Crowdfunding Campaigns of the Week: Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson, and X
As I write this week’s column, we’re two days out from the 2017 Americana Music Festival. So in this week’s edition of Crowdfunding Campaigns of the Week, I’m going to feature three acts that were instrumental in shaping what would eventually become Americana. Like the genre itself, the range of acts is broad, including a tribute to one of country’s original outlaws, a book of interviews with a trailblazing legend, and a long overdue live album from the original lineup of an L.A. Punk band with significant Americana ties.
Punk is often overlooked by music critics when they discuss the genres that came together to form Americana, but the evidence is clear. The number of punk rockers who have gone into Americana through the years is undeniable and no band has supplied more than X. The hard-driving punk band from Los Angeles features Exene Cervenka and John Doe, both of whom have more than dabbled in roots music. Now they’re celebrating the band’s 40th birthday with the release of a live show from 2011, the first to feature the complete original X, which includes Cervenka and Doe, as well as Billy Boom and DJ Bonebreak. Backer rewards include the album on CD or vinyl, a curated mix CD of X songs chosen by each member, a book personally selected and signed by Exene, and a handwritten lyric sheet.
Unlike X, no one is forgetting Dolly Parton in the genesis of Americana. Parton’s personality, and her influence, is too big to be missed by anyone. Taking Parton’s own quote “No one knows Dolly like Dolly” to heart, author Randy L. Schmidt has collected numerous Dolly Parton interviews from publications like Playboy, Rolling Stone, and Interview Magazine, as well as some interviews not previously available in print to let Parton tell her own tale of a poor Smoky Mountains girl who went on to sell 100 million albums.
It’s hard to think of an artist who has touched Americana music more than Kris Kristofferson. From writing iconic songs like “Me and Bobby McGee” and “Sunday Morning Coming Down” to participating in the outlaw country supergroup The Highwaymen, to discovering and giving the first break to John Prine, Kristofferson has done it all. That’s evident in the breadth of artists who came out to pay tribute to him at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. Americana is well represented, with performances by Buddy Miller, Alison Krauss, and Lee Ann Womack, but so is mainstream country, with tributes from Jamey Johnson, Reba McEntire, and Eric Church. Backer rewards include copies of the album signed by Kristofferson, as well as posters, hats, and guitar picks.