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View Full Version : James Hill needs our Patronage



ukuloonie
01-15-2014, 02:34 AM
I got an email today and James Hill is recording a new CD
and needs our help with the expense,
He has Signed CD's etc.
so I thought I would let UU know
here is the link to his site where we can help.
CLICK HERE (http://jameshillmusic.com/PatronOfTheArts)

JamieWG
01-15-2014, 03:30 AM
Thank you so much for spreading the word about this. I wouldn't have known if you hadn't posted it. The way I see it, we're all in this together, and if we don't support fellow artists and musicians, we won't have any.

ukuloonie
01-15-2014, 06:01 AM
Anything for James Hill, He's an awesome Ukulele player and a cool guy,
He came to a Ukulele meeting we had in Calgary a year back
He's really Friendly and doesn't mind talking to anybody.

Linho
01-15-2014, 11:28 AM
Still waiting for a James Hill Tab Book including Ode To A Frozen Boot. I think he could earn a lot of money.

Maybe someone should suggest?

Anyways, thanks for Posting, I gonna support him.

Cheers,
Linho

Brad Bordessa
01-15-2014, 02:45 PM
It's gonna be siiiiiick!!! Can't wait for my copy to come.

mds725
01-15-2014, 06:10 PM
I signed up! I felt like I kinda had to, given how much I resembled him when I was in my early 20s.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=63011&d=1389848916

ukuloonie
01-16-2014, 05:59 AM
I wonder if he will do some singing this time
thanks for supporting James every bit helps.

His Sinfulness
01-16-2014, 10:16 AM
I recently got to sit about 6 feet from James and his wife as they performed in a little uke shop in Jeonju, South Korea. He's a great entertainer and teacher, and a genuine gentleman. I'll definitely be supporting this album!
:cool:

Mxyzptik
01-16-2014, 05:18 PM
I'll be signing up and supporting James for sure, I am a huge fan. Big time talent wrapped up in a genuine guy !

Raygf
01-17-2014, 12:42 AM
Ride 'em cowboy! Enjoy the Pony Ride James. I know I'll enjoy the new recording.

cigarfan
01-17-2014, 12:59 AM
James is a stand-up guy. Glad to support him in this effort.

Leigh Coates
01-17-2014, 07:25 AM
I too am going for a Pony Ride!!

Brad Bordessa
01-17-2014, 09:09 AM
Just a little more hype:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEyX-gLitnY

It's amazing to see all the places he's played and the reviews he's getting. I know him from the Kahumoku 'Ohana Workshop where he's so unassuming, humble, and normal. But he's running it. Soon enough he'll start to get a fairer share of the glory that Jake has owned for many years.

Skrik
01-17-2014, 08:59 PM
Interesting how differently two ukulele forums view the same topic.
http://www.ukulelecosmos.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=31105

Brad Bordessa
01-18-2014, 07:39 AM
Wow. There is a lot of hate floating around on that thread (makes me appreciate UU a lot more). It's one thing to disagree with his crowd sourcing method, but to fill 3 pages with mud-slinging is really sad and out-of-control. I'm disappointed there is a corner of the 'ukulele community that would engage in such negativity. To each his own. We all have our likes and dislikes, but there is no need to bash an artist in such a blatant way. What goes around...

ukuloonie
01-18-2014, 08:23 AM
Yup all I care about is that I have seen the guy. He's genuine enough and he's been around long enough to gain the respect of many a Ukulele player. Thats why I think he needs the support anything helps really and he's Canadian so I am a little biased:D

Mxyzptik
01-18-2014, 09:16 AM
Wow. There is a lot of hate floating around on that thread (makes me appreciate UU a lot more). It's one thing to disagree with his crowd sourcing method, but to fill 3 pages with mud-slinging is really sad and out-of-control. I'm disappointed there is a corner of the 'ukulele community that would engage in such negativity. To each his own. We all have our likes and dislikes, but there is no need to bash an artist in such a blatant way. What goes around...

