We've recorded a lovely version of In The Bleak Bleak Midwinter to say thank you to all our Pledgers. If ya wanna Pledge or indeed get the song, join us here please...thank you!!
AFTER a career which has involved touring the world with the likes of Elton John, Santana, Joe Cocker and Celine Dion, you might be forgiven for taking your foot off the pedal.
But when Steve Balsamo and his fellow members of The Storys decided to call it a day, it meant other opportunities arose.
After all, you don't get through a career which started on the West End stage as Jesus Christ Superstar, no less, without a modicum of talent, or without making a few contacts along the way.
And despite spending a lot of that time living out of a suitcase, Steve is still calling on the help of friends from back home as he embarks on his latest project — which he also hopes will be able to help a Swansea-based charity.
After first meeting fellow musician Rosalie Deighton in a London recording studio 10 years ago, the pair, who bonded over a love of 1970s singer- songwriters, country music and cake, are now finishing their debut album, and are employing a new method of interacting with fans, which also allows them to fund the work.
Father-of-two Steve said: "Having started the album with John Reynolds, who has worked with Sinead O'Connor and U2, we've been finishing it with Tim Hamill at Sonic One Studios in Llanelli where we recorded The Storys' third album, Luck.
"Tim is an old friend, consummate musician and as good a producer as anyone I've met over the years.
"It's great to have recorded our debut Balsamo Deighton album with him on board, and mostly in Wales. We've also been writing songs with Andy Collins, who was also in The Storys.
"Our album will be called Unfolding, after one of my favourite songs we've written for the project.
"Initially we plan to release the album on our own label Ghost Horse Records, hence the pledge music campaign, but are also in talks with bigger record labels to release the album in other countries, so we're keeping our fingers crossed!"
Pledge is a new way for fans of an artist to interact and get special exclusive items.
As well as pledging contributions for the album upfront, ahead of its release next spring, fans can get special house performances, limited edition artwork, special T-shirts and other merchandise — Rosalie's father will even make a personalised handmade guitar.
Steve said: "It's a long process, from writing, recording, gigging, presenting our music to radio for consideration but both Rosalie and I love it.
"We've both been making music in various guises for 20 years now and never before has there been so much opportunity to take matters into the artists own hands.
"It's a very exciting time to be involved in music and new ways to get your music released, such as synched in TV shows and film, mean that artist don't really need the old model of record companies. In fact the most record labels are incorporating these new revenue streams into their new deal structures."
Once the project has reached their pledge goal, the pair, who are both patrons of Harry's Fund, plan to donate a proportion to the charity.
It was set-up in memory of Swansea Valley youngster Harry Patterson, who was just five when he died following a freak accident outside his family home in Alltwen, after being struck by his parents' car as it rolled down their driveway.
It is not the first time the pair have helped the charity, of which they are patrons.
Last year the pair recorded a version of the Jackson Browne song, Sky Blue And Black, which had its first public airing at Pontardawe Arts Centre for a fundraiser for the charity, which aims to help other families who have been through similar, tragic experiences.
It also financed the creation of a park for children in the village of Alltwen, Harry's Park, which opened one year ago today.
Steve said: "I've known Harry's parents Michelle and Christian for many years, and I admire the way they've come through what they have.
"The song released helped in its own little way to fund the beautiful park in Alltwen, and ten per cent of the money raised from our pledge campaign will go to Harry's Fund."
To find out more about the Balsamo/Deighton pledge campaign, visit: www.pledgemusic.com/ projects/balsamodeighton Or for more information about the pair's music, visit: www.balsamodeighton.com
Nino Williams / firstname.lastname@example.org