Crowdfunding Campaigns of the Week: Davis, Brooklyn Americana Fest, and Chicago Farmer
This column, and a lot of roots music writing in general, could be accused of having a geographical bias. For most writers, certainly for me, it isn’t an intentional one. It’s just that certain areas, Nashville, Austin, Denver, Asheville, have such a longstanding reputation as roots meccas that bands from that area tend to bubble to the surface. So for this week’s batch of crowdfunding campaigns, I’m giving all of the attention to my friends up north, with artists from Illinois and Michigan, and a young roots festival in the most unlikely of places, Brooklyn, New York.
For over a decade now, Cody Diekhoff, who goes by the moniker Chicago Farmer, has been building a fanbase around Illinois and the Midwest with his socially and politically charged lyrics, all delivered with a disarming sense of humor. With the September release of his seventh album, Midwest Side Stories, Chicago Farmer is hoping to capitalize on his growing fanbase, which includes Americana luminary Todd Snider. Backers to his Kickstarter campaign can receive items like a signed Chicago Farmer coozie, guest list admission to a Chicago Farmer show, and ten signed copies of the new album to gift to friends.
Like roots music in general, the thought of roots music festivals turns up some common locations. Nashville, Telluride, Indio, etc. For most people, New York City is probably not one of those locations. In fact, it could very well elicit the incredulous response of those cowboys in that salsa commercial. But the folks behind the Brooklyn Americana Music Festival have one successful edition under their belts and have a campaign on Kickstarter for year two. They’ve already assembled an impressive list of performers, including Carolina Chocolate Drops multi-instrumentalist Hubby Jenkins, Palomino, and The Defibulators. Backer rewards include a souvenir program, a festival shirt, and VIP passes to the festival.
Michigan’s Joshua Davis has been tooling around the country for nearly two decades as a professional musician, but has only found mainstream recognition in the past year when he finished as a finalist on reality show The Voice. Now Davis is capitalizing on that recognition by self-producing a new album of original material. Backer rewards include the album on CD or vinyl, a care package with a hand written thank you note from Davis, and a house concert.