I signed into the other forum just to check it out. You're certainly correct, there is not a lot of Aloha spirit floating around there. Don't understand all the haters , I am more than happy to support James, not only is he a super talent and a nice guy but he gives a lot back as well.

Lori
01-18-2014, 09:34 AM
I don't visit Ukulele Cosmos anymore. I haven't for a very long time. It just wasn't active enough at that time, and it looks like the attitude is very different there.
It is not easy being a musician/ songwriter/ artist these days, and crowd funding is a good way to keep our talented ukulele people from dropping out and doing something else to pay the bills. We all gotta live, and creating an album is not without expenses. James is a great artist and teacher and he is very worthy of our support. He is probably my favorite ukulele artist...so I just signed on for the Pony Ride support. I was part of the crowd funding for his previous album, and I was very happy with the results.
–Lori

SailingUke
01-18-2014, 09:58 AM
James started me playing ukulele a few years back at a summer camp.
He taught a week long swing class, I dropped a few of the other classes so I could concentrate and practice for his class.
He spent sometime with me away from class with some private lessons as well.
He was gracious and humble. I have seen him grow as a performer over the years and with it all he has remained the same nice guy.
I had the honor to play with him on stage at the first West Coast Ukulele Retreat, it was an experience that I will never forget.
James is a wonderful ambassador for the ukulele. His love of music goes beyond ukulele. He inspires kids to play music, something many schools are dropping.
I consider myself lucky to have met and spend some time with James. I encourage all UU'rs to at least pre-order the CD, you can count on it being some great music.

jdfree
01-18-2014, 10:24 AM
After reading this thread I signed up for a Pony Ride. I love ponies and I love his music.

coolkayaker1
01-18-2014, 10:51 AM
I enjoy two of James's prior CDs and look forward to buying this CD when it drops.

Sammu
01-18-2014, 01:17 PM
Wow. There is a lot of hate floating around on that thread (makes me appreciate UU a lot more). It's one thing to disagree with his crowd sourcing method, but to fill 3 pages with mud-slinging is really sad and out-of-control. I'm disappointed there is a corner of the 'ukulele community that would engage in such negativity. To each his own. We all have our likes and dislikes, but there is no need to bash an artist in such a blatant way. What goes around...

Yes, it's pretty disappointing. I was on that forum but moved to UU today as I find that sort of negative behavior very unpleasant. Ukulele is a peace and love instrument - let's keep it that way!

Edgeguy
01-18-2014, 08:44 PM
On his press kit video he was playing with the Canote brothers, and just seeing that is going to get me signed up. Jere Canote got me hooked on ukulele's at a camp in Colorado this last summer. I have gone from a beginner uke to KoAloha - what can I say! I would love to see James in concert.

Pippin
01-18-2014, 11:57 PM
To be quite fair on the subject of "crowd-sourcing" anything, lots of efforts have been made where people attempt to raise funds for a project that never comes to fruition and often, the people who gave money do not get a refund. For some, it doesn't matter, for others it does. This is just one trend in the "music business" that I do not like. The artist is already screwed by record labels in many cases. I appreciate the talents of James, Victoria, and others who have used this method of raising money for their projects, but, the reactions of lots of folks toward this trend don't have anything to do with Aloha spirit. Jake's albums are not marketed this way. Many other artists are not marketed this way.

What happens if you pay toward a project that never gets completed? Does the artist have any money to give you a refund? What does that have to do with Aloha anything? It is a fair question. You pay money for a "pre-order" and never get the product... what then?

I give away Ukulele Player Magazine. I have never tried to make a dime on it. That was my choice from day one. I fund it. I am not asking musicians to work for free. I never did and I played professionally for years. Don't knock people who don't agree with this crowd-sourcing scheme. They have their opinion and you have yours. That's fine. This is a forum and both opinions can exist without conflict.

