New arrival: North Maple Road unboxed

This was the moment I had been waiting for: a childhood dream fulfilled. After two years of steady but intermittent progress in the studio, this week I finally had the tangible evidence of my hard work in my hands. This was indeed a very exciting day for all of us in the Reiman household.

My daughter and I arrived home from her doctor's appointment to find seven boxes of North Maple Road CDs on my front porch. Thanks to her and my son, I managed to get this moment captured on video (edited down to just two minutes). As parents, we spend so much of our time videoing them and capturing their life's milestones, it was nice to have the roles reversed for a change. And they did an excellent job!

North Maple Road, George Stilabower, Leicester, Kurt Reiman

Fewer and fewer people actually own CD players. (A friend thought there might be more demand these days for vinyl...noted!). But in this day and age of streaming services and digital downloads, I believe there's still room for artists to create albums - complete with liner notes, photographs, acknowledgements and artwork. As a kid I would pore over racks of CDs, and I distinctly recall the excitement of tearing open the album packaging to reveal the contents. Those oblong rectangular boxes which eventually gave way to jewel boxes with tamper-resistant tape contained music that I had never heard before and that weren't preselected for me by an algorithm. It was something I would buy on hope and faith. Some ended up in yard sales, but many contained songs that would become forever etched in my mind. These soon-to-be artifacts were such an important part of my musical journey that I never thought twice about making a physical CD.

North Maple Road, Kurt Reiman, Cooperstown, George Stilabower

Making this CD was a labor of love, but it wasn't easy. Finding a competent and capable "replicator" (or manufacturer), selecting the album cover art, finding the right photos and scenes, sitting through a full-day photoshoot, writing the acknowledgements, agreeing on the colors (not easy for someone who's color blind), picking the best design template, deciding between a digipak or a jewel box (I went with the digipak, see the photo on the right), folder or brochure on the inside. There were so many decisions and choices, but opening the package this week made it all worthwhile.

I am deeply grateful to George Stilabower for his successful execution of this album design. It's elegant, and it ties in beautifully with the music. I look forward to taking everything we learned on this first album and applying it to the second.

I also want to acknowledge Bryan and Ginger at Groove House Records for delivering a flawless finished product. Your high standards and responsiveness made the final step in this journey a real pleasure.

#NorthMapleRoad #GeorgeStilabower #Albumcover

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