Crowdfunding Campaigns of the Week: Ben Sollee, Christa Wells, Bog Band
I’m back after a week’s hiatus to cover the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. Hopefully you guys all enjoyed the live reviews but this week I’m back with my regular batch of crowdfunding campaigns. This week’s group features a veteran musician who has collaborated with a number of artists across multiple genres, a young artist releasing her latest EP, and a project that aims to keep traditional music in the minds and hearts of youngsters.
Cellist Ben Sollee is an artist who has shown he’s willing to take his instrument well beyond the bounds of its normal use. Much like Bela Fleck with the banjo, Sollee has made his career out of ignoring genre labels to follow whatever interests him. This has led to not only a successful solo career, but also guest spots with a number of other artists across multiple genres. Now Sollee is back with his new string band Kentucky Native and preparing to release their self-titled debut album. Backer rewards include the album on both CD and vinyl, a “KY Native” pin, a Skype album preview, and an opportunity to have coffee with Sollee after a soundcheck at a tour stop in your town.
Christa Wells made her name on the Christian music scene, snagging a Dove Award in 2006 for her song “Held”, which became a hit for Natalie Grant. For the past few years, Wells has been releasing more secular music, her last album being Covers in 2015, featuring her arrangements of hits by the likes of U2, Depeche Mode, and The Smiths. Now Wells is preparing to release her first solo album of original material since 2013. For the album, Wells will be reuniting with producer Ben Shive, who produced Covers. Backer rewards include a disposable camera full of photos from the studio, a VIP concert experience at Wells’ family farm in TN, and a chance to co-write a song with Wells.
The ultimate goal of any traditional form of music should be to lure in youth who might not be exposed to it via the radio and streaming services. That’s been the aim of Bog Band for the past fifteen years. They take teens in the Washington D.C. area and foster a love of traditional Irish music, using fiddles, tin whistles, and traditional instruments. While most of the original “Bog Band” alum are now college graduates, a new generation of youth has been pulled together to carry on the tradition. Backer rewards include the new album on digital and CD and a house concert by the band.