I agree, Cosmos is a different forum, a different mood. I have not participated there frequently because I don't have a lot of time on my hands. People on Ukulele Underground get attacked at times, too. It happened to me not long ago in a very personal attack on me and my wife.

hammer40
01-19-2014, 03:53 AM
I wish James Hill nothing but the best, but I have to say that the practice of asking others to fund your projects, that in the end, can potentially make them very wealthy, is a bit distasteful to me. Now, if I were to receive a percentage of any profits, based on my participation amount/percentage, as you would in any other financial investment, it would be a different story.

Again, I am not knocking him, or those who donate for that matter, and it could be an interesting topic to discuss. I am ignorant as to how the music industry works, but couldn't they just get a loan for the 20 grand he lists to make his album/cd? Heck, your average car note is probably more than that.

Manalishi
01-19-2014, 04:29 AM
Post Deleted in the interests of peace.....

ukuloonie
01-19-2014, 04:54 AM
Wah
I just thought I was helping a guy out, it's kinda gone sideways :uhoh::stop:

my opinion is that James has been around a while and has worked hard and is very helpful to all.
He has helped so many with the Ukulele playing and giving of his time. He's not a fly by night guy.
He has an international image to uphold. I mean if I asked for crowd sourcing help I know I wouldn't get far, but with James
I thought, I trust this guy. This isn't his first CD and many people have enjoyed his music. Thats why I thought I would share
Because it's fun and neighbourly. I'd rather be that way. :D

I just thought I was paying it forward.

JamieWG
01-19-2014, 05:28 AM
Wah
I just thought I was helping a guy out, it's kinda gone sideways :uhoh::stop:.........

Please don't feel badly for what you posted. Nobody is being forced to make a contribution. Diversity and differences of opinion are good things. I found the discussion very interesting (in both forums), even if it didn't alter my own opinion. :)

The Arts have needed to be subsidized since the beginning of time, while the ways of doing that have changed, and will continue to change. It does make me wonder where music and fine arts will be in another 100 years. Certainly fewer people are buying CDs now, and are using more of the available free options for music listening. If JH's fans want to help him out with this, great. And if not, well, that's why we have a "delete" key. :)

Peterjens
01-19-2014, 05:38 AM
I wish James Hill nothing but the best, but I have to say that the practice of asking others to fund your projects, that in the end, can potentially make them very wealthy, is a bit distasteful to me. Now, if I were to receive a percentage of any profits, based on my participation amount/percentage, as you would in any other financial investment, it would be a different story.

Again, I am not knocking him, or those who donate for that matter, and it could be an interesting topic to discuss. I am ignorant as to how the music industry works, but couldn't they just get a loan for the 20 grand he lists to make his album/cd? Heck, your average car note is probably more than that.

+1 or at least get my original "loan" back.

Pippin
01-19-2014, 06:37 AM
Don't over-react, folks. James, from what I hear, is a nice guy. The practice of asking for money in advance for a project is the real question. If James feels the need to ask for money in advance to finance the new CD, then, ask yourself this question: How many times have I downloaded music for free instead of supporting the artist by buying his or her music?

When James includes a song on a CD, unless it is an original piece or public domain, he has to pay a license fee to use it. So, in that sense, every song might be costing him money. Then, there are the recording studio costs, the cost to produce the master, the cost to produce the copies to be sold. The artist who designs the CD cover needs to make a living, too. Then, there are promotional fees and distribution. That is why getting a "label" behind you is important.

The music business is just that-- a business. You are either going to work extremely hard to gig and make the money to produce an album and then work harder to promote it in order to sell it, or you won't make anything. That is why many people make a record or CD and play for the passion of making music.

If you want to support an artist, the best way is to buy the CD and go to performances, not downloading tracks for free where you can find them-- or ripping the music from YouTube videos.

So, ask yourself, "Have I bought any CDs from performers?" and "How much music do I have on my iPod, iPad, or phone that I downloaded or acquired for free?"

