Jacob Furr dealt with his tragic loss the only way he knew how. In August, his wife of three years, Christina Mosley Furr, died of cancer after a shockingly brief battle. To maintain his sanity, the Fort Worth singer-songwriter said, he began writing songs. But not at home or in a studio. No, Furr packed up his necessities and his guitar and hit the road, crossing 10 states (including Colorado, Utah, Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Wyoming) and covering more than 5,000 miles.
“I left immediately after Christina’s memorial service at the beginning of September,” he said. “After so much stress I just needed to be alone and quiet for a little while. I’ve always loved driving or, as my dad called it, ‘windshield therapy.’ Driving just lets me calm my mind and focus.”
Living off savings and staying with friends and extended family members along the way, Furr penned a handful of new tunes; since his recent return, he has written a few more. “Songwriting has helped me in ways I can’t begin to understand,” he said. “All I know is that when I am writing or performing the songs now, I feel close to her.”
His plan now is to commit his new tunes to history, and to help him record and release them, he has started a crowd-funding campaign. Among other things, his $10,000 goal will cover studio fees (four days at Eagle Audio Recording Studio) and production costs. As of this writing –– only three days after his campaign, Trails & Traces, began –– he has amassed nearly $3,000. The last day to contribute is Tuesday, Feb. 4.
“I have been home-recording my albums and EPs for a few years now, but I believe that this collection of songs is incredibly special and deserves the best production I can give it,” he writes on his campaign’s homepage.
Donations can be made in amounts as small as $5 (which includes a copy of the album, also titled Trails & Traces) or as large as $100 (which includes a house show anywhere in Texas), $250 (which includes the house show and a studio visit), or $1,000 (which includes everything plus executive producer credit).
“I am asking for your help because I don’t believe that art is created in a vacuum,” he writes. “It is made in the context of a community and is formed by the sharing of experiences. Therefore, the expression of loss does not just come from artists like myself. Loss is a universal experience and we need to be able to be honest about how it feels and how it changes us. Music gives us a way to share that. I want to share these songs and this experience with you.”
Furr said that even if he doesn’t reach his goal, he still will go forward with the album. “If we don’t make the full $10,000, we still keep whatever we make,” he said. “I’m anticipating making the full amount, but if we don’t, yes, I’ll just find another way to get it made.”
Christina, he said, is still his inspiration. “I’m taking one of the biggest leaps of faith in my life asking for your help to fund this album, but [Christina’s] love taught me to not fear the call of my dreams and to trust the love of friends and family,” Furr writes. “She gave me the courage to pursue the music that had been calling my whole life. … I don’t know that it will be anything more than a shared time of grieving, celebration of love, and holding of hope. But I think to make this record for those reasons would be enough.”
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