From Rick Bass: For Lack of Better Phrasing, Thank You

It’s hard to make the language of gratitude be anything near the language
of poetry. The phrase Thank you, uttered both too-often and not-enough, is
phonetically graceless, a murmured white noise compared to what we feel
about the community that has come together to support the Road to the Ryman
album and video trailer, and our first solid steps toward that great
auditorium. We set out on the initial leg of what will be a long journey:
performed in Missoula, then crammed into the van and went on to Portland on
faith, eating lots of kale and drinking no small amounts of kombucha and
staying with friends and friends-of-friends, and booked three studio days
at Type Foundry, where, in a long swirl of intensity, we got the sound we
The debt-clock, meanwhile, was ticking, and the five of us would have been
in a world of hurt had we not received your support. We leapt, and y’all
caught us.
Now we will mix and otherwise engineer the album, possibly as soon as
June, and place the order for the printing of the CDs, which should be
available by September. We can’t wait for you to hear them.
We’ll also hope to put together a film trailer to go with our CD, and use
it to try to find sponsorship for a full performance at the Ryman in
Nashville. We’ll continue filming the documentary, and pursuing unusual
gigs. No dream is too large or small for us.
All this is business-talk, and surface stuff. What we’re not communicating
yet is what it felt like at every step of the way: the first pledges coming
in, the thing made real, and then, with the clock ticking, a fear beginning
to rise, What if people don’t believe in this project the way we do, what
if they think it’s nuts, or dumb, or lame? What if they don’t see or can’t
hear the beauty—the effervescence of spirit—that wreathes this project?
Each of you traveled with us on all of those days, and it was so amazing,
after so much worry, to first feel hope, and then the thing beyond hope—to
see this made-up community accepting largely on faith the vision of this
collaboration. It was a singular and singularly intense experience. As with
the privilege of reading and playing and listening to the scored stories
themselves, there’s nothing quite like it–to see each day’s new
supporters, particularly in these hard times: more and more supporters
coming through the gate to help put this thing in the world.
Congratulations, and—for lack of better phrasing—thank you. We will never
forget this support.
And a postscript: To thank anyone specifically would be to leave out the
fabric of the whole, but it should be pointed out that Patrick Cook and
Caitlin Hoffmeister not only dreamed up but then daily executed the
Kickstarter campaign, keeping it current and shooting video and posting
notices. The campaign moved slowly at first and some of us had a bit of
that aforementioned worry. Don’t worry, Caitlin and Patrick said, this is a
great project, people will want to support you. They were right. How did
they know?
We can’t wait for you to hear the album. We’ll keep you updated on its
progress. And it might seem cheeky to ask for more, after having been
delivered so much, but given the magnitude and vitality of this
Road-to-the-Ryman community—which is in some ways new and in other ways
very old; in some ways quasi-formal now, and in other ways totally ad hoc
and improvisational—we would love for y’all to keep sending us ideas and
connections about how to get where we’re going. The journey to Nashville
will be long and winding and sometimes we will go north to reach the south,
west to reach the east. It’s exhilarating. Know of our gratitude. Part of
it is the joy and relief to realize that you believe the same dream we do.

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