With so many roots artists, from young independents to established stars, using crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, PledgeMusic, and IndieGoGo to promote and secure funding for their new projects, it can be a little daunting for a fan. How to know which campaigns are worthy of your limited dollars? That’s where I come in. Each week I will feature three roots-oriented crowdfunding campaigns here. Is your band running a crowdfunding campaign? Send me an e-mail with a link to the campaign and a way to hear your music. I’ll pick my favorites each week for inclusion in this space.
Crowdfunding is most often associated with millennial artists, grown up on the internet and social media savvy. But in today’s music world, adaptation is essential and 84 year old Opry legend Bobby Osborne has shown his willingness to adapt by funding his new album through PledgeMusic. In a press release announcing the campaign, Osborne proved there’s nothing new under the sun, linking crowdfunding back to his own youth by saying “It reminds me of the fan clubs we used to have when we started. Fans are why we make the music, and I’ve always tried to interact with fans and listeners whenever I can.” With a matching grant from the Freshgrass Foundation and a producer secured in IBMA Award winner Alison Brown, Osborne is well on his way. Unique pledge rewards include a Hatch Show Print, a signature mandolin pick and strings, a signed transcribed arrangement, and a Grand Ole Opry experience, including a performance and a backstage visit with Bobby.
Much has been written in the past few years about the rise of digital music and its effects, both positive and negative, on the music industry. But along with the rise of digital music has come a growing backlash in the form of vinyl collectors. While almost every segment of the industry shrank last year, vinyl distribution grew. Along with the vinyl trend comes another revitalized trend, the subscription service. Harkening back to the old “record of the month club” concept, vinyl subscription services are popping up everywhere. Now noted indie label Dualtone Records is getting in on the act with their Vinyl Den through PledgeMusic. Vinyl fans can choose from 3, 6, and 12 month plans. Upcoming releases include music from Oh Pep!, Bruce Springsteen, and Wild Child.
I featured Sara Watkins campaign for her new album Young in All the Wrong Ways several weeks ago, but I’m bringing it back up again for two reasons. First, because the album is releasing on July 1, so time to pre-order is growing short. Second, because I recently got my hands on an advance copy of Young in All the Wrong Ways in its entirety and this is an album you’re going to want to own if you are a fan of Sara Watkins at all, or just a fan of great roots-oriented music with no genre boundaries and solid songwriting throughout. In addition to the album, pre-orderers can also get backer rewards like a handwritten lyric sheet, a signed vinyl test print, and a mystery box of items selected by Sara herself from her neighborhood.
There won’t be a crowdfunding campaign article next week as I will be on-site covering for No Depression at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival but will return to this space in two weeks. Click “follow” at the top of the page for live Bonnaroo coverage or to get notification of new crowdfunding columns as they’re publised.