I have not met James in person, so, I can't speak to his attitude and nature. I do, however, know the music business first-hand. It is a cold, hard, cut-throat business and you can't even get radio-play without paying off somebody (long story-- won't get into the way that part of the industry works). It's a ton of hard work.

Pippin
01-19-2014, 06:42 AM
Wah
I just thought I was helping a guy out, it's kinda gone sideways :uhoh::stop:

my opinion is that James has been around a while and has worked hard and is very helpful to all.
He has helped so many with the Ukulele playing and giving of his time. He's not a fly by night guy.
He has an international image to uphold. I mean if I asked for crowd sourcing help I know I wouldn't get far, but with James
I thought, I trust this guy. This isn't his first CD and many people have enjoyed his music. Thats why I thought I would share
Because it's fun and neighbourly. I'd rather be that way. :D

I just thought I was paying it forward.

That's great! If you want to support the artist that way, that's fine. I hope when the album is released it is wonderful and you thoroughly enjoy it.

Pippin
01-19-2014, 08:02 AM
I just want to add one more thought for the moment. I've been asked many times why I don't add tabs or music to Ukulele Player Magazine so that people can "learn a new song with every issue..." Well, I lose money with every issue, technically. If I licensed songs for tabs in every issue, I would put more money out-of-pocket into each issue produced and I would have to pursue lots of advertising. I don't have time to do that, I am too busy with other things. I produce the magazine for the love of music and ukulele... nothing more.

Like I said, licensing songs is all part of the music business. Producing a CD is expensive. Whether it costs 20k or not is open to a lot of debate, but, my point from the beginning is just that music really is a business. Art is a business. Unless you don't want to be a starving artist, I recommend pursuing commercial art (like illustration). I'm sure you get the idea.

Dan Uke
01-19-2014, 11:47 AM
It seems like there's too much thought like a lot of topics on UU these days. It's simple as do I want to support him upfront or not.

Pippin
01-19-2014, 12:11 PM
Read the direction of this thread and realise that it can be best to let your favourite stars do their own promotion, without your help. Crowd funding is controversial to people in the music industry because it changes the power structure for the big labels and existing small labels. By avoiding the path of getting funding from a recognised label, JH is challenging their power, and you can read the responses for yourself.
There are many weird and wonderful things started on crowd funding, some good some bad. It is just a way for small projects to get a start. Larger projects do IPOs and sell shares in a company. It is so interesting to hear musos bleat and complain about how hard things are and then watch them make up excuses why they shouldn't use legally available and viable methods to raise funds to get projects off the ground in a way that gives them a large amount of creative control.
Has anyone heard of a band called the Rolling Stones. Those naughty musos are touring Australia soon and have the audacity to pre-sell tickets at outrageous prices that will help them earn a great deal of money. You won't get a financial return on your $500 outlay, nor any royalty return on the merchandising. If you are lucky you will get a seat where you can see the top of Jagger's head every now and then. But of course they are with a big label, and that makes it different, doesn't it. Maybe someone can explain how this is any different to crowd funding a recording project?

You can't compare concert tickets to a pre-order on a CD with songs not yet recorded. James could do a tour and sell tickets to fund the new CD. If, however, he does not draw a big enough audience to finance the CD with ticket sales, what hope does he have of attracting a label like Jake did (Sony)?

James is a fine musician. Maybe he needs marketing and business management that can get him the kind of deal he deserves.

Pippin
01-19-2014, 12:15 PM
It seems like there's too much thought like a lot of topics on UU these days. It's simple as do I want to support him upfront or not.

