WILMINGTON -- Local musician Colby Dix has spent his life involved in music, whether that be working in recording studios or assisting with equipment at live shows.
Now, he's recording "The Five," a 10-song album to be released sometime in August in its full physical form.
"I've been writing music for a long time," said Dix. "But it's kind of like the carpenter whose house is never done. I haven't spent that much time on my own music. It's always been something in the back of my mind. Whether it's fear, I'm not sure. I never dove in and recorded myself professionally."
In March, Mount Snow sent its employees a memo telling them that if they worked or volunteered at Haystack or the Hermitage Club, their jobs at Mount Snow would be terminated. Dix wrote an opinion to "make the point from an economic development perspective." He expressed that this would make more people leave the Deerfield Valley.
After being told he was no longer allowed to play at any venues associated with the resort, Dix decided that the best way to move forward would be tackling the project of recording his own solo album.
Originally when he was notified, Dix told the Reformer that being blacklisted would mean a pretty big cut for his income. He began looking for gigs outside the Deerfield Valley.
"Instead of going out for a 9-to-5, I decided to invest in myself and double down on things I've been doing," said Dix.
To properly fund the record, he began a Kickstarter campaign. The website allows artists and entrepreneurs to use social networking media to promote their projects. Those interested in pledging money to particular projects can do so through the site.
Dix has established various incentives for different pledge amounts that range anywhere from $5 to $1,000.
"If I was to do it out of pocket, (the recording) would be more stripped down and raw," he said. "It takes a lot of money and time."
In the beginning of the Kickstarter campaign, Dix wanted to record a short five-song album. Then he received more funding than expected and bumped it up to a full album.
A main goal of his is to utilize local artists and businesses for the project. Local artist Jesse Morgan was given complete creative control for the album artwork. Dan Gulloti, who owns Madlab Designs, will assist with some graphic design work.
Dix is currently recording in the Wilmington recording studio Northern Track with co-producer Gary Henry, who owns the studio in which Dix is a partner. Before recording each morning, the two men have a cup of coffee and talk for about an hour.
"It helps me to get into a head space that's creative," said Dix. "We tend to feed off each other."
On June 26, Dix had five songs fully tracked, meaning the instruments and vocals were recorded. All those songs were in various stages of editing and mixing.
For the album, his songs were written mostly in the past two to three years but some can be dated back to 15 years ago.
"The solo material tends towards the indie singer/songwriter (genre)," Dix said. "This is kind of drive around in the rain music."
On July 18, he will be playing at the Valley View Saloon in Dover for a record pre-release show, which his brother Trask Dix will be in town for. Trask used to play drums with Colby in a band called Mister Dix. When Trask moved to Atlanta, Colby began playing in a band called Dix Jr.
"The Five" won't be released then, but the Mister Dix reunion is to play a part in promoting the album.
"I wanted to make sure to get him involved and have him in such a way that he's part of the incentives," said Dix. "The reunion is something that a lot of people are excited about."
Dix said that since being blacklisted at Mount Snow venues, he's been booked for more live shows.
"I've been busier than ever as far as this year goes," he said. "I got five shows this week. That's a lot for a local guy."
Dix doubts that he'll be allowed to play at Mount Snow venues under its present ownership.
"They made it really clear that this is a no comment issue and they're not willing to discuss it further," he said. "There's been an outpouring of support from local businesses, Mount Snow employees and everywhere around the valley. It was overwhelming. There were a lot of thank you's for saying what I did regardless of the final outcome."
The best way to contribute to Dix's Kickstarter campaign is to Google his name followed by the word "Kickstarter." The last day to make a pledge is June 29.
As of June 26, there had been 64 backers with $4,960 pledged of the $2,000 goal.
"I have no desire to have a vendetta or to be a whistle blower," said Dix. "My desire is to move on as positively as possible and this is what the project is about."
Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.