Crowd Funding Campaigns of the Week: John Doe, Linda Perhacs, The Lumineers
Crowdfunding has fundamentally changed the way that musicians deliver content to their fans. Sites like Kickstarter and PledgeMusic offer artists a chance to skip labels completely and solicit the Album fund needed to make new albums and tour behind them directly from their fanbase. But the problem with these sites is, until you’ve backed a few projects and start getting recommendation e-mails, the only way to know about a great roots music campaign is to already be connected in with that artist’s social media feed. I’m here to help. Every week, I will select three notable roots music Album Fund campaigns to feature here on No Depression. This week, we have a mixed back from an acid folk pioneer, a punk rocker with a rootsy streak, and one of Americana’s biggest hit makers.
It’s hard to be a fan of modern Americana music and not know who The Lumineers are. Their 2012 self-titled debut album on Dualtone Records rose to #2 on the Billboard 200 on the strength of their massive radio hit single “Ho Hey.” After four years, The Lumineers are back with Cleopatra and are offering the album for pre-order on PledgeMusic. The Lumineers have experience with crowdfunding, using the same site to raise album fund to continue touring after their van was burglarized and their instruments stolen. In addition to the digital and cd copies of the album, fans can donate extra to get t-shirts and vinyl pressings.
While punk rock and country music might sound like two things that don’t mix, punk and alt-country have always enjoyed a strong anti-establishment kinship and a number of high profile Americana artists came from a punk rock background. As a member of foundational Los Angeles punk outfit X, John Doe helped write the book on that genre. As a solo artist, Doe has gravitated more toward the folksier side of things. His new album, The Westerner, is described as “psychedelic soul from the Arizona desert.” In addition to the album, fans can donate to get signed copies of John Doe’s book Under the Big Black Sun, vinyl test pressings, and custom handmade guitar straps. 5% of all funds raised by Doe’s PledgeMusic campaign will go to Native American advocacy foundation Honor the Treaties.
Linda Perhacs is one of those “lost and found” stories that pops up from time to time in music. Her 1970 debut album Parallelograms, was released to little fanfare and Perhacs looked to be yet another unheralded artist. But in the mid-’00s, her music started to resurface on the internet as she was cited by a new generation of young artists as an influence. After releasing her second album, The Sound of All Natural Things in 2014 on Asthmatic Kitty Records, Perhacs decided to go straight to the fans for her upcoming third album by launching a Kickstarter campaign. Perhacs has already lined up Wilco’s Pat Sansone as a co-producer and guest performers including Julia Holter and Chris Price. Rewards include signed lyric sheets, a Skype chat with Perhacs, and even an autographed guitar for fans willing to fork out a $1000 pledge.
Are you a roots music artist who would like to see your crowdfunding campaign featured here? Send me an e-mail with a link. I’ll choose three favorites each week to profile.