Yes, it is. That is why it is an interesting discussion. It is interesting, though, that people my age are more inclined to object to this sort of marketing scheme, but younger people tend to have no problem with it.

didgeridoo2
01-19-2014, 12:42 PM
It's a simple request from someone who gives a ton back to the ukulele community. I think you'd be hard pressed to find someone who works harder than James to share his talents with the whole world. It's not like you don't get anything for your contribution, folks. You get to be part of it, if you choose. If you don't like his approach to it, that's cool, don't participate. But to bash the guy for marketing himself in a way that works for lots of of grass roots artists seems like a waste of energy. It's hard enough to put yourself out there as an artist, but it seems all too easy to be an armchair critic these days.

Nickie
01-19-2014, 03:22 PM
I have no problem in helping with this crowdfunding effort. I've never met James, but all I ever see and hear are good things. This will be my thrid corwdfunding gift, once to Amanda Boisen for her first album, and once to the Ukulele Orchestra of GB....both very worthy causes.
I've heard enough criticism of people asking for money to produce great music. Too often, musicians are expected to work their anatomy off, playing and singing thier hearts out for nothing or next to nothing.
I'm a socialist...not a pioitical one, but a practicing one....we all need to pay if forward when we have a chance, because who knows when we'll want to publsih or produce something great, and don't have the funds or the backing?
Enough stinginess! And kudos to the ones giving! And kudos Pippin for publishing your works for free....

Skinny Money McGee
01-20-2014, 02:00 AM
I'm not sure I understand why anyone cares what JH should or shouldn't do, or why it's anyone's business if one supports his funding program or not.

cigarfan
01-20-2014, 04:45 AM
I'm not sure I understand why anyone cares what JH should or shouldn't do, or why it's anyone business if one supports his funding program or not.

Kinda what I was thinking. There's no arm twisting going on here. I just don't see why it should make a difference to anyone else what I choose to do with my $.

Pippin
01-20-2014, 09:48 AM
Kinda what I was thinking. There's no arm twisting going on here. I just don't see why it should make a difference to anyone else what I choose to do with my $.

The point of the debate is not to tell you what you do with your money. The point is that some people don't like the business model while others do, and others don't care one way or the other.

When I was young I played in rock bands and as a studio musician. When I hit thirty-one years of age, I changed to folk and Irish music. I started playing all original material that was harder to market, but, I didn't care. I played a style of music that was a small niche, but, I had a strong following. I made two albums in the early 1990s and enjoyed a good following in the Catskills and Poconos.

My mother was a Nashville contract song-writer. I grew-up in the business. People with my background all pretty much feel the same way about gigging, building a following, and promoting albums by playing "out" or on tour. Most of the musicians who follow that formula won't get rich, but, they will make their living with a lot of hard work and paying their dues.

The long-term question is this: How long can an artist continue to barely get by and solicit funds in some crowd-sourcing scheme when they continue to get older, have less energy, and have a very small niche market. Ukulele artists are a very, very tiny slice of the royalties pie.

There is no gravy train in the ukulele world. Most artists who make their living with it play a ton of gigs... like Bliss Blood. The majority of full-time musicians play guitar and other instruments along with uke because they need a larger audience.

ukantor
01-20-2014, 01:24 PM
I have no problem with crowdfunding. As I see it, it is simply someone asking for financial help, on a promise to supply something. I can choose whether to support such a scheme, or not.

What does concern me is that James Hill seems to have sent unsolicited messages to individuals asking for contributions. Did he REALLY do this? Please correct me if I'm wrong.

If he simply started a topic on the board and asked for support from the general community, that would be OK, but to send spam requests to individuals is a whole 'nother thing.

Mxyzptik
01-20-2014, 02:23 PM
I recieved an email directly to me. I didn't consider it spam whatsoever, it was personally addressed and a heads up of an opportunity IMO. I have had several personal email exchanges with James, he has been quick to answer my questions and a great source of encouragement. He keeps me informed of when he and Anne are going to be in our neck of the woods which I appreciate. As he is a newly wed and I am going to celebrate 35 years of wedded biss this summer we have exchanged comments on the secrets of a happy marriage.

Seems to me, he is as regular a guy as can be and has done plenty of good for the Ukulele community.

I also know this from experience, whenever I do something for someone else I seem to most often recieve far more than I have given.

ukantor
01-20-2014, 08:09 PM
If, like Mxyzptik, you have previously had correspondence with JH, and are already on his mailing list - that's OK. But I got the impression that some folk got the messages out of the blue - that would be spam, spam, spam, spam, and an unwarranted intrusion, IMO.

didgeridoo2
01-21-2014, 03:37 AM
If, like Mxyzptik, you have previously had correspondence with JH, and are already on his mailing list - that's OK. But I got the impression that some folk got the messages out of the blue - that would be spam, spam, spam, spam, and an unwarranted intrusion, IMO.
How would James Hill know a random email recipient was a uke player? Obviously, he's got a list from people who have requested info from him previously. He's not google, you know.

ukantor
01-21-2014, 04:07 AM
Yeah, you're right. I must be getting paranoid!

Tube
01-21-2014, 06:19 AM
Well, I support him, just because of the feeling that I have obout him.

Skrik
01-21-2014, 11:48 PM
Methinks the mailinglist has come from subscribers to Ukulele Yes!, and in my opinion, it's a misuse of the list. But I blocked all further email, and I'm just as happy as I was before I received the email.

Aaron@Randees
01-22-2014, 09:55 AM
I supported his last album that he did. He sent a similar email. There is an entire website setup for this type of thing, Kickstarter. No different what James is doing. I've met James on several occasions. I was with him when G-String ukes delivered his Maple Signature Model, I actually got to play it before he got it :D He is a great guy, who does a lot for the ukulele. Send an email to the address on his site, James is the one who replies and he'll answer pretty much any question about the ukulele you ask.


I wish James Hill nothing but the best, but I have to say that the practice of asking others to fund your projects, that in the end, can potentially make them very wealthy, is a bit distasteful to me. Now, if I were to receive a percentage of any profits, based on my participation amount/percentage, as you would in any other financial investment, it would be a different story.

Again, I am not knocking him, or those who donate for that matter, and it could be an interesting topic to discuss. I am ignorant as to how the music industry works, but couldn't they just get a loan for the 20 grand he lists to make his album/cd? Heck, your average car note is probably more than that.

James will not be getting "very wealthy" from this campaign he is running. The hiring of a producer, hiring/paying musicians, recording of an album, the mixing of an album, the mastering of an album, getting the album artwork done, having all the packaging made, having the CD's made, marketing the album is all VERY costly. I'm willing to bet that even after everyone contributes to the project James still puts a good amount of his own money into the project. Then he has to wait for album sales to make his money back.

As far as getting a loan from the bank, unless you have enough to put up as collateral I don't see any bank issuing a loan for recording an album.

Same thing with trying to raise money for an album through touring. Tours are almost, if not as much as recording. You have travel costs, hotels, food, paying the venue for the space, paying the people at the merch booth. And after awhile the majority of people at your shows have all your albums, so you are not selling a lot at the booths.



I have no problem with crowdfunding. As I see it, it is simply someone asking for financial help, on a promise to supply something. I can choose whether to support such a scheme, or not.

What does concern me is that James Hill seems to have sent unsolicited messages to individuals asking for contributions. Did he REALLY do this? Please correct me if I'm wrong.

If he simply started a topic on the board and asked for support from the general community, that would be OK, but to send spam requests to individuals is a whole 'nother thing.

The email was sent out to his email list. So they can't be called unsolicited emails.

SailingUke
01-22-2014, 10:37 AM
Whether you believe in crowd funding or whether James is correct or not, your computer probably has a "delete" key, use it wisely.

Skrik
01-27-2014, 09:58 PM
The email was sent out to his email list. So they can't be called unsolicited emails.

The mailing list I signed up for had nothing to do with James Hill's personal musical ventures, but promised an email when Ukulele Yes! was updated. Hill is at least guilty of a breach of 'Netiquette.