Crowdfunding Campaigns of the Week Genre Hop: Elvis, The Stooges, and Fleetwood Mac
Most weeks in my Crowdfunding Campaigns of the Week column, I try to focus in on either up and coming or established artists in the very loose “roots” music definition, in keeping with me writing for a publication that has been in the vanguard of roots reporting for years. But one of the things that has most drawn me to the Americana fan community is the breadth of their musical love. Sure, you get a few purists who don’t want anything to sound like it couldn’t have been done by George Jones, but for the most part my travels among Americana fans have revealed some strong loves for seemingly unrelated genres like prog, metal, punk, and reggae. So this week, I’m breaking with tradition a bit for this column and looking at campaigns featuring three classic artists who don’t fit into the “roots” category, but who have a strong fanbase within it.
It’s hard to imagine too many artists more influential to any musician who plays rock and roll than the man dubbed The King, Elvis Presley. It’s also hard to believe that the most written about artist in history could have any new secrets to reveal, but that’s the promise going into Being Elvis, the new biography by veteran rock journalist Ray Connolly. Connolly’s book promises to spend a lot of time on Presley’s upbringing in Tupelo, focusing on the socio-economic realities of poverty and race that helps to gain a better understanding of the superstar who flamed out at a young age.
While Fleetwood Mac began their careers as a blues rock band that would fit neatly into this column’s roots focus, the version everyone knows was a much more slick, pop-rock machine. Nevertheless, I’ve lost count of how many jams I’ve attended at Americanafest or Bonnaroo that have featured a Fleetwood Mac cover song. There’s just something about those tight harmonies and catchy rock guitar licks that resonate with roots musicians and their fans. While Rumours will always be the definitive Fleetwood Mac album, Tango in the Night deserves its own praise, spawning hits like “Lies” and “Big Love.” Now Fleetwood Mac is releasing an expanded edition of the album, which features a disc of alternate takes and b-sides, as well as a third disc of more than a dozen 12” mixes.
Aside from traditional country, it’s punk rock that has probably influenced Americana more than any genre of music. It’s amazing to see how many Americana artists were either former punk rockers or who admit to having a great love for punk in their younger days. So it’s a safe bet that Jim Jarmusch’s excellent documentary about The Stooges, Gimme Danger, is a popular draw for roots fans. Now you can also order the movie’s soundtrack on PledgeMusic. The album spans a lot of years, including tracks from Iggy Pop’s pre-Stooges work, selections from their most commercially successful period, and outtake tracks.