Crowdfunding Campaigns of the Week: Austin City Limits, Duck Holmes, Holly Palmer
The internet has been a game changer for how music is produced, marketed, and distributed. From the streaming revolution to the constant battle against piracy, there are plenty of pitfalls in the digital age. But there are also opportunities. Crowdfunding sites like PledgeMusic and Kickstarter have allowed independent artists to skip the traditional label system and put the production of their new work into the hands of their fans. But with so many crowdfunding campaigns running, how do you know about the best new ones? That’s where I come in. Each week, I will bring you three roots-oriented crowdfunding projects that might be of interest to you. Got a band with a crowdfunding project you’d like to see featured? Send me an e-mail with a link to your project and a way to hear your music and I’ll pick my favorites each week to feature here.
Depending on which song you’ve heard, you may or may not think singer-songwriter Holly Palmer is a good fit for a roots-oriented crowdfunding column. This is, after all, the vocalist who made her fame backing up the likes of David Bowie and Gnarls Barkley. But she’s also done some rootsy acoustic work and collaborated on jazz numbers with Michael Buble and Idina Menzel. Whatever genre she feels like dabbling in, this new album is Palmer’s first in 9 years and she’s offering it and some extra goodies via PledgeMusic. Backers at various levels can get rewards like signed copies of all three of Palmer’s albums, a chance to visit Palmer in the studio, and a personalized guitar with the lyrics of your favorite Holly Palmer song written on it.
If you’ve ever taken a vacation down the Mississippi Blues Trail, there’s a good chance you’ve stopped in Jimmy “Duck” Holmes’ establishment, Blue Front Cafe, in Bentonia. You may also know Holmes for his traditional electric Delta blues albums. Now Holmes is starting his own record label, appropriately titled Blue Front Records, and making his new album It Is What It Is its first release. Backers can get unique rewards such as a signed postcard from Holmes, a Blue Front Cafe screen print, and even a private lesson with Holmes at the Blue Front Cafe to learn the tuning and style secrets to make authentic Bentonia blues.
My final recommendation for this week is not an album but a documentary film about one of roots music’s most revered institutions, the long-running PBS show Austin City Limits. Compiling interviews and backstage footage from Austin City Limits’ over four decades, filmmaker Keith Maitland promises an unprecedented level of access to the roots of the show. Backers can receive rewards like a tote bag (what else for a PBS-related project?), a private stream to view A Song For You before it goes on sale to the public, and a Skype call with Austin City Limits host Terry Lickonia.