While the internet has fundamentally changed the way we make and consume music, nothing has been more formative than the rise of crowdfunding. No longer is there a requirement to have a major label deal and a hope you will get a push. Independent artists, and even some more established ones looking to use backer rewards as additional revenue generators in an age of declining album sales, take to sites like Kickstarter and PledgeMusic to seek funding for their albums directly from the fans. But with so many artists using these sites, it’s sometimes hard to find the best projects to back. That’s where I come in. Each week, I will choose three roots-oriented crowdfunding campaigns to feature in this space. Think your campaign stands out? Send me an e-mail with the campaign and a way to hear your stuff and I’ll feature the best and most unique here.
The Dirty Guv’nahs were a Southern rock band formed at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. After years of dominating the Knoxville music scene and being voted “Best Local Band” for several years in a row, the group broke out in 2010, finding a national following through noteworthy festival shows and opening slots for the likes of Grace Potter and Zac Brown. Unfortunately for fans, The Dirty Guv’nahs called it quits in 2015, citing a desire to spend more time with family. Roll for the People Live was recorded during their 2015 Farewell Tour. Backer rewards include a signed vinyl copy of the album, a Dirty Guv’nahs shirt, and a Dirty Guv’nahs coffee mug.
Emily Saliers may not be a name that rings a bell for many roots music fans, but her band Indigo Girls probably does. On the heels of a successful Indigo Girls debut at Americanafest this year, Saliers is flying solo for the first time in her 30 year musical journey. Tapping multi-instrumentalist and Indigo Girls collaborator Lyris Hung to produce, Saliers is teasing an album informed by being a “groove/beats/world music/electric guitar/ukulele fanatic in an acoustic guitar singer-songwriter’s body!” Backer rewards include a disposable camera with unique photos of the recording process, an autographed poster, and a chance to have brunch with Saliers at her restaurant Watershed in Atlanta.
I have featured The Mavericks’ new live album All Night Live in this space before. I am giving it a second nod for two reasons. First, because the album comes out on Oct. 14 so your window to pre-order it and snag some of the backer rewards is closing. Second, because I have finally gotten my hands on a pre-release copy of the album and can now say definitively that the band has pulled off a nearly impossible task, translating the palpable live energy of a Mavericks concert experience into an album form. Recorded during their 2015 Mono Mundo tour, All Night Live contains enough fan favorites to make any Mavericks enthusiast happy. Backer rewards include an invite to a secret album launch party on Oct. 18, a guitar pick necklace, and even Jerry Dale McFadden’s pink suit from the “Summertime” video.