Much has been written in recent years about the state of the record industry and the dire warnings of impending doom brought about by streaming and illegal downloads. But where there is a problem, a solution also presents itself and many bands have turned to crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and PledgeMusic to fund their next projects. Through the offering of backer rewards, as well as promises of regular insider updates for subscribers, artists can ensure their projects have enough extras to make downloading or purchasing physical media versus streaming is worthwhile. But with so many artists jumping on the crowdfunding ship, how to find the best ones? That’s where I come in. Each week I will browse the popular crowdfunding hubs to find the most notable new projects and bring them to you here. Think your band’s project deserves a feature? Shoot me an e-mail with a link to your project and a way to hear your music and I will select my favorites each week for inclusion. This week’s batch is an international affair, with two artists from the UK and Ireland, and an American artists with significant UK roots.
Credit to my good friend and fellow No Depression contributor Amos Perrine for the tip on this Irish folk act. Amos has seen them at a few roots music festivals and was impressed enough with their work to pass their new campaign along. I Draw Slow is a five piece acoustic folk group who, while still funding and releasing their three albums independently, have gained enough fans to find themselves regularly billed on American festival lineups. Now I Draw Slow is looking to fund album #4, Turn Your Face to the Sun. Backer rewards include a variety of signed posters, a chance to tour Dublin with the band, and a signed lyric sheet.
On its surface, Bernie Torme might seem an odd choice for a column about roots music campaigns. This is, after all, the guitarist who is best known for his work in the hard rock realm with acts like Gillan, Ozzy Osbourne, and Desperado with Dee Snider. But Torme’s recent works have melded his hard rock roots with a love of psychedelic and blues rock and he plans to up the ante even further with his new triple-album Dublin Cowboy. The triple album will consist of a harder edged electric album, a live album, and the part of most interest to a roots fan, Torme’s first acoustic album. Backer rewards include an official “bootleg” DVD, a box set of Torme’s three Japanese album releases, and a pirate coat worn by Torme during his Gillan years.
While Amber Rubarth is not from the UK or Ireland like her fellows in this week’s column, she does have significant roots there through her work with the trio Applewood Road, who was one of the highlights of this year’s Americanafest. Now Rubarth is headed back to Nashville to work with producer Matt Andrews on her new solo project Wildflowers in the Graveyard. Written around a theme of renewal, Rubarth plans to record these songs straight to tape. 10% of the money Rubarth raises for her project will go to the charity Zulufadder, which works with vulnerable children in South Africa. Backer rewards include a signed collector’s edition CD, a quarter inch tape reel from the session, and a chance to cameo in one of Rubarth’s music videos.