Every year, thousands of independent bands take to one of the major crowdfunding platforms to raise funds from their fanbase to produce their new work without the interference of a major label. But increasingly, crowdfunding sites have become the norm for acts with big label backing as well. These campaigns are typically called “pre-sales” and don’t have a specific dollar goal. Rather, the goal is to raise some additional funds in an anemic album market through the offering of bonus incentives like shirts, personalized items, and VIP passes to shows. Every week, I weed through the mountain of roots-oriented crowdfunding campaigns and pre-sales to bring you the best bets. Think your band’s campaign deserves a feature? Send me an e-mail with a link to the campaign, a photo, and a way to listen to your music and I’ll pick my favorites for inclusion here.
As the founding bassist of Brit rock titans Small Faces and Faces, Ronnie Lane’s impact on the music scene can’t be understated. Though Multiple Sclerosis took his life in 1997, his legacy is such that biographers Paolo Hewitt and John Hellier are working on Can You Show Me a Dream through Griffiths Publishing. This will be an oral biography, taken from interviews with bandmates and friends of Lane from throughout his career. Every pledge level includes a copy of the book personalized and signed by the authors. But the real gem here is the inclusion of a never before heard audio recording of Lane in 1964 with his band The Outcasts.
For the independent artist, the hardest thing to master in the crowdfunding world is how to stand out from the competition. One way to do that is to offer backer rewards that are different from the competition. In that, Americana artist Jim White excels. While his backer rewards include the standard digital and physical copies of the new album, signed lyric sheets, and vinyl test printings, it also has some things you won’t find anywhere else. Both a creator and collector of folk art, White is offering backer rewards that include landscape paintings he found at yard sales and flea markets and painted people being raptured into, a photo album of strange photos White collected from various sales, and an autographed painting from White’s collection of Jesus paintings.