In 2010, Jared Mahone set out on a creative experiment to write, record and release one song every week for an entire year. That’s right, an entire year. He posted an online journal and videos to capture the songwriting process and give an inside look into each original tune. Hundreds of fans tuned in every week to comment on the newest release. The creative experiment was called The Mixtape Project.
In 2011, Mahone took his new set list to the road, touring at more than 100 college campuses across the nation. During the summer months, he headlined at some of Columbus’ biggest festivals, including Red White and Boom! and the Columbus Arts Festival. The Jared Mahone Band was nominated for “Best Local Band” by (614) Magazine in 2011, and received the third place honors by voters. He also kept in touch with his Mixtape Project followers, and gave them the privilege of selecting their favorite songs from the project that would become his full-length album.
Instead of seeking the support of a music label to fund the album, Mahone turned to his loyal fan base and launched a successful Kickstarter campaign. In just a few weeks more than 100 followers pledged $12,000 to support the making of the Mixtape record.
With a listener-influenced song list and the financial backing of his crowd, Mahone and his six-piece band sought out Columbus’ best musicians, recording engineers and producers to create an all-local project. Jerry DePizzo, saxophonist for O.A.R., served as the producer, and the album was scheduled to be mixed by Grammy-winner Mike Landolt and mastered by Brian Lucey, who recently worked with The Black Keys. The recording sessions began in the summer of 2011 and were engineered by Freddy Blitzer at 1305 in Grandview.
In 2012, the album was taking shape as a handful of Columbus musicians joined Mahone and his band to bring the songs to a new level. Columbus guitar legend, Kevin Oliver, a member of the HooDoo Soul Band who played and recorded with George Clinton, made a guest appearance on many of the songs. Jonathan Elliot of The Floorwalkers joined in as a background vocalist, and percussionist Aaron Bishara of The Wet Darlings and keyboardist Kevin Sweeney added new sounds to Mahone’s originals.
While Mahone continued to tour the country, the album was being mixed and mastered. To keep in touch with his hometown, Mahone and his band set up a weekly residency at the Scarlet and Grey Cafe on Monday nights. These intimate shows are the best way to get to know the journey that the Jared Mahone band has been on for the past three years. Playing all of the crowd favorites from the new album, the six-piece continues to play weekly as the album is making its way to completion.
The release date for Jared Mahone’s full-length album entitled “Mixtape” is scheduled for Tuesday, October 23. Mahone’s band is slated to perform with O.A.R. at Miami University the following Friday the 27th. The CD release party will take place at King Avenue Live in Grandview, Ohio on Saturday, Nov. 17.