For several years Joel Chadd began putting more and more focus on his own music, all while crafting acoustic guitars at Breedlove & Bedell Guitars in Bend and Peterson Thompson Guitars in Sisters. With that behind him, Chadd is fully committed to creating music and is able to put all his passion toward wherever his creativity takes him.
"Without sounding cliché, it was a leap of faith for sure. Not a leap that I hadn't been thinking about for years though," explains Chadd. "My drive toward learning the art of building acoustic guitars was from my love of music and my desire to be involved with music as a 'career' in some way. Now, I'm doing exactly that, and a few other things as well to stay afloat. It's been a real learning process and certainly challenging, but I wouldn't trade it for anything and I couldn't be more excited about what's in front of me."
Chadd is busy promoting a new Kickstarter campaign for his upcoming debut album, "Ghost of You." The campaign has a deadline of 35 days and a goal of $15,000—when this story is published there will be 29 days left. As of writing, Chadd has received a total of $4,622 in donations from supporters, after three days of the campaign going live. If he reaches the goal, Chadd says he will be able to pay all of the talented people who helped make the project possible.
"Central Oregon is my home, it's where these songs were born and brought into existence. To know that my community believes in what I'm trying to do and the music and art that I'm putting out there, gives me a lot of hope and really is so encouraging," he says.
“When I write music, it is a way for me to draw closer to the moment, it’s a way to connect with the ones I’ve lost and to reach a deeper understanding of what I’m experiencing in that time.”—Joel Chaddtweet this
"Ghost of You" will be released through Dutch Records, a Portland-based record label whose most recent releases include the likes of Kuinka, Ezra Bell, Fox and Bones, Pat Hull and more. Chadd recorded the album at Parkway Studios in Bend, working with Scott Oliphant (The Color Study) to bring these songs to life over a weekend-long session with an accompanying band of local and regional musicians.
Chadd describes the material on "Ghost of You" as a collection of "ballad-like folk songs" that will "shine a light on love." The record is a very personal piece of art to Chadd, as he takes on the premise of finding love, the passing of his mother and more.
"It has been an unbelievably challenging few years, mixed in with real beauty; real life, I guess. Writing for me has always been my way of processing and understanding my life, it's healing for me," says Chadd. "When I write music, it is a way for me to draw closer to the moment, it's a way to connect with the ones I've lost and to reach a deeper understanding of what I'm experiencing in that time. Whether that be grief and anger, love and hope or pain and sadness, we all go through it and writing music is my way of getting through it."
With the lack of touring and playing opportunities due to the pandemic, platforms like Kickstarter and Patreon have been a big help to musicians trying to earn a living. They also offer a way for artists to connect more with their biggest fans and the community around them, such as offering rewards for those who donate at a certain tier. Chadd's campaign has a variety of rewards, including art prints, signed copies of the CD, a poster, a private live-streamed concert and more.
If the goal can't be reached, he says production on most things other than the digital album will be slowed. But it won't stop Chadd from moving forward.
"We live in a day and age where music is so accessible it's considered 'free,' but it is far from free to produce and engineer in a professional way. I'm hopeful though, that we will meet the goal and we will be able to give everyone that's been involved a decent and fair working wage, without undervaluing their trade and craft," adds Chadd. Chadd's album is available on Kickstarter.com by searching "Joel Chadd."