The Wash.” In it’s most basic application - it’s a tap tempo delay. What makes this pedal special is the reverb circuit. You can adjust the levels to create some beautiful ambient and washed out tones. I use this pedal for a lot of swells. Dig it here.

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One last pedal that is not mounted on the board that I use is a Morely Mini Optical Volume pedal. I usually run this pedal between the board and my amp. I don’t keep it on the board due to space and it’s not a pedal I always use. I found it’s much easier to use a pedal for some of those ambient swells than the volume knob on my guitar. Link here

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As you can see, my rig is pretty simple. My goal was to put the necessities in an easy grab and go format. I highly recommend getting lightly used pedals. I bought every one of these pedals on Reverb.com.  Have fun!