The world of crowdfunding has exploded in recent years. More and more indie artists are skipping the traditional label system and going directly to their fans to fund their projects. It has become so popular that even established artists have begun to pre-sell their albums on sites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo. But with so many projects out there, how do you find the best ones? That’s where I come in. Each week, I scour the popular crowdfunding sites and pick three to feature here.
The word “legend” gets thrown around a lot, to the point that it sometimes loses its meaning. So does the word “giant.” But Little Jimmy Dickens deserves both words and more. The 4’11” country star was a fixture at the Grand Ole Opry from its early years until he died in 2015 at age 95. Now Michael Lipton of the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame is working on a tribute album for Dickens, which will feature Bill Withers, Kathy Mattea, Tim O’Brien, and more. Backer rewards include signed albums from all three of the previously mentioned artists, the complete West Viriginia Music Hall of Fame cd collection, and a chance to have your name in the Dickens tribute cd booklet.
Mollie O’Brien knows a thing or two about recording music with family. She and husband Rich Moore have toured the country for years as a duo and O’Brien has also successfully recorded and toured with her brother Tim O’Brien. Now their family act is going multi-generational as O’Brien and Moore are recording a new EP with daughters Brigid and Lucy. The album will include original songs as well as some favorite covers by Del Shannon, Tom Waits, and Randy Newman. Unique backer rewards include a piano lesson with Lucy, dinner with O’Brien and Moore, and a house concert.
In recent years, it’s become trendy for actors to try their hands as touring musicians. From The Bacon Brothers to Kevin Costner to Johnny Depp’s recent turn as guitarist for Alice Cooper and Joe Perry’s Hollywood Vampires. But actress Elizabeth McGovern, best known in recent years for her turn as Cora Crawley, the matriarch of PBS’ hit show Downton Abbey, was ahead of the curve as she has fronted the roots band Sadie and the Hotheads since 2008. Now with Downton Abbey ended, McGovern has turned her attention back to the band and is ramping up to record an untitled new album. Unique backer rewards include a handwritten lyric sheet, a Skype call with McGovern, and a disposable camera the band will fill with photos of the recording of their new album.