Crowdfunding Campaigns of the Week: Ramones, Hush Kids, and 10 String Symphony
It’s my first Crowdfunding Campaigns of the Week column of 2018 and I’m reminded of the phrase thrown around every new year; “Out with the old and in with the new.” While the major crowdfunding sites began with that phrase very much in focus, the re-emergence of vinyl as the last thriving physical media has resulted in more of a “in with the old, in with the new” as new releases from independent artists are mingled with classic vinyl re-issues. So this week, we’re going “in with the old, in with the new” with a classic re-issue from one of punk’s foundational acts and two new albums from young Americana artists.
To someone unfamiliar with Americana music, it might seem strange to see one of the most celebrated punk rock acts in history featured on a roots-oriented site like No Depression. But punk’s influence and link to the Americana community is too broad to be ignored. Punk rockers like X founders John Doe and Exene Cervenka have spent more than a little time in the Americana world and some of the genre’s brightest young stars like John Moreland began in the punk world. So when The Ramones re-issue their first three albums on vinyl to celebrate their 40th anniversary, there are likely a lot of Americana artists interested. The albums, Ramones, Leave Home, and Rocket to Russia all feature remastered audio. There are no extra backer rewards available for this campaign, but the albums are reasonably priced at $20 each (which seems odd to say as a guy who remembers Tom Petty quitting his record label over them selling his album for $9.98), or $55 as a bundle.
I have featured Hush Kids in this column in the past but wanted to bring new attention to it as their campaign enters the home stretch simply because it’s one of my most anticipated albums of 2018. Hush Kids consists of Peter Groenwald and Jill Andrews, whose career I have followed through her previous band The Everybodyfields and her solo work and who consistently releases stellar material. If you are drawn to crowdfunding sites for the interactive “behind the scenes” material bands release on the backer pages, Hush Kids is definitely a buy for you. Groenwald and Andrews are very active on their page and in social media, providing additional value for the purchase. Other backer rewards include a Hush Kids knit beanie, a handwritten lyrics sheet, and a chance to hike around Nashville with the duo.
Another duo I’m excited to hear new music from is 10 String Symphony. Rachel Baiman and Christian Sedelmyer are seasoned 5 string fiddle players and sidemen in the Nashville music scene who bring both a classical bent and a millennial viewpoint to traditional roots music. For their new album, Generation Frustration, they look to be pushing their musical boundaries even farther, working with veteran producer and musician Kris Drever in Scotland. Drever’s knack for seamlessly blending roots music and electronics hints at interesting new soundscapes for the pair. Generation Frustration takes its direction from the current political and social upheaval, and the 10 songs touch on topics such as racism, climate change, and privilege. Backer rewards include the album on vinyl, a first for 10 String Symphony, a bag of coffee beans home roasted by Sedelmyer, and a cover song of your choice.