Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Pledge Music have fundamentally changed the way that musicians interact with and deliver content to fans, bypassing the traditional label and marketing system and appealing to their audiences directly, usually offering additional merchandise as an incentive for bigger pledges. But the downside to these sites is that, unless you’re already connected to the artist, it’s difficult to dig through the pile and find bands you want to support. That’s where I come in. Every week, I will bring you three great roots-oriented crowdfunding campaigns that you might want to consider supporting. This week, we have a diverse group, spanning the globe from Scandinavia to Nashville.
My friend and fellow No Depression contributor Amos Perrine first turned me on Swedish/Icelandic duo My Bubba when they performed at the 2015 Americana Music Festival. Their gentle harmonies and delicate to the point of being fragile instrumental backing is a hauntingly refreshing take on traditional Americana. My Bubba will release their Shahzad Ismaily-produced new album Big Bad Good on April 15th and are pre-selling it through Pledge Music. In addition to the album, fans of My Bubba can pledge more and receive additional incentives like vinyl bags with lyrics printed on them, a Skype concert, and the not surprisingly unclaimed “My Bubba Bacteria”, the description of which promises “My & Bubba bacteria samples during the Big Bad Good recordings.”
For over a decade now, BJ Barham has been the primary songwriter, vocalist, and driving force behind the North Carolina-based roots rock act American Aquarium. During that time, he has occasionally broken off for small solo tours, but has never released an album under his own name. Now Barham is ready to change that with Rockingham and has taken to Pledge Music for funding. The campaign, which started in December, already has more than 100% funding, but there’s still plenty of time for American Aquarium fans to support Barham’s solo work and snag some incentives such as vinyl pressings of Rockingham, their names in the liner notes, and even dinner with BJ Barham.
It takes a lot of money to fit 12 people into a studio to record an album, not to mention an extra large van to get them out on tour, so it’s no surprise that Nashville’s Kansas Bible Company has taken to Pledge Music for help with the cost of their new album Paper Moon. A favorite on the Nashville club scene, this collective of psychedelic rockers with a full horn section got a boost in 2014 when they won the Road to Bonnaroo competition and got to perform at the festival. They worked with producer Skylar Wilson on Paper Moon. Pledge incentives include vinyl test pressings of Paper Moon, a house concert (assuming your house will fit twelve with instruments), and a disposable camera signed by the band and filled with behind the scenes pictures from rehearsals or the road.