September is upon us and while that is just another ordinary month for most folks, it’s a big one for fans of roots music. September is the month where several thousand of us take over Nashville for a week to attend roots music’s biggest nerdfest, The Americana Music Festival and Conference. So to celebrate Americanafest month, this week’s Crowdfunding Campaigns of the Week will feature all Americanafest performers, either from this year’s lineup or from previous years.
My first exposure to J.D. McPherson’s music came at Americanafest. He was playing Mercy Lounge, though I forget who I was there to see that night. It doesn’t matter, because Americanafest was there to see McPherson. In an uncomfortably packed Mercy Lounge, McPherson held forth with roots music from the Chuck Berry and Carl Perkins playbook. Now McPherson has a new album, Undivided Heart & Soul, coming Oct. 6. Chronicling a set of upheavals in McPherson’s life, from a cross-country move to a failed creative relationship, the album promises to be a scorcher. Backer rewards include signed copies of the album on CD and vinyl, as well as a vinyl test printing.
Oscar nominated film Crazy Heart might have come out way back in 2009, but it’s back on PledgeMusic due to its stellar soundtrack getting a vinyl release for the first time. There are plenty of Americanafest veterans throughout the soundtrack of this Jeff Bridges film about an aging country star. While the film’s principles sang most of the album’s music, AMA is well represented in the writing and production. Past AMA keynote speaker T-Bone Burnett produced the album, which features songs written by Americanafest vets Greg Brown, The Louvin Brothers, and Billy Joe Shaver, as well as artists who influenced the genre like Townes Van Zandt and Buck Owens.
It didn’t seem right to do an Americanafest-themed edition and not have at least one entry from a 2017 performer. I’ve featured Deer Tick’s new double-album here before, but it’s been a while and I’ve gotten a chance to listen to the album since then. Balancing their electric rock and roll side and their gentler acoustic tendencies by dividing the styles into separate albums, Deer Tick fans can pick their favorite Deer Tick “style” or, as I’d recommend, buy both to have for whatever mood strikes. Backer rewards include the album on CD and vinyl with lyric book, customized Deer Tick Chuck Taylors, and a signed handwritten lyric sheet.