So why not go direct and eliminate Kickstarter as a middleman, which takes away 5% of the amount the artist raises? The answer to this lies in the idea of legitimacy. By using Kickstarter as a middleman, the Tree Ring band is able to assure the donors that once they make a donation, it will be used for its intended purpose, which is funding the project. This also beats going to banks for funding, as this will result in heavy interest.
After being released, the Generous Shadows garnered the Best Americana Album at the San Diego music awards of 2011.
In 2012 the Tree Ring band performed a program with an American theme at the San Diego Museum of Art in collaboration with Art of Elan co-directors Demarre McGill and Kate Hatmaker. The event, which was Art of Elan’s fifth season finale, featured the world premiere of Americana by Jonathan Bailey Holland, which was performed by The Tree Ring Band alongside Demarre McGill, Kate Hatmaker, cellist Alexander Greenbaum, and violists Travis Maril.
After receiving a year-long grant from the Creative Catalyst Fund of San Diego designed to finance artists currently doing their work in San Diego, with a focus on the emerging level as a way of enhancing the career levels of selected artists, The Tree Ring started working on Brushbloom, their next album. The Tree Ring band also works with Camarada, which focuses on presenting chamber and classical music in engaging and new venues. In 2012 the Tree Ring band released its album Brushbloom, which later garnered the Best Americana Album Award during the San Diego Music Awards of October 2013.
The Americana band’s farewell performance was hosted at the Irenic on September 17, 2014, where the Tree Ring band debuted another album, 10 rivers.
By 2016, Joel P. West was residing in LA and scoring in films such as Grandma by Lily Tomlin, Jimmy, Janey Makes a Play, and The Glass Castle, starring Woody Harrelson, Brie Larson, and Naomi Watts.
Most recently, Joel P. West created the Just Mercy score, featuring a gospel choir and a hip hop jazz combination alongside orchestral strings. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival of 2019 and was subsequently released in theaters at the beginning of 2020. John P. West also released False Klamath and Smaller in 2019, both of which were self-produced.
Just Mercy was the outcome of a long collaboration with music editor Del Spiva, picture editor Nat Sanders, Destin Cretton, and a fantastic post-production crew. The project began with a deep dive into Brian Stevenson’s musical world, a man who himself is a musician and has always leaned towards soul music, jazz, and gospel as fuel for his movement and work. The ugly truths that Bryan Stevenson is working to make right are hard to stomach and overwhelming. They were ultimately trying to create score music that might restore the beauty, dignity, and hope that Bryan Stevenson brings to people who are stuck in such shadows.