Op-Ed: San Francisco singer reaches out to fans for help to fund CD Special

Posted Jun 24, 2015 by Jonathan Farrell
Even with years of experience performing and an appearance on TV, San Francisco Bay Area-based singer/entertainer Tim Hockenberry is utilizing the latest in 21st-century media to help him produce his latest CD.
Tim Hockenberry is working on a new CD and using crowd-funding to help finance its production.
Tim Hockenberry is working on a new CD and using crowd-funding to help finance its production.
Amy Tolbert
While known locally in and around the San Francisco Bay Area, Hockenberry took his talent to the masses by appearing on the "America's Got Talent" TV show. According to his current manager Natasha Miller of Entire Productions, the exposure on network television was worth the effort. "Tim enjoyed a lot of great attention during the show, and after, she said. He gained a huge fanbase all over the world. It’s definitely bolstered his private event bookings, but he didn’t release a new CD, nor did he have management during that crucial time after, so he wasn’t able to capitalize on the success of the show. He’s still grinding away playing many venues."
A man who has paid his dues as they say, Hockenberry is seldom at a loss for activity. If he is not performing, then he is writing songs or helping other musicians and entertainers as a session accompanist. Eager to get a current CD out there, Miller encouraged him to make use of social media and crowd-funding through Kickstarter. Although Hockenberry has posted to YouTube, she like several others in Hockenberry's circle understand his way of doing things, which is really more about the music and entertaining rather than promoting himself.
Miller is pleased with the fundraising effort through crowd-funding as she said, "Tim's fans have been very enthusiastic. They’ve been extremely generous with the Kickstarter campaign leading up to his newest release." Hockenberry noted that he is very pleased with the help he has gotten from his manager and her brother Justin Miller, who is producing Hockenberry's CD. "We’re almost done recording all 10 tracks on this CD, he said. And, we are about ready to send it to be mixed, then mastered. We have artwork and liner notes to work on next, then CD duplication. But unlike the other CDs I’ve released before, it won’t stop there."
Once it is completed, Hockenberry wants to send the CD out to as many places were his music can get air time and be heard by audiences. It will take some work. But as this reporter has observed about Hockenberry (especially when I first met him, performing at the Rrazz Room at Hotel Nikko in San Francisco almost a decade ago, he is no stranger to hard work.
"Tim is always writing songs," said Natasha Miller. "If he is not recording demos, he is writing with other people and that includes songs for commercials and movies." And, as she noted, "Tim is always working on a new production for his live shows."
This is why funding will help Hockenberry out immensely. Yet as Miller explained, Kickstarter has limitations. There is a time window and it is going fast. "If we don't get to the entire $25,000, we don't get a cent of what's been (pledged to donation so far) and (no one is charged until the campaign ends). We have until this Friday at noon and we're almost there," she said.
This is why she and Hockenberry reached out to this reporter, hoping to get the word out father that a gifted musician, singer and performer needs some help from fans. Hockenberry isn't the only singer/entertainer utilizing crowd-funding. Over the past few years, crowd-funding has become a way for emerging singers/performers to raise funds for their creative projects.
Fellow-SF Bay Area entertainers like Kathy Holly, Linda Kosut and others know all too well how expensive and time-consuming producing a live show can be. And, similar to writers like Joseph Sutton and other artists, like comedian Paco Romane in other forms of artistry, like stand up comedy, getting some funds together is part of the struggle. Crowd-funding these days in a way, goes together with any self-publishing, producing or promoting efforts.
Even with his remarkable talents, Hockenberry admits his life has not been without flaws and tribulations. Life on the road and running from gig to gig takes it toll on a person, no matter how gifted. He expressed that when he appeared on America's Got Talent back in 2012.
He considers himself blessed as his personal and family life has blossomed even when he thought such a life was not possible for him at this point in his career. His voice has been compared to that of legendary stars like Joe Cocker and Bruce Springsteen. Yet to see him on stage perform, like this reporter has, that comparison melts away. Hockenberry is original and unique and he has a charisma and charm on stage that keeps his audiences coming back again and again.
Like many performers where music is a life-force within, Hockenberry loves to write songs and perform. "This record is really important to me, he said, because I wrote all of the songs on it, except for one written by my son, Maxx, and another I wrote with my youngest son, Jack."
I’ve spent my life making music, and people have been very supportive, said Hockenberry. People often ask me how they can help make me famous. Well, he said, now is your chance."
To contribute to Tim Hockenberry's CD visit his Kickstarter page. And to learn more about him and his talents visit his web page.