Much has been written the past several years about how crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter or PledgeMusic has rewritten the rule book about how new artists are discovered, allowing young independent acts to skip the label system and build their fanbase through direct support. But less has been said about the rise of crowdfunding campaigns by more established acts, bands who already either have label deals or are well-known enough to already have a built in fanbase. For these acts, using these sites for pre-order of their new works allows them to interact more directly with their fans by offering behind the scenes glimpses beyond what would be posted on traditional social media, as well as offering premium backer rewards to not only increase revenue but also to offset the rise of streaming by incentivizing the purchase of an album rather than the “rental” of one. This week’s featured crowdfunding campaigns will feature two such established acts, as well as a film project about another.
Longtime Americana favorites The Mavericks are one of those bands that, when introducing them to someone, fans will inevitably say “you can’t really get the full scope unless you see them live.” While Raul Malo and company have release some outstanding studio albums, there is something extra in their live show that puts them over the top. Now The Mavericks are preparing to release All Night Live, Vol. 1, the first in a series of live albums that lets the band show off why they are such an essential concert act. Featuring 16 songs recorded during their 2015 Mondo Mundo tour, All Night Live, Vol. 1 is also a chance for the band to offer up some unique backer rewards, such as an intimate invitation only album release show, a guitar pick necklace designed by Malo’s wife Betty, and even Jerry Dale McFadden’s pink suit from the “Summertime” video.
One of the fastest rising youngsters in Americana, Aaron Lee Tasjan has drawn in fans not only through his gritty folk offerings, but also through his oddball sense of humor that provides a lighter side to his soulful music. As would be expected from Tasjan, the PledgeMusic pre-order campaign for his new album Silver Tears is a bit different as well, insisting it is an exclusive not offered to “you land-line answering paper pushers” and providing backer rewards that include a “make your own Silver Tears jacket” instruction book, a personalized mixtape (on cassette) made by Tasjan, and a chance to go record shopping with Tasjan.
William Miller is a familiar name to many roots music fans for his previous film about Bobby Bare, Jr. called Don’t Follow Me, I’m Lost. Now Miller has turned his documentarian’s eye to roots rockers Deer Tick. Originally started as a celebration of the band’s 10th anniversary, Straight Into a Storm has become a bigger project, mixing archival footage with recent concert clips. Backer rewards include signed laminates from the band, a chance to attend an exclusive screening, and VIP concert